Lessons from His Table
Over the past year, my theme has been “Come to His Table”. For twelve solid months I’ve reflected on this concept. I’ve dug into His Word and God has opened my eyes to places where He is working and shown me what it is like to invite others to Him. He’s been so faithful and patient to illuminate His heart for the hurting and broken.
So now at the end of 2018, I’ve done some serious reflection about what I’ve learned about His Table. I feel like I’ve spent a year sitting at a Table for two…Jesus and I. We’ve had a lot of conversations. We’ve talked around the world. We have walked a scary and strange road together. Jesus has opened my eyes to new concepts and readjusted my thought-patterns a thousand times. He has listened to my heart and dried my tears. He has comforted my fearful soul and challenged me to dream bigger. His Table has been a place of loving correction and exciting conversation. It has been a place that I long to go.
I’ve found peace at His Table. There have been times when I’ve felt so discombobulated and knew I needed His Table desperately. It’s been those times where I’ve RAN THERE and found exactly what I was looking for. This year I’ve learned the importance of His Table, so I’ve made time for Him more often. I’m learning how critical it is for me to get to His Table often and regularly, so I make it a priority.
I’ve learned a thousand things at His Table and ABOUT His Table… but here are seven of the biggest things I’ve learned in 2018:
- He wants His Table full. It’s His will that none would perish (2 Peter 3:9) and Scripture shows us that Jesus wants His house and Table full (Luke 14). Repeatedly I’ve seen Jesus call the down-and-outers to Himself. He calls the broken. The weary. The ones who are least likely and most needy. The ones who seem uninterested are also invited. He wants Every. Seat. Filled.
- Jesus does everything and we just show up. I’ve spent too many years insulting Him with my jello-from-a-box addition to His banquet. He doesn’t need my gifts or abilities…yes, He graciously chooses to use me, but He could do it easily (certainly even easier!) without me. All I need to do is just show up. He did everything. He sent the invitations. He paid for the meal. He made the dinner. He ONLY wants us to show up. Just say YES to His invitation and be thankful for HIS FINISHED WORK on the Cross. (John 19:28-30)
- People are hungry for Hope…which is served at His Table. Our world is full of hurting and broken people who are craving the Hope that only Jesus can offer. I’ve seen brokenness in a new dimension this year than ever before. Ministering in women’s prisons has shown me some hard truths about the messed-up world we live in. I’ve heard some incredibly hard and horrendous stories. I’ve witnessed women craving answers to their deepest questions and heart’s needs…and I’ve seen what can happen when a woman decides to slide into a seat at His Table. Most often, she’s already tried everything else the world has to offer…and she is still hungry. Where Jesus is the one serving up Truth, she is suddenly full and satisfied. (Romans 5:5, 8:24-25, 15:13)
- I need to go to His Table first before inviting others. I’ve been the recipient of this Table-for-two and it’s a beautiful time. It’s personal and gives time for us to reflect and be real with the Jesus who knows us intimately. He wants to use the truths He has given me at His Table to bless others through me. We see in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 that the whole point of our sufferings and being comforted in them is so that we can turn around futuristically and comfort those in the same situation. We are blessed so we can be a blessing! He fills our hands at the Table so we can turn and feed others.
- My life is designed to be a LIVING INVITATION to His Table. My life should point to His Table. That’s the essence of my entire existence…to shine a spotlight on Jesus. That’s it. I don’t have to overcomplicate it…I just have to live a real, tangible life that speaks of His glory and not my own. When I’m truly filled with His goodness, people are drawn to the Jesus in me. Sometimes they even ASK me about Him…and that’s the coolest thing ever! I’m just a living stone pointing to the star attraction: an extravagant God Who sent His Son to rescue. My whole life was literally created to help people see the Gospel in full color…and this simplifies my feverish scheduling and stressing considerably. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3 and 1 Peter 2:5)
- If you will feed them, they will come. It’s not rocket-science. Just offer them what they’ve been hungry for, and they will beat down your door to get it. You don’t have to convince, prod, beg or push people to come. You don’t have to be seeker-friendly. Folks want authenticity way more than they want comfort. If they know what is served at the Table and they have seen the evidence of its beauty in your own life, they will naturally be drawn there. Guaranteed. I’ve seen this happen in 2018. I have seen people drawn to Jesus by watching the life of an authentic Christian who loves well and is open to sharing their faith. I have noticed that BROKEN and SCARRED people reach the lost far better than those who want stand on a pedestal and proclaim their own message. This is because God rushes into our weakness and we become useable when we are busted up (Psalm 34:18 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Just share your life honestly with those in your sphere of influence… they don’t need your perfection, they need your JESUS.
- The Devil will show up and try to get a seat too. Don’t let him. It’s not for him…so don’t let him pull up a chair and whisper lies to your heart. He will mask himself as important and pretend to be what you’ve been needing, but he is just sneaking up to the Table and wanting to plant deceit in your heart. Kick him out. Learn to recognize his voice quickly by making your number one Voice Jesus. The more you listen to Jesus, read and apply His Word, and speak to Him regularly, the more you will be able to spot the fake voice a mile away. Familiarize yourself with TRUTH and the lies will be obvious. Don’t give the enemy a seat at your table (1 Corinthians 10:21-22).
This year has been powerful. In fact, I look over the past year and know that I am a radically different woman than the one who started 2018. Challenging, stretching and with tons of opportunities to lean into Jesus because I was hopeless on my own…but it was a year I wouldn’t trade for the world. Maybe every year is supposed to be that way.
I’m grateful for this theme — Come to His Table — it’s shown me a side of God’s character that is amazing. Many of the truths I’ve learned at His Table these last twelve months have been woven into the fabric of my being as I learn to apply them and see a little more of Who Jesus is. He is beautiful, friends. So beautiful.