I’m convinced that our Lord loves to eat. In the scriptures, some of the most profound exchanges that Jesus had occurred around meals with friends. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced that our Lord is actively preparing a suitable setting for us to dine with Him here in this world. He likes things to be just right before we eat. I have recently discovered, however, that His choice of dinner setting is not the same as mine.
The Field of Battle
Recently, I have sensed the Lord inviting me to sit at His exquisite table to take part in His greatest meal for me yet to date. I’ve accepted the invitation to sit at His table, and I’m enjoying the meal in ways words will not allow me to describe. The setting of this meal, however, is not one that I would have chosen. It is one of war, destruction, and death. This table is in the midst of a real battlefield. Just the other day, I sensed Him giving me this vision of what is occurring. Because this vision immediately brought me life, peace, and strength, I wanted to share it with you. Please take a few minutes to envision this…
A Wooden Table, A Feast, & An Audience
I’m a traveller, and I am passing through the valley of the shadow of the most vial death. In this valley, I have noticed a great table in front of me. It’s a seasoned, dark, wooden table with a lot of character. It has words of life carved into the wood by the builder of the great table. I run my fingers across the carved words to feel the unique grooves and curves of each letter. I’m reminded at the effort and life that went into each carved letter. Seated at this table are a few precious ones He has specifically given to me to share His life with. They are my friends.
There are plates in front of us at this table. A caterer is dishing out heaping servings of the finest food upon these plates. The table is beginning to fill up with a grand feast. As I look up from this table, however, I see an audience of adversaries looking on in disgust, pity, and even anger. These adversaries have a familiar look. I know and love each one of them deeply. As I look at the multitude of adversaries looking on, I hear their accusations and assumptions. As I listen to them, I lose heart and despair of life itself. When I look across the table and catch the gaze of those sitting at the table with me, however, the surrounding adversaries begin to dim out of my sight. When I look down at the feast being placed upon our plates, the voices of the adversaries grow silent.
As I pass the plates of food to those seated at the table with me, our appetites grow causing us to indulge and savor each bite. When I taste the food, I am satisfied with joy unspeakable. Strangely, it seems that I can’t taste the food that I’m eating. I can only taste the food that the one I’m gazing at is eating, and the one who is gazing at me can only taste the food that I’m eating. As our appetites grow, I simply desire the one I’m gazing at to continue to eat so I can savor each spice and flavor they put into their mouth. This also provokes me to eat so they can enjoy as much of this lavish catered meal as possible. While there is a variety of food on this table, the substance of each dish is love. We are feasting on love.
Every once and a while, the surrounding audience of adversaries comes back into view as we indulge in the meal. Now that the meal has begun, however, I can no longer hear the voices of the audience of adversaries. I am simply aware that they are intently watching us eat and enjoy ourselves. The sight of our pleasure causes the surrounding audience to become more and more agitated with fear, disgust, and anger. Ironically, seeing the audience of adversaries watch us indulge in this meal brings me an unexpected sense of peace and joy.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. -(Psalm 23:4-6, NASB)