The Apostle Paul makes it very clear in Ephesians 6 that spiritual warfare is an important reality of the Christian life. In fact, in the Aramaic translation, he tells us in verse 10 that he has saved the most important truths for last. We are to "be supernaturally infused with strength through our life-union with the Lord Jesus. We are to stand victorious with the force [or weapons] of His explosive power flowing in and through us". He tells us that we will be fighting hand-to-hand combat, but not against human foes; rather against "the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. [Furthermore] they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage".I think this translation of the familiar "spiritual warfare passage" lends a much stronger warning about who our enemies are, don't you? And we are all familiar with the subsequent verses that speak of the spiritual armor that we must put on, as we prepare for battle.
But I recently listened to a teaching by Ian Clayton, an itinerant pastor who travels the globe teaching, ministering, and equipping the saints to become Sons of God. He gave me a completely new paradigm for warring in the spirit, and it isn't about waging a conventional war. It doesn't focus on battling in the physical sense that we usually picture. Mind you, I am not negating the importance of our spiritual armor or those times when we must engage the Enemy and his demons from a battlefield stance. But Mr. Clayton presented a whole new approach to warfare that focuses on rest and celebration. Follow along as I describe a new battle plan that is just as effective and powerful...
I believe you will agree with me that Psalms 23 is one of the most comforting passages in the Bible. It is the ultimate testimony from a young sheep herder, who would become King, that we are not alone in this world and do not have to face the dangers of living behind enemy lines without Someone who provides for us and protects us. The Psalm declares that the Lord is our Best Friend and our Shepherd. His love offers us a resting place and an oasis of peace. This oasis provides a place where my life can be restored and revived; where He opens pathways to the joy of the Lord, which becomes my strength and my pathway to increasing righteousness. [NOTE: It is a common trait for sheep on the hillsides of Israel to circle their way up higher. They eventually form a path that keeps leading them higher. This is what David is referring to here. Each step we take following our Shepherd will lead us higher, even though it may seem we are going in circles].
Then there is that valley of the shadow of death verse that speaks of fear and deep darkness of soul and spirit. But then David reminds us that we don't have to fear death or darkness because our Shepherd is right there with us with His rod and staff to give us comfort. It's all about recognizing that the Shepherd uses His rod to prod us forward [to look at the future of what the Kingdom government will do on the earth], while His staff is used when the sheep lag behind [a picture of us looking back to see what the government of the Kingdom has done in our lives]. The devil wants us to focus on the valley of the shadow of death because it is his ultimate weapon to get us to engage with him at his level (darkness and chaos).
But what is God's counter move? He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies! That's right! We don't suit up in our armor and ride forward into battle with an army of warring angels -- we sit down at the Lord's table and feast on the testimony of what His Kingdom has established... and right under the nose of the god of this world!
When you feel surrounded with the demonic armies of the devil, and chaos is reigning in your life, instead of gearing up for a strenuous battle, try this instead: ask the Lord to prepare His table for you right in front [and in the midst] of your enemies. Then have a seat at the table and have a celebratory feast of the goodness of God in your life. And the devil can't do a thing about it! Because when you are seated at God's Table, you are under His Banner of Love. The Enemy knows that you are seated under a covering of the Government of God and if he touches you, that Government is going to reach out and touch him!
One of the most profound elements of this kind of warfare strategy is that the Table of God is not a PLACE of war, but an ACT of war! It's about the influence and position I have as a Daughter of the King in the midst of Satan's evil chaos and darkness. As I engage in feasting at the Table [and in the midst of the Enemy's sphere], he can no longer stand there. I am building a platform to become the footstool for God to step down and manifest His Presence there. I am bringing my testimony of God's goodness in my life and His Government to the Table. As I feast and celebrate, it cultivates an atmosphere that brings in a different realm; God's Light begins to permeate the dark. It's as if a magnetic environment is created, drawing God's footstool to the Table, so He can step down into my situation.
Can you see the difference in this kind of strategy of warfare? My focus is not on the Enemy but on the Table of God. I don't need to bind demonic spirits in the Name of Jesus, but ask my Heavenly Father to bring His Banquet Table and place it in the midst of that territory where I am being attacked. I need to be cognizant that this is not my table, and it doesn't need me to protect it. It is God's Banner that comes over His Table [which is me]. My role is to visit the Table and celebrate at it! If I must do battle, I can engage the Enemy from the Table --- after I've feasted on God's goodness!
The ultimate message of this type of warfare is that we need to return to that Table time and time and time again. We need to engage with the joy and peace of God at His Table. That encounter at the Table changes the atmosphere by changing the frequency of Light in our body, and this along with the harmony we share with God will destroy the darkness of the Enemy.
Feasting at God's Table brings you into alignment with the desires of His heart. He desires that we live in victory over everything in our lives. And when we feast on His Goodness and thank Him for all He's done in our life and throughout history, we are filled to overflowing with His joy and His peace and His Holy Spirit. And one day, when our days are finished here on this earth, we will return to dine with Him in His House forever. And I can only imagine the banquet hall in Heaven where I will celebrate my victory and feast upon His glorious Presence for all of eternity!
Thank you to Ian Clayton for his refreshing teaching on rest and feasting as a spiritual weapon.
Psalm 91:15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel My Presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast.