I like to describe myself as a realist. I try to see things as they really are without sugar coating it or thinking the absolute worst. The thing is…the people who know me the best would laugh at my “realist” label. They would tell you I lean more toward the pessimist side of life. I really don’t want to be like that but I do catch myself with more negative thoughts than I would like to admit.
I watch a lot of Steven Furtick’s sermons at Elevation Church. I really like how practical and real he preaches. It’s more than helpful sermons. I find he preaches about the root causes of problems instead of fixing it on the surface.
While browsing on YouTube I found Elevation Church’s Code Orange Revival series from 2016. I normally hate listening to guest preachers but I gave the playlist a shot. The entire playlist was amazing. There was one in particular that stuck with me. Pastor Louie Giglio spoke about the Psalm 23. It’s one of the most famous passages in the Bible. “The Lord is my Shepard. I shall not want…” Yes, I’ve heard it a million times but it never really penetrates my soul like it should. That is until I heard Louie speak about it. One section of the Psalm in particular, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” He uses the illustration of an actual table set up with delicious fruits and vegetables and a pitcher of water. He goes on to say how many of us actually allow our enemies to sit at our table. What an interesting concept…
How many times have I entertained negative thoughts? You’ve made a horrible mistake. You’ve really screwed up now. Your best days are behind you. Turns out I’ve entertained them for years. I’ve allowed the enemy of negative thoughts at the table that God intended for me. Such a powerful image. As Louie put it…I’ve invited a killer to my table. The killer of joy. The killer of peace. The killer of happiness and contentment. The killer of purpose.
The good news is that we have a choice. We have the choice to tell the enemy to leave our table. We can choose not to entertain him at our table…our mind. Lately, I’ve made a commitment to myself to recognize when the enemy has taken up a seat in my mind. When I begin to have negative thoughts I simply think stop. This is my table not yours. You do not belong here.
I encourage you to listen to Louie below. It’s an amazing illustration that really brings that part of Psalm 23 to life. I really hope it helps you as much as it is helping me.