The Banquet Table
I saw a beautiful banquet table. I imagined a deep burgundy table cloth decorating a long table. A fire was at the end. Long benches were on each side, and the wood floors were decorated with a thick, beautifully woven rug. The smell of pine and spice was in the air. Delicious fruits, warm homemade bread, desserts, pasta salads, green salads, soups, and nuts, heartily and delicately decorated the banquet table. I breathed a sigh of relief. It felt so good to arrive to this beautiful place. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for having been invited. Then, out of nowhere Fear with its terrorizing face, arms, hands, legs, and feet leaped to the center of the table, recklessly knocking over strawberries, bread and the like. Then, as if to taunt me, Fear laughed loudly and sat down in a crisscross position upon the banquet table. Picking up the candle, Fear held the candle up to his face, and blew it out, glaring at me and mocking me with a crocked smile.
While I was at first shocked that Fear was there, I realized that I had been talking to him along the pathway that led to the banquet hall. In fact, I had a long dialogue with him, and when we arrived, I actually held to the door open for him! Why was I so surprised that he decided to leap upon the table and interrupt this beautiful banquet that had been prepared for me?
Recently, God taught me something, and the lesson was explained to me in the following statement:
“Don’t psychoanalyze the essence of your fear. In so doing, you place it as a center piece upon the banquet table I have prepared for you, and the two cannot exist together.”
I believe we all get excited about what God is doing in us and through us. We know that He has divinely orchestrated the details of our lives. We are thankful that even when we mess up (and we all do), or life circumstances and/or the enemy attempts to destroy us, God can and does still use it together for our good. Basically, we know that “God’s got this,” but we don’t know all the details that come together and explain “how God’s got this.” So Fear taunts us a little, and if we take the bait and engage in a dialogue with it, Fear follows us … right to the center of the banquet table of the life that God has prepared for us.
Imagine your life as if it were a banquet table. Replace the fruit, bread, desserts and every other yummy thing listed above with blessings in your life such as friends, family, opportunities, great memories, enjoyable hobbies, times you served and were immeasurably blessed… It’s a beautiful banquet isn’t it? Now, imagine Fear leaping to the center stage of your life? Once fear shows up, you immediately focus on it, assess it, mourn, pound your chest, and psychoanalyze it, over, and over, and over again, trying to get to the root of “Why” it’s there.
On top of that, when Fear leaped to the center of the table, things were knocked over, discarded, broken and swept away. Then, you took additional time to try to figure out “Why” this particular dish was broken, “Why” that particular basket of bread was knocked over, “Why” this salad was swept aside, and “Why” all the napkins were lost in the shuffle…. It becomes a never ending chase-your tail circle of picking up the pieces that have fallen from your banquet table of life! This takes soo much time and energy! The banquet table gets disrupted and it’s impossible to sit down and enjoy yourself. Has this been your experience? The answer to all of the above is, “You talked to Fear and then you held the door open so it could pounce upon your banquet table.” That’s it. So, now what?
It might be good to consider for a moment “Why” you engaged in a conversation with Fear in the first place. If you are going to speak to Fear, only do it long enough to say, “Leave in the Name of Jesus!” Then, sit down at the banquet of life that God has prepared for you and be nourished in His love.
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.
Song of Songs 2:4
When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
This verse illustrates the same concept as letting Fear (or anything else) sit at your banquet table. Jesus was warning His disciples to guard themselves against the Pharisee’s influence. He didn’t want worldly doctrine to be placed center stage, thereby attempting to remove the Truth and the light of His Word from the banquet table of Eternal Life.
Make a table of acacia wood-two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. Also make around it a rim a handbreadth wide and put a gold molding on the rim. Make four gold rings for the table and fasten them to the four corners where the four legs are. The rings are to be close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. Make the poles of acacia wood, overlay them with gold and carry the table with them. And make its plates and dishes of pure gold, as well as its pitchers and bowls for the pouring out of offerings. Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.
What’s sitting at the center of your table? May you choose Faith.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.
Originally published Tuesday, 13 August 2019.