So many people I am talking to right now seem to be facing what seem to be the greatest challenges of their lives. Today I want to declare that God is in control!!!
Ps 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 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 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. NAS
Let’s press in and thank God that the Lord is our shepherd. He is there watching for us. Jesus is praying for us. He’s a good, good shepherd.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. Interestingly we see this same idea revealed in Ps 91 where the Hebrew word “dwells” literally means, “sit down.”
Ps 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” NIV
God prepares a table in the presence of our enemies. In the presence of your enemy means that even while sickness is trying to attack your body, as your child is battling drugs, when your finances are looking really bad. These difficult times are enemies trying to tear you down, take your life and destroy your legacy. Right in the middle of the challenge Jesus invites you to the table.
The only way out of this is to eat your way out. In the midst of life’s greatest challenges make sure you are purposing times of resting and feasting. Focus on the Word! Dwell in his presence. Eat your way out of the situation. Don’t give in to the lie that you need more determination to make it through robbing you of your peace. This leaves you feeling like you don’t have time to spend in the Word or in God’s presence. It’s a trick! Don’t give in!
In Luke 6 the disciples were straining at the oars in the middle of the storm = which was the middle of God’s will. They had done exactly what God had told them to do and still they were in a storm. We live in a fallen world! Take heart!
In these times Jesus is teaching you to move from human effort to a greater reliance upon him. Once Jesus was invited into the boat the straining was over. Feasting in his presence is feasting in the presence of your enemies.
1 Cor 16:9 for a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. NAS
Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD. NIV
In the book of Daniel we read about the three Hebrew children were thrown into the fire. After they were in the midst of the fire God delivered them. Sometimes God delivers us from the fire. Then there are times God delivers us in the fire. No matter what you may be facing it is always the right time to keep your focus on serving Jesus and serving others.
Purpose to feast in his presence and eat your way out. As you eat the word, as you digest the word, as you memorize the word you will grow fat because of the anointing (as described in some translations of Isaiah 10:27). This references an ox that grows too large for the previous yoke to fit. Bondages that you faced before no longer have a place in your life as you’ve outgrown those old ways of thinking and behaving.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to wait until you are in victorious circumstances before you are qualified to pray for others in similar situations. Abraham prayed for somebody with his promise still pending. He prayed for the very thing he was hoping for himself that they would have a baby and God answered his prayer. He wanted a baby and had been waiting
Gen 20:17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again. NIV
Job walked through tremendous frustration, disappointment and stressful circumstances. Notice how praying for others was also the key to his breakthrough.
Job 42:10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. NIV
May God draw our attention and our affection to him as we walk through every situation or storm that may ever come our way. In the midst of the storm may we look to Jesus and consider the needs of others as we devote ourselves to the eternal purposes of God as our way of life.