The Bible continues to astonish me by revealing unexpected diamonds in passages I thought I knew pretty well, after being a Christian for forty-three years. This verse is the latest of them, and one I’ve read many times before.
What struck me this time (prompted by a friend) was that this feast, this banquet God prepares for us, takes place in the very presence of our enemies. They gaze on us as God gets the banquet ready and provides the best food, but they can’t partake of it, because it’s only for His people, His beloved. What enemies are present in your situation at the moment? It may be specific people; it may be anger, bitterness, loss, abuse: only you know. Yet God truly does spread a banquet before you, even now.
To appreciate this feast, we have to do three things. Firstly, we have to look away from our enemies. While we focus on them they become larger and fiercer, and remove all our God-given peace. The enemy always wants us to look at him, to focus on his power and, in the process, see ourselves as smaller and unable to beat him.
Secondly, we need to look at Jesus. When we look at Jesus, and truly focus on Him, then everything settles into its rightful perspective. Our enemies diminish in power and Jesus fills our entire vision with His love and power.
Thirdly, we need to look at the feast He’s prepared for us - His love, salvation, joy, peace, comfort, and presence. The list goes on and on. A pastor reminded me that if Jesus didn’t do anything else for me the rest of my life, He would have already done more than enough. How true that is!
So, today I urge you to lift your eyes away from the enemies that may surround you. Look up and let your spirit focus on Jesus, and then let your mind consider the blessings He’s already spread before you as a feast. I believe that, as you look at what’s before you (and it may initially appear sparse), and consider what Jesus has done and is doing for you, the table before you will be quickly filled with such a feast you’ll be astonished. As the old hymn says:
‘Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done’.
Prayer: O Lord, thank You for the feast You’re preparing before me right now, as I lift my thoughts away from the enemies who oppose me. Right now, I choose to list and give thanks for all the blessings You’ve poured out on my life. I know I’ll be astonished by how many they are, and I give You thanks. Amen.
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