One of my best friends, a brother in Christ, is going through a tough time right now. I felt led to create this artwork for him to remind him, myself, and others that even if our enemies are lurking around we DO NOT have to invite them to take a seat at our table. (PS Joshua has gone to be with the Lord since I wrote this)
You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:5 ESV
I am currently doing a Bible Study by Louie Giglio where he talks about not giving the enemy a seat at our table. Think about that for a moment. How many times does our internal dialogue lead us to invite the enemy to sit down at our table with us? Have we invited worry to sit at our table. Fear? Doubt? Anger? Addiction? Who have our dinner guests been lately?
I have to confess, that up until I started this Bible Study when I read the verse from Psalm 23 I always thought of my “enemies” as people (or relationships) that were a struggle for me. Especially people who had offended or hurt me. But as Louie pointed out, and I already know, our battle isn’t with people it is against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). The enemy loves to push our buttons often using other people, but also using our own fears and insecurities against us. Some of the other weapons used are sickness and disease. When we aren’t feeling well physically, we are susceptible to getting overwhelmed by negative thoughts, fears, and doubts.
If we continue to focus on these things instead of Jesus, we are basically inviting them to take a seat at our table to hang out with us. And the thing about inviting these unwanted guests to sit down at our table is that the longer we sit with them the harder it is to get them to leave. We end up stuck in the dark valley mentioned in Psalm 23.
But here is the good news, Jesus leads us through that dark valley to the table that He’s set up with a feast for us smack dab in the middle of our enemies. He invites us to sit down with Him at the table. When in His Presence, there are no seats available for our enemies at the table with us. They have to stand back.
Even if doubt, fear, worry, sickness, addiction, etc are hanging out in the dark valley we don’t have to invite them to our table. Jesus has created a safe place for us in the middle of the valley. A haven with Him our Good Shepherd. We can feast on love, joy, peace, hope in the midst of our enemies because we have been invited to dine with Jesus.
Today, I encourage you to accept Jesus’ invitation to sit at His table. Don’t give your enemy a seat at your table. Anytime negative thoughts or ideas come into your mind, say “Don’t give the enemy a seat.” Say it out loud if you need to. Stay seated at the table with Jesus. You will be safe there.
Behind the Scenes: I realized as I was creating the artwork that there was a lot of symbolism happening without me actively planning it. The base environment is a desert valley in the middle of a mountain range. The sky-sphere is a stormy night. I made the enemies hanging out behind the table kind of shapeless to represent spiritual enemies. Jesus is wearing a crown because He is the King of Kings and has the ultimate authority over the spiritual world. The cuff on His sleeve is red to represent His blood that was shed to free us from those enemies. There is bread on the table and wine in the pitcher to represent Eucharist.