THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

October 3, 2018

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Psalm 23:5 says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies."

Who or what are our enemies? The truth is, our enemies are not people. It may seem that way at times, but it is ungodly spirits working within people that causes them to do evil and act as they do.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us the answer to the above question: "For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places."

I believe that our enemy, more times than not, shows up in the form of a spirit of fear, anxiety, worry, sickness, hopelessness, doubt, negative thoughts, financial concerns, and a whole plethora of other forms.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." So when we experience fear, it doesn't come from God. Neither does any of the other spirits that are opposites of faith, hope, love, belief, joy, etc.

When we have thoughts that we lack self-worth, or aren't good enough, and those feelings cause us to feel as if we are lacking in some way and that we are undeserving of God's favor, that is an enemy, for those lies go against who God says we are. The truth is, we are sons and daughters of the Most High King.... God is our Father.... we are the bride of Christ... we are chosen and greatly loved.

When we are facing difficult situations and fear, or anxiety, or worry plagues us, that is our enemy. For instead of fear, God gives us power, love, and self-discipline (self-control, sound mind). God promises peace that surpasses all of our understanding.

When we are feeling weak and as if we are lacking strength and cannot take another step, we are promised that the joy of the Lord will be our strength.

All of us have battled fear, worry, anxiety, hopelessness, panic of not knowing where the needed finances will come from, apprehension of the results of a health test, and so many other enemies. When that occurs, we then have to choose our response.

We can give into those lies of the enemies and allow them to consume our soul and our mind, which takes our focus off from God and the promises of His Word. Or we can choose to resist the devil, and tell him to flee.

Psalm 23:5 also tells us what we can do when the enemy is whispering in our ear or on an all-out attack. We can feast at the table that our Father has prepared for us. Even though the enemy is present, we don't have to acknowledge that they are there, but instead, can pull up to the table that has been prepared for us and feast at our Father's table.

Whatever it is that we need to feast on at any given moment, God already has it prepared and setting on His table. All we have to do is pull up a chair and partake. There is a huge bowl of mercy, a cup overflowing with joy, a plateful of peace, a pitcher of hope, a platter heaped up with healing, and on and on.....

In 2 Samuel chapter 9 we read the story of David and Mephibosheth. David was king at this time after Saul and his son, Jonathon, and their families were killed. David remembers his promise to his best friend and asked, "Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?" He finds out that Jonathan had one son who had not been killed, and he was lame in both feet. Perhaps that is why he was hidden away and saved. Because Mephibosheth was crippled, he was unable to fight and be a warrior like his grandfather and father.

David had Mephibosheth brought to the palace. David said to him, "Don't be afraid, for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?"

David restored all of the family property back to Jonathan's son and had servants to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that Mephibosheth would always be provided for and never know lack. But Mephibosheth ate at David's table like one of the king's sons. He lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table.

I shared that story to make this point: Many times when we could go sit at our Father's table, the King's table, our response is much like Mephibosheth's was to David; "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" We feel unworthy to pull up at the table like the son and daughter of the King. So we opt for pushing away from the table, where we are not only in the presence of the enemy, but we are in the midst of where the enemy is dwelling -- away from the table of the King.

God is saying, "I will restore everything that the enemy has stolen from you so that you will always be provided for and not suffer from lack. Pull up to my table and feast, as My own sons and daughters." We have the honor, the privilege, of always having a seat of honor at our Father's table. We never have to go spiritually hungry, nor does our soul have to suffer lack. We can sit at the prepared table at any moment, every single day!

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

When I picture the banquet that God has prepared for us, I visualize picnic tables or several tables in a rectangle, where everyone sits around the outside, facing each other. Now, if we eat in the presence of our enemies, I don't imagine our enemies are sitting at the table with us. That means they are behind us. And that's the hardest part for me to really grasp well. We sit with our backs to our enemies. And we don't just have our backs to them, but we are completely distracted by eating. Our hands are too busy to grab a sword. In fact, we probably don't even have swords at all. Table knives and forks wouldn't be very valuable against our enemies. But the thing is, we don't need to. God is protecting us.

ON THE MENEWE:

Porcupine Meatballs

1 pound ground beef

1 cup white rice, uncooked

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

15 ounces tomato sauce

1 cup water

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix meat, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Shape mixture into golf-ball size balls. Place meatballs into an 8x8 baking dish.

Stir together remaining ingredients; pour over top of meatballs.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

It's fall! We can look forward to cooler temperatures, changing leaves, less mowing, pumpkins, Thanksgiving, and all the joys that this season brings. Regardless of which season is your favorite, we can all look for something in each one to enjoy. So start looking around for changing leaves and look for the beauty of the season!

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:

God didn't put out the fire, He just put Jesus in there with them.

It's not about God "putting out your fires", it's about who is in there with you. - unknown

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

http://www.graysheep.org