What if This Hardship is Where God Wants to Meet You?

LISTEN TO EPISODE 21 HERE.

Today, let's unpack the following topic: God preparing a table for us in the midst of the journey.

We want to talk about the reality that our God is a table- setting God who uses not only the imagery of a table as a metaphor for our provision, but actually wants to meet with, sit with, and commune with us on this journey.

God is not just looking for our belief, or for you or I to live a certain way. He wants to know us, to engage us, and to provide for us in personal and practical ways. 

The faith journey is not just about what we do, how good we are, or how much progress we make along the way. It's about knowing Jesus on a personal level. And taking that one step further, it’s a reminder to embrace the fact, despite what is happening in the circumstances of our lives, there is always the invitation to meet God personally.

But what do we do if we have prayed, read our Bibles, gone to church, and ask God to reveal himself to us... and he still seems distant? What does it actually look like to experience him this personal way?

2 Thoughts to Consider

1. We may have to reposition ourselves or our perspectives if we are in a season where God seems absent. For the person who is looking at a dry cup in their hands, with parched lips and a deep fatigue in their soul... wondering how to get water... try to move as close to the well as possible right now. Most of the deepest, most intimate times with God resulted from drawing near. 

2. God has a pattern of setting a table for two in places you and I would never dare. When we see hardship, discomfort, scary forces of opposition,  everything in us says to run the other way. But it is in those very moments when God waves us over and says, "Pull up a seat. I brought lunch so we could sit down and eat together.

However, Louie Giglio points out in his book Don't Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table, the Enemy is always trying to hinder us from accepting God's invitation to commune with him. He writes about a number of ways that we can tell if the enemy is trying to pull up a seat and disrupt God’s presence or provision for us.  Here are a few of ways we can know the enemy has slithered in and is trying to pull up a seat at the table.

Signs that The Enemy Has Taken a Seat at Your Table

1. Everyone else’s table looks better. The scenery looks better, the table looks better, the food on the table looks better. As we survey what’s happening elsewhere, we find this rising tendency in us to want to run. To bail on the circumstances of our lives and flee to greener pastures.   

2. We have the following persistent thought: “we’re are not good enough.”  (We’re just not smart enough, popular enough, attractive enough to have the outcome we desire)  And so we pull back and don’t lean into life. It hurts less to simply not try at all than to try and fail…or to try and be rejected.  

3. We find ourselves believing the idea that no one loves us, wants us, or is there for us. We feel alone, and we think that we will remain alone. In each of these situations, God is inviting us to take our eyes off the circumstances of our lives and to sit with him in a place of intimacy. But the enemy is not only showing up…he’s sitting down, eating our lunch…and disrupting the very experience that God has created for us to meet him.

Sitting with God at the tables he sets for us in life will so often feel awkward in the flesh. We’ll be easily distracted, we’ll try to gauge the significance of the moment by what we feel. But keep leaning in. Keep seeking him. He sees you, and his invitation to commune with him is always extended towards you.

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