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In the Presence of My Enemies

Psalm 23:5 presents our relationship with God as a meal at a table. It’s not just any meal. It’s a special meal with the best of everything. Even better, our host is also the best of everything, and He is there to dine with us, talk to us, be with us, and enjoy us.

This meal sounds great.  The food couldn’t be better.  The company couldn’t be better.   The conversation couldn’t be better but take note of where this meal happens.  It’s not behind closed doors in the safety of a home.  It’s not at a quiet table in the back of a relaxing restaurant.  

Read about the location in Psalm 23:5:  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

The table is prepared for us in the presence of those who want to hurt us, seek to harm us, and do things to actively distract and destroy us.  But don’t miss it:  It’s in the presence of our enemies that we are also in the presence of our Savior.

Recently, I watched a teaching series, Don't Give the Enemy a Seat at the Table.  In the series, Louie Giglio uses the metaphor of a table to illustrate the ongoing spiritual battle that we are in the midst of including the battle for our minds. He says that we each have a table in our minds, and the enemy is always trying to get a seat at that table.  

The enemy, Satan, is constantly trying to fill our minds with destructive and harmful thoughts, such as fear, worry, insecurity, anxiety, and temptation.  If we give the enemy a seat at our table, he will start to poison our thoughts and emotions. But if we refuse to give him a seat, we can keep our minds focused on the truth of God's Word.  Giglio encourages us to resist the enemy's lies and instead focus on the truth of who we are in Christ.

He offers several practical ways to overcome the enemy's lies:

  • Identify the enemy's lies. The first step to overcoming the enemy's lies is to identify them. What are the negative thoughts that keep running through your mind? What are the voices that tell you that you're not good enough, that you're going to fail, or that you're not loved? Once you identify the enemy's lies, you can start to challenge them.

The enemy is constantly trying to steal our peace and joy. He wants us to feel bad about ourselves, to doubt our worth, and to be afraid of the future. But God wants us to have peace and joy. He wants us to know that we are loved and accepted by Him.

  • Challenge the enemy's lies. Once you have identified the enemy's lies, you need to challenge them. Don't just accept them as true. Ask yourself, "Is this really true? Is there any evidence to support this thought?" If the answer is no, then reject the lie and replace it with the truth.

The enemy is a master of deception. He knows how to disguise his lies and make them sound appealing. But we don't have to be fooled by his tricks. We can learn to recognize the enemy's lies and reject them.

  • Replace the enemy's lies with the truth of God's Word. The enemy's lies are powerful, but they are no match for the truth of God's Word. When you find yourself believing a lie, replace it with a verse from the Bible that speaks the truth about who you are in Christ. For example, if you're feeling insecure, you could replace the lie "I'm not good enough" with the truth "I am made in the image of God and I am loved by Him unconditionally" (Genesis 1:27).

We have the power to choose what we think about. We can choose to focus on the enemy's lies, or we can choose to focus on the truth of God's Word. When we choose to focus on the truth, we can overcome the enemy's lies and experience victory in our lives.

  • Pray and ask God for help. The battle for our minds is a spiritual battle, so we need to rely on God's help to overcome the enemy. Pray and ask God to help you identify the enemy's lies, replace them with the truth, and give you the strength to resist temptation.

Psalm 23 promises that we are not alone in this battle.  In fact, we are with the Good Shepherd,  Jesus, who has already won the victory over the enemy, and He has given us everything we need to overcome him. We can choose to give the enemy a seat at our table, or we can choose to resist him and focus on the truth of God's Word. When we choose to resist the enemy, we can experience the overflowing of blessings that come with following Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
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