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Today’s lesson: don’t give the enemy a seat at our table

Good morning, my friends! Aw, this morning my heart is so full and overflowing with love for my dear Jesus. Do you have a minute or two? Love to share my own heart with you all.

I recently purchased an old wrought iron table and chair set at a yard sale. It needs some love and I just thought it would be fun to refinish it. It’s white and came with three chairs. Two white chairs, one red. Yes, red! How ugly, I thought. I thought of leaving it behind, but something just prompted my heart to take it with me. I’m so very glad I listened to the nudging from the Holy Spirit! It always amazes me just how the Lord pulls things together for our good and His glory. Now, that ugly red chair carries special significance. Here’s why:

Last evening, one of my Bible study groups finished up our last lesson of “Goliath Must Fall,” by Louie Giglio. I’ve mentioned it here before, but all I can say is it is one of the most powerful, life changing studies we’ve done yet! Profound lessons taught and learned! As we learned to slay the giants of fear, rejection, anger, comfort, and addictions, we realized that in our own power, we are helpless to knock these giants out. Now, in the power of the Holy Spirit, it’s a completely different story, I promise!

The most powerful lesson learned, for me, is this: We don’t give the enemy a seat at our table! We were focused on Psalm 23, where it says that Jesus sets a table for us in the presence of our enemies. What? I always heard it so different in my heart. It meant that He sets a table for us in HIS presence. Indeed, He does, but no, in the presence of our enemies. Jesus is there, at that table, for sure, but so are our enemies, taunting us daily. Trying to steal our peace and draw us away from God. It’s so like our Lord to give us the choice…just who will sit at our table? It’s a table for two, so you understand. Jesus longs for us to come, sit at that table with Him. He wants to hear our hearts, our hurts, our joys. He wants a deep relationship with us, likely deeper than we’ve taken the time to give to Him. He wants to slay those giants for us, as we lean on Him in deeper ways.

Again, we don’t give the enemy a seat at our table! Recently, as I was on the tractor working ground, my mind engaged on the goodness of God toward me, it all shifted. My mind went to dark things, things that trouble me, things that cause my stomach to churn and my tender heart to ache. Relational issues, sad things, and before I knew it, I noticed a tire on the disk that was sliced! I didn’t see it happen, but it did, for sure! That was all it took, and I was in a flood of tears! Last straw! Lord, where are You? I can’t hear You now! Then, His still, small voice in my heart…“You did it! You gave the enemy a seat at your table, didn’t you? Not only did you invite him there, I heard you say, ‘old devil, let me get you a cold drink for your hot tongue!'” Oh, Lord, yes I did! Forgive me, Father! (I hope you enjoy my little narratives). We always have a choice before us. We get to decide who will sit at our table with us.

At our Bible studies, I have illustrated this concept by setting my old rickety table and chairs, and yes, red one included. I set the table with fine china, silverware, napkins, wine goblets, a candle, and a plate of bread. I shared with my groups of cherished ones that Jesus longs to sit at that table with them. He wants to look deeply into their eyes. He wants to hold their hands and hear their hearts. But, which chair will get pulled away from that table? It best be that ugly red one, who represents our enemy. I appreciate visuals like this. They become deeply etched in my heart and mind. I actually thought of getting rid of that ugly red chair, but no, I intend to set a beautiful pot of flowers on it now, as if to say, “Take that, old scoundrel! I will feast on the beauty of His holiness! You can’t have me. Jesus sits with me at my table!

Who sits at your table, friend? Is it Jesus? Do you know you are His and He is yours? Do you know how He longs to sit with you and hear your heart? Are you depending on Him to help you through the struggles of your day, your life…or have you given the enemy that seat that Jesus longs for? Make the right choice, dear friend! Jesus waits there for you. His patience is long and steady. He loves you so tenderly. He waits for you to call out to Him. Go ahead, fill the glasses and light the candle, and then, just say “Jesus.”

Incidentally, when I gave the enemy free reign on the tractor, he took advantage of the moment. He always does. Turns out, that tire was already cut! When my dear husband came home and I had to confess my sins, he welcomed me with open arms, smiling. He already knew. Jesus knows, too. Run to your Father. Drive a stake in that extra chair at your table. You belong to the King of Kings. You are royalty. He is waiting. Don’t keep Him waiting!

When all is said and done, these giants that taunt us always MUST go down! They must, because our Jesus’ reputation is at stake. We really don’t want others to believe that our God isn’t powerful enough to handle our struggles, right? When we slay giants in the name of Jesus, then we live as though they are dead! And they truly are! Jesus gave His life that we could have ours. We must be living testimonies to His goodness, His power to be overcomers. We live for the glory of God!

In conclusion, as we dwelt on Psalm 23 in this study, I told the groups again and again that Psalm 23:1 sums it all up for me. It says: The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all that I need! Truly, we could have skipped the study altogether. He is all we need for all things pertaining to life and godliness. But then, I would have missed all the love of my friends, all the sharing of hearts, and this essential concept…Don’t give the enemy a seat at your table…ever! God bless each of you as you look for a beautiful flower to set on that red chair. The enemy only gets what we give him. Just don’t! Don’t give the enemy a seat at your table!

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Debby Renninger is a freelance writer and inspirational speaker. She holds a Bible study in her home in McVeytown, where seeking women are always welcome. She may be reached at (717) 250-7086 for speaking engagements.

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