Look heavenward and let the Heavenly Father reassure you that He is there, He’s caring for you, and that He's there in your time of need...
Alright, thank you very much. Oh, it’s such a great joy to my heart to come back to you, dear friend, and to share from the Word of God, some of these precious truths that have proved in my own life to be trustworthy, and important, and dependable, and altogether ordained of God as I put them to work in my life. I want to share them then with you, we put a handle, as we say oftentimes, put a handle on the Word of God.
We are looking at the 23rd Psalm, this familiar, wonderful passage that has softened the pillows of many a saint of God in centuries past. “The Lord is my shepherd”. The last time we got together, we were looking at verse five, “Thou preparest a table before me even in the presence of my enemies”. God’s hospitality is not limited to happy circumstances. Now, when everything is going well and everyone is patting you on the back and saying how wonderful or faithful or talented or successful, whatever it is you may be, well then it’s easy to enjoy lots of blessings. And so if he had simply said, “Thou preparest a table before me”, we would think immediately of God’s gracious provision for us in the happy times of life. Indeed, God’s provision of food itself, is a daily miracle of His grace. All that God would have to do to starve the world is to turn off some of the rainfall here and there and we would be hard-pressed even to have enough to eat, you know that. So we do need to thank God for our daily food. I hope you bow your head and pray and thank God for your for your meals, do you? Even the little birds do that before they even take a drink of water, they look up and thank their Father. You and I can do no less.
Coreen and I were eating in a restaurant in Carolina somewhere I guess it was, and we had prayed together and thanked God for our lunch, and then I was attracted to a group of young men who were seated at a table maybe 15-20 feet away from us, and that they had gone to the luncheon buffet and picked up their food and brought it back. They sat down and then all of a sudden they bowed their heads and I heard one of them pray, “Dear Heavenly Father we want to thank you”, and so on and so on. Oh, what a thrill it was to my own heart to see somebody else that acknowledged the Heavenly Father in prayer before they began to eat. As a matter of fact, when I had opportunity, I called the young man to my side and said what a blessing it had been to see him say grace. I had found out he was a successful salesman in the area and that they were having a sales meeting, and that the tallest of the four around the table was the boss, and so they were really watching their step and doing the best they could. (laughs) Oh dear, isn’t it funny how you are much more careful when the boss is around? That’s how human nature is, and I guess it’s right that it should be so. Well, thank God for your food, but that ISN’T all of it, that’s my point. He said, ‘Thou preparest a table before me even in the presence of my enemies”. See, gratitude for God’s provision and the miracle of God’s continuing care, are real even when circumstances are not the best. “In the presence of my enemies”, now David knew what it was to have enemies, I assure you. He had, over a period of many months, been pursued by King Saul who saw in David quite rightly, the one who was going to succeed him and Saul wanted to kill him, so as to wipe out that possibility. And so, month after weary month, David was fleeing the wicked efforts of this king who had lost the blessing of God, to kill him. So, he knew what it was, to eat when surrounded by his enemies. See, the key however to this is, “Thou preparest a table before me”. God loves you so much beloved, that He wants to take care of you personally, and He wants to do it even when you’re surrounded by circumstances and people who are against you. Isn’t that a precious thought? It’s nice to be served in a restaurant by the boss, isn’t it?
I made some chance remark in a certain restaurant recently. Coreen and some of the members of the family, we were together for a little Sunday dinner as I recall, and I made some chance remark to a man who was walking about identifying him in what I said as being the boss, you know as sort of a question. “Yes”, he said he was. Well I said, “Your name isn’t German, this place has a German name and your name is Italian”. Oh, he laughed he said, “Yes, I bought the place from the other owner and we didn’t change the name”, and I said, “Have you been in the restaurant business all your life?”, he said, “Well, no not really, but I went to the Culinary Institute up there near Poughkeepsie, and so I learned a thing or two”, he said, “and we came down here and started”. Well from that moment on, he took a special interest in making sure that our meal was perfectly served. To be served by the person who is in charge is wonderful, isn’t it? Well, of course, but even more wonderful, beloved friend, even more wonderful is to realize that the God who runs the universe, this vast universe, the edges of which we have yet to discover, the person who runs this whole universe and does it on split-second time, who keeps your heart beating and your body temperature approximately 98.6, and who keeps millions of tons of moisture suspended in the air above you, instead of letting it fall and drown you, this wonderful, loving, sustaining, Creator, Redeemer, God, your Heavenly Father, takes care of you personally and He says, “Sit down, I’ll give you something”. And He prepares a table, He, that’s the point, prepares a table before you even in the presence of people and circumstances that are not very happy sometimes. God’s presence makes the difference, “Thou prepares a table before me even in the presence of my enemies”.
Are you going through some things that are difficult? Are there some people that don’t realize you’re as nice as you really are?! Are there some people who are your critics and your enemies and who may seem even to be conspiring against you this minute? Are you in difficult circumstances beloved? Yes, many of you are. That’s how life is. Look heavenward, would you, and let the Heavenly Father reassure you that He is there, He’s caring for you, and that when there’s a time of need, you’ll be able to cash in on this very promise, “Thou preparest a table even in the presence of my enemies”. You see, satisfaction and joy do not depend on people and things outside of you. Satisfaction and joy, the prepared table in other words, depends upon your relationship with the Heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Make sure that that relationship is vital and real and unsullied and without any hindrance. Make sure that that relationship with you and your God is clear, you’re going to have the satisfaction, just as David did, of real peace and joy in provision, because the Heavenly Father’s taking care of you, even in the presence of your critics. You don’t have to answer your critics-have you learned that? You don’t have to answer your critics. Let God take care of them.
Dr. O.J. Smith who is now with the Lord, my dear friend of many years, said in my presence back in the early 1940s something that I’ve never forgotten. He said, “The rule of my life and ministry has been these words: “‘no defense, no attack’”, he said. “If people criticize me I don’t defend myself, I leave that up to the Lord, and if I see that they are doing the something that I don’t like, I don’t attack them, I let the Lord take care of them”. No defense, no attack. Pretty good wouldn’t you say? “Thou preparest a table before me even in the presence of my enemies”. You don’t have to answer your critics. Leave them with your Father. He knows how to handle them and in the meantime, He’ll set the table and say, “Come on boy, come on daughter, sit down it’s all ready”. Hallelujah for that.
Now he says “Thou anointest my head with oil”. The anointing with oil had many significances. It was used in the inauguration into the priesthood, it was used most certainly in starting the reign of any given King. David was anointed by Samuel, previous to that Saul was anointed by Samuel, and there are other instances of individuals who were anointed to be King. So, when he says, “Thou anointest my head with oil”, it immediately reminds us that Peter says, “Ye are a royal nation, a holy priesthood”, the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God, the oil of God, is the Holy Spirit as you know. The anointing of the Holy Spirit of God comes to you and to me because we’re related to a royal family and we are placed in a royal priesthood. Royalty and priesthood combined in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who is at once our High Priest and our coming King. Jesus is Lord, “Thou anointest my head with oil”. Do you realize today, that you’re a member of the royal family? And that because when you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, at that point the Holy Spirit of God came to dwell in your life and you then have the privilege of yielding all of your life, opening all the doors of your heart house so to speak, to the Holy Spirit of God so you can be full of the Holy Spirit and thus be a living evidence of the fact that God’s holy anointing oil, that’s the Spirit of God, has touched your life. Oh, let that be your experience today beloved friend.
Dear Father, today we want to be aware of Thy presence and provision all day long, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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