In our September message, the Holy Spirit wanted us to focus on how God is preparing a table for us, the steps it takes in the process, and how not to go by what you see.
Have you ever gone to a football game where it looked like the other team was winning. They had their game faces on and made taunts on the field. Even the cheerleaders were likely yelling, "Get back on the bus! We've already won!"
The problem is if you're not prepared mentally for the challenge, you can give up because of the enemy's psychological game. Which brings us to an important point about Basic Training and getting back to basics so you can get back in the game, get ahead, and win.
Have you ever attended a training camp in the spring for football? Or maybe attended a training camp in the winter for baseball? The goal is to help teach you new moves and work on drills to increase your speed, agility, and help you work with others on your team.
Even the military has basic training for new recruits and summer camps for those in the reserves. I can remember a relative would leave for summer camp and always come back 20-30 pounds lighter and six shades darker because it was work and they were often running in the hot sun for hours.
The problem with our Christian walk, is we sometimes forget to go back so we can move forward. We get fat off the meat that we forget about times of fasting, deep prayer, and consecration to get back before God on our knees. That's why going back is a part of moving forward.
For what God wants to do in our lives, we have to trim that extra fat and get lean which can come from modifying our diets.
This can achieved through:
When we go back, we can then move forward. But, how do you go back to focus on God and how God is working on our behalves when the devil is trying to show something different? How do you focus praising God when the devil tries to make it look like we've lost the battle?
God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. That's an important scripture because what it doesn't state is that God let's the enemy think they are preparing the table for themselves and the enemy gets ready to sit down but then God pulls a fast one and God lets us sit down instead. That's awesome news for the believer who is waiting on God, but it can be hard to imagine when you're going through a huge test.
Here are a few points to consider:
There are several examples of table settings in the Bible and the Holy Spirit wanted us to include this teaching to help you understand the significance of what God is doing and what He's about to do so you will stay encouraged, not go by what you see, and not panic or run in the other direction and give up.
Pastor Joel Osteen had a wonderful message on that we've included here. It's about not giving up and feeling like you have to defend yourself. The enemy tries to come against people in different ways:
Walk away from haters. Pray for your enemies, yes, but walk away. Bishop Dale C. Bronner says they’re like gangrene and you have to cut that thing off so you don’t get infected. In addition to that, walk away from complainers to reduce your negative group think. Stay encouraged. Get around strong believers. Keep praising God and celebrate yourself. Read your Bible. Watch an encouraging message by Pastor Joel Osteen or another motivating pastor and speak over yourself. “I am the head, lender, and above. I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am a success. I am a son or daughter of God. I am a king or queen. I am a child of God!”
*The Holy Spirit said to add here that you need to remember, “It doesn’t matter what the enemy says or does.” God’s plans never fail and we have the Angel of the Lord, Michael who defends us in battle!
Like a scene from one of the movies where the father says to the child in a hushed whisper, you have to “Remember who you are. Remember, who you are.” You also have to remember whose you are. You belong to God and want to only hear from God, not man. When someone ignores you or bullies you, it’s psychological warfare meant to make you look at their demonic attack and look back at your past mistakes and failures, or make you have to come down out of the spirit into the flesh and start defending yourself. Don’t worry about it. Put on your helmet of faith and the Sword of the Spirit. Put on the full armor of God.
We've included Bill Winston's message at the 2018 IFC Conference here where he has a special message about how that period of the enemy trying to blind you has ended and the enemy will be blinded instead.
Pastor Samuel Rodriguez used this example, too about how Jesus put mud on the blind man's eyes and he only saw trees at first - That's a sign to not go back to your old way of thinking. We’re new creations and new vessels. When Jesus touched his eyes again, he was able to see new things. Remember, old wine can't go into new wine skins.
Or, look at Jesus in the upper room preparing a big feast before His death and subsequent resurrection. Can you imagine the shock of the disciples when Jesus was hung on a cross? Can you imagine the doubt they must have felt that their master was now dead?
Then there's the prodigal son who was welcomed back to a feast, but his brother was jealous, bitter, and griping. Can you imagine family bringing up everything you did wrong so they can highlight all they did right?
There's also the feast Jesus prepared for the disciples before the Holy Spirit came on them. While it was a great feast indeed, the Holy Spirit was given because of the work that was ahead and how the church would come under attack. Can you imagine the strength they needed to hear God and move forward in Christ? Attacks during testing can be brutal.
Remember that while we are tested, which is part of our spiritual walk and growth, God doesn’t like when anyone abuses His kids. You can go to God in prayer and simply pray, “Father God, I praise you because You’re the Most High God. Lord, I’m under severe attack. (Remember, God knows, but God also wants us to humble ourselves and ask Him for help). I know Your Word says, “Submit to you and resist the devil and the devil has to flee.” You said, “Call on Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.” Lord, I’m submitting to you and I am resisting the devil. Please send now help and I believe and know You have already made the way and the devil is defeated in Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Simply put, Take your hands off it so God can put His hands on it. As Dr. Winston said in his message the enemy thought we would lash out in revenge, so he’s upset because we didn’t use our flesh. We stood on the Word and we’re letting God have His vengeance. “Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord.
Lastly, the Holy Spirit wanted me to add a special message: I can remember going through a huge test. I felt like the enemy was coming at me from all sides. My computer was acting up, my bills were behind, and my neighbors were making a ton of noise. I remembered a message I heard about just giving it over to God so I lifted my hands and said, "Jesus, help me! Lord, Please give me your mercy! I need help!" It was liberating and it was a reminder that all God wants is for us to invite Him in. He's so loving and He is here for us. Just ask God for His mercy. He will make the way and He is always on time.
Ultimately, know that God will not fail us. The table God is preparing is for us, but we have to stay encouraged. Get back to basic training by reading your Bible more and staying full of the Spirit and not the flesh or things of the flesh. God is preparing a table for us and while it won't look like it - Surprise! We win the game!
(And the Holy Spirit said, “Don’t give up.” Please stay encouraged. We are praying for you.) Let the weak say I am strong!
Special Note: This was such an important and powerful message, the enemy tried all he could to not get us to post this and our September 1 message was delayed for several days. That's how we know it's an encouraging Word and we pray it blesses you. Stay encouraged and when you have time, order our latest book, Pray It By Ear with tips on prayers to draw closer to God. Keep reading your Bible, fast, pray, and don't go by what you see - That table is yours. God is covering us. Get ready! Joy is coming soon. This year we will be shouting victory!