A Strange Place to Eat & An Invitation…

31 Comments
March 3, 2014

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)

Jamal Jivanjee

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31 responses to A Strange Place to Eat & An Invitation…

  1. If I am one of those sitting at the table with you, and since you are tasting what I am eating, I am going to do you a favor and avoid eating cauliflower. If you could return that favor…much appreciated.
    On another note, I liked this post.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Gunnar, I know that you are. Because of that, I will avoid eating cauliflower just for you:) Seriously, it’s truly an honor to dine with you.

  2. I ‘see’ this table, and as I read this beautiful story I could ‘see’ the setting, and smell the fragrance of Love, and taste this precious meal as you and the others partook of this Living Bread, and drank His wine, and I was feed by you and others as we dined. I also sensed the calm, and utter peace as we dined, even in the presence of those who were opposed to this intimate, and very close gathering.

    At the beginning of this season that The Lord is leading me on, and when the situation looked very dim at the start, and fear was striving for a foothold, I hear His voice,

    “I’ve set the table for you”

    and a little later when walking by sight I began to cry and ask why, again He spoke,

    “do you trust Me?”

    I respond “yes Lord, I trust you”

    His response “then drink this cup”

    It was later as I was sharing this with a very dear sister that she added, “you recline against Him, and He holds the cup as you drink”

    This changes everything, for in this everything is found ‘in’ Him and His provisions, and it’s all accomplished ‘in’ Love.

    “perfect Love kills fear”

    I Love you Jamal, always have, always will.

  3. :)

    This post brought me great joy. Thank you my friend.

  4. Kenneth Dawson March 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I love the way that one guy put it–you recline against him,and he holds the cup as you drink–that says it all..thanks for the usual good word.

  5. Mary O’Neal March 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Amazing! My first scripture that came to mind was John 4:32 “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Then verse 34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” We must get out of the physical realm into the spiritual to even make sense of all you have said Jamal. Jesus also said in the Lord’s prayer to say, “give us this day our daily bread”, and I know this goes beyond physical sustenance. Our greatest need ever is Gods love and this is what you are feasting on at the Lords banqueting table. Another scripture I am reminded of is Song of Solomon 2:4, “He invites me to His banqueting table, His banner over me is love.” The way you shared His love as we taste each others food is true spiritual union, becoming one in the Spirit. I love that!

  6. “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 ”
    SHUT THE FRON DOOR- perfect. beautiful.

    Bon appetit, brother! what a beautiful picture of what sharing really looks like. my heart overflows with gratitude that I am blessed and able enough to dine at this table with you.

  7. Although I entered this scene with you and am in awe of this picture He has given us through you, I have a very hard time with feeling that “unexpected sense of peace and joy” you described and it would be unexpected for me to feel this way.
    . I even know that as part of His Eternal purpose He is going to demonstrate his victory and completion of this for ALL (enemies included) to see, but I still have a problem feeling any peace or joy in this……whats wrong with me :-O

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 4, 2014 at 6:22 am

      Vinny,

      There is certainly nothing wrong with you. You are a man after God’s own heart for sure:)

  8. I read this to my Mom this morning, and we were both brought to tears. It brings such clarity to me as to what is happening in the spiritual realm. It brings clarity too as to the Bride of Christ and how she is perceived and treated in the wilderness.

    Not to improve on the message, but to add an element I see from the Song of Songs: That there are banners over the heads, and a banner over all of them.

    ***”He brought me to His banqueting table [Heb: house: family], and His banner over me is Love.” Song 2:4

    Here is the Strong’s definition of ‘banner’: A flag or standard, from the root; to flaunt, that is, raise a flag; figuratively to be conspicuous, chiefest.

    Thank you for the courage to share what you have seen, Jamal. It is a stunning and timely vision for this time.

    P.S. I will never read Psalm 23 the same again:)

  9. What a beautiful and clear picture you have painted, Jamal. Thank you for sharing it.

  10. Thank you Jamal for sharing your heart , as Pam said it brought us to tears. The Lord is truly doing something new in our hearts and I,m falling more deeply in love with Him and His bride with every breath I take and every morsel of food I eat with His body . I love your heart dear brother .

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Millie,

      Thanks for letting me know that this picture encouraged you. I also love your heart too! I’m looking forward to the next time I can see you.

  11. Thank you Jamal for this post!
    It spoke straight into my heart. Oh His love for us!!! Last week my mom and I had a long conversation on the phone over this very thing, His great and awesome love! How The Lord has always protected, sustained, lavished care and affection on us, all while the adversary trying over and over to devour us, if he could. We learn no truth theoretically, only by experience. That was the life of The Lord Jesus on earth from His infancy to the end, the enemy was after Him. We who belong to Him can not expect otherwise. It is truly a feast spread in the presence of the enemies. The peace we experience, when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, is the proof that His love has triumphed, and in His house and His presence we will forever feast. How blessed are we!!!

  12. Jamal,
    What a blessing to so many and an incredible picture. Although, we know this is more than just a picture =].
    These verses came to mind today as I was reflecting on what you wrote here:

    The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son – Matthew 22

    For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. – 1 Cor. 11:26

    Much love.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 4, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks for this comment Nischelle. Those scriptures you shared have taken on a new texture as a result of this picture of the table. Love you!

  13. Dear Jamal,

    You said that, “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.” In reading your words I was reminded of the apostle Paul as he wrote about his adversaries while he was in prison. It seems to me that he may have faced something similar to what you are describing in yourself.

    Paul referenced that the chains he bore, or the situation he found himself in, served as an encouragement to “most of the brothers in the Lord … to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly” (Phil. 1:14 NIV). Please note with me Jamal, Paul did not say “all the brothers in the Lord” were encouraged by his circumstances. In fact, some of the brothers in the Lord appeared to be adversarial toward him and even took the occasion to “stir up trouble for [him]” while he was in chains (v.17). These adversaries were “familiar” to Paul. He knew who they were and loved each of them “deeply.” He heard their “accusations and assumptions.” However, he did not listen to them.

    He knew that “some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill” (v.15). He knew that the “later do so in love, knowing that [he was put there] for the defense of the gospel [and that] The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely” (v.16-17). And then he said, “BUT WAS DOES IT MATTER? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes and I will continue to rejoice” (v.18-19).

    You are right to not “lose heart and despair of life itself.” Rejoice and continue to rejoice and let the peace of God fill your heart to overflowing. Paul encouraged the Philippian followers of Christ to “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them…” (v.27-28a). Be encouraged today and continue to share in humility and love what God places in your heart. We will feast together at the table LOVE.

    In the face of similar circumstances, Paul also said to his adversaries, accusers and those who prayed for him, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. BUT ONE THING I DO: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12-14). May God’s blessings be upon you Jamal as you run the race and press on toward the prize. Thank you for being obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Franklin,

      There is such wisdom and and encouragment for me in what you shared. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share your heart and councel here. What a blessing to have read what you have written. Thank you so much!

    • Shelby Shock-Marsh April 15, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Aaaaah, Jamal!! What a beautiful picture of intimacy you have painted. Intimacy in the midst of chaos. In this life there will be trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world!
      Jesus has taken into account our every moment. There is nothing left to chance. No need to wonder. We may not be able to comprehend everything that happens, but bc we know His heart, His character, we can be sure that all is well with our soul. Why, He even sets a table for us in the middle of the battlefield & He looks into our eyes & bids us to come join Him.
      i love the comments about the Song of Solomon 2:4…His banner over me is love. i also like how we feast on the love that the one we gaze upon consumes.
      There is no deeper pain than to be rejected by someone whom we love deeply. The bait is that we might be offended. But triumph is made in love & love alone. Love brings peace regardless of what we see with our eyes. Thanks for revealing His love to me. P.S. i love you.

  14. Jamal, I am not quite understanding some of your words here, maybe I am just a little dense today. Perhaps you can elaborate on this particular expression: You state that you know these adversaries deeply, and love them deeply, which indicates deep relationship, yet it brings you peace and joy that these so mentioned adversaries whom you deeply know and love are looking on in fear, pity, and anger as you feast on love. Thanks brother!

    • Jesus said that: And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. There are no more effective ‘adversaries’ but the ones we have close and intimate ties with. Relatives with a worldly or carnal mind-set, or even ones that think they’re so right in their religious blindness, can be the most effective tools the enemy has to hinder a chosen of the Lord to walk the way of the Lord. However, we know that the ONE in us is stronger than the one in them… and so every chosen of the Lord has to learn to sit at the table the Lord prepares in the face of his enemies… and right, this ‘adversaries’ watching you feasting on the goodness of the Lord often get enraged by this very fact they have to behold with malevolence. They so long to see you defeated… but seeing you enjoying and even relaxing in obvious troubles… is more than they can bear,

      • Jamal Jivanjee April 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        Robin,

        This comment you made is so very true and needed. Thank you for this wisdom. It blessed me greatly reading it today.

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