A few weeks a go, I was volunteering at a conference, when I Just happened to sit in on a session. I was planning to serve, see my South African friend Andi, and head home. I didn’t know Louie Giglio and the passion band would be there, and I had no idea the revelation God planned in advance to bring to my life. I walked in and stood in the back just to soak in a song or two.
The worship was so anointed. Raw, real, genuine, and powerful. The team led a new song – Worthy of Your Name (go listen to it HERE.) I stood in the back, with my hands in the air, and I wept. The words pierced my heart, and my soul was moved to worship. I remembered His faithfulness, His goodness, and His sacrifice for me.
In the moments that followed, Louie began to preach, and it was as if the Lord said “Ash, are you listening? This moment. This message. It’s just for you.” I was honestly kind of in shock. Louie was so transparent and raw about his own personal life and some struggles and battles he’s been through in recent years. As he spoke, the Lord reminded me of very similar battles I’ve been fighting and whispered in my heart “you’re not alone.”
Louie got to the Scripture focus, Psalm 23, and camped out on verse 5. “You prepare for me a table in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” I’ve always sort of breezed right on by the “prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies” part of that verse. I don’t really know what to do with that, so I just haven’t done anything with it…even in seminary. The wisdom and revelation about this scripture that Louie brought was absolutely tailor-made for my heart.
He talked about this idea of sitting down at the table Jesus has prepared for us and locking eyes with Him, the good Shepherd….in the presence of our enemies. Then Louie gave a truth and a warning that has stuck in my brain like superglue.
The Truth: “At the end of the day, the salvation of our lives is intimacy with God.”
The warning: The enemy is angling at your table and if you’re not careful, he will just grab a seat and get comfortable before you know it.
So… who’s at your table? Have you locked eyes with the Shepherd or has the enemy succeeded in his angle to distract you and shift your focus? For most, the enemy angles at our table with a few thoughts in our mind, as Louie suggests. He tells us we aren’t gonna make it, that life is better at another table, that God doesn’t care, and that everyone is against us.
I sat there recalling all of those lies the devil has whispered in my ear at my own table with Jesus. I’ve believed them much of the time. I stood in the back of the sanctuary with tears streaming down my face as the revelation of spiritual battle in my life was unveiled. How did he even pull up a chair to my table?! Then Louie said something I will never forget.
“The only reason the enemy is talking to you is because you’re letting him…You have the power in the name of Jesus to dismiss the enemy from your table.”
Say WHAAAAT?! My heart was full of sadness at how much ground I’ve given the enemy in my heart and life because I simply didn’t dismiss him from my table. Then came the hope and belief. I am full of the power of Jesus through His Spirit, and I have authority over the enemy!
In the weeks following, I’ve been so keenly aware of the enemy angling at my table. There have been some difficult moments where I could have let him pull up a chair. However, the Holy Spirit reminded my heart “just dismiss him from your table”….and it was that simple! I simply said no to those lies and plans of the evil one, and CHOSE to fill my heart with the TRUTH that Jesus has spoken. I chose to lock eyes with my good Shepherd and focus my attention on Him.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying I am so grateful that the Lord ordained for me that time to walk into that conference session…all because He knew what was coming in the weeks ahead. I have strength because of His divine appointments and intervention in my life. His promises are good and trustworthy. He is for us. He invites us in to sit at the table, lock eyes with Him, and receive the power and authority to dismiss the enemy and move on down the road into all He has for us.