In The Presence Of My Enemies

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“Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”.

Psalm 23: 5

I  wonder what good food would do for me in the presence of my enemies. Am I going to pelt my enemies with spaghetti and meatballs?  Do I poke their eyes out with bread sticks? This part of Psalm 23 didn’t really make sense to me and I would ordinarily skim right past.

But recently, I saw this verse differently. The table He has prepared is laden with everything I have inherited through Christ – every spiritual blessing, every physical blessing, every weapon I will ever need, every provision I will ever need. All there – laid out for me. When I am in the presence of my enemies there I will find my weapon. The God who spoke this world into existence and created the many species and ecosystems and gave each exactly what they needed not only for survival but also to work in relation to other ecosystems for mutual survival, prepared a table for us! An orderly, lavishly decorated table with everything we have need of in the face of enemies.

When the enemy of fear comes against me, all I have to do is look at the table prepared before me and find what God has provided to combat fear – peace, truth, the spirit of power and a sound mind.

When the enemy of pain or sickness comes against me, I can find on this table the healing Christ paid for on the cross.

When the enemy of worry comes against me,  there on the table lays the  peace that passes all understanding.

When the enemy of rejection comes against me, I browse the table until I find the adoption papers that assure me that I am His.

 

All these and more are piled to overflowing on this banquet prepared by the Lord. And all I have to do is believe and feast on His provision.

 

 

picture credit: weddingbuffet.net

 

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Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!

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His teeth were slightly crooked on the top. I thought that only added to his sweet, charming countenance. He explained that he was in a fight (you know, should have seen the other guy kinda tale) and that his teeth got crooked from that. I believed him, I mean, who wouldn’t? He was cute and so charismatic and he was pouring it all out on me. It would be years before I learned the truth, that his dad simply couldn’t afford braces.  By the time I learned that was a lie, it seemed minimal in comparison to the others that had mounted over the years:

You’re the only one.

I will be home right after work.

You are my life, my world, the best thing that has ever happened to me.

It’ll never happen again.

No, I mean it, it’ll never happen again.

Would that all liars were like Pinocchio and their noses would grow longer right there in front of us!

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I was young – 15 and really wanted to believe him. I mean, in my defense, I had grown up on fairy tales, I believed in happy endings. I also believed that one day, these things would be true. I am older now, a lot older and maybe wiser. I no longer believe in fairy tales and I am not so sure about happy endings. This fairy tale didn’t end in a happy ending some 23 years later, but I learned from it, that truth is often times clouded by what we want to believe. We are good at ignoring facts all around us – good ones and bad and so much of our present experiences are filtered through the beliefs we picked up from the past – whether those beliefs were true or not.

Perhaps that is why we are admonished in God’s word to put on truth, to wear it as a shield, a defensive weapon against lies, the lies we tell ourselves and the lies others would tell us.

Be prepared.

You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.

Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.

Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.

Learn how to apply them.

You’ll need them throughout your life.

God’s Word is an indispensable weapon.

Ephesians 6: 13-18

When it’s all over but the shouting, wouldn’t you like to still be on your feet? Standing firm in the truth and prepared to deflect any lies that come your way? I know I would. I didn’t know this about truth so many years ago, maybe things would have turned out differently, who knows? But I know this, it doesn’t matter where the lies come from, how cute the messenger, or how subtle, or how in my face, or  how devious, or how respectable they may seem, a lie is a lie is a lie and every lie we believe imprisons us and keeps us that much further from the truth that can set us free.

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