Monday, December 15, 2008

COMING TO HIS TABLE

An old gospel song has profound meaning for me. It says, “Jesus has a table spread / Where the saints of God are fed / He invites his chosen people, come and dine.”

What an exciting prospect: The Lord has spread a table in the heavenlies for his followers! Jesus told his disciples, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” (Luke 22:29–30). Hungering for him means that, by faith, we also are seated at this table.

When the apostle Paul instructs, “Let us keep the feast” (1 Corinthians 5:8), he means let us understand clearly that we have been assigned a seat in the heavenlies with Christ at his royal table. Paul is saying, “Always show up. Never let it be said your seat is empty.”

The sad truth is that the church of Jesus Christ simply does not comprehend what it means to keep the feast. We do not understand the majesty and honor accorded us by having been raised by Christ to sit with him in heavenly places. We have become too busy to sit at his table. We mistakenly derive our spiritual joy from service instead of communion. We do more and more for a Lord whom we know less and less. We run ourselves ragged giving our bodies and minds to his work, but we seldom keep the feast.

The one thing our Lord seeks above all else from his servants, ministers and shepherds is communion at his table. This table is a place for spiritual intimacy, and it is spread daily. Keeping the feast means coming to him continually for food, strength, wisdom and fellowship.

Ever since the Cross, all spiritual giants have had one thing in common: They revered the table of the Lord. They became lost in the vastness of Christ. They all died lamenting that they still knew so little of him and his life.

Our vision of Christ today is too small, too limited. A gospel of “vastness” is needed to overcome the complicated and growing problems of this wicked age. You see, God does not merely solve problems in this world—he swallows them up in his vastness! Someone with an increasing revelation of Christ’s vastness need fear no problem, no devil, no power on this earth. He knows that Christ is bigger than it all. If we had this kind of revelation of how vast he is, how boundless, measureless, limitless and immense, we would never again be overwhelmed by life’s problems.

Paul is an example to us. He was committed to having such an ever-increasing revelation of Christ. In fact, all he had of Christ came by revelation; it was taught to him at the Lord’s table and made truth to him by the Holy Spirit. Remember, it was three years after his conversion before Paul went to spend time with the apostles in Jerusalem, and he stayed with them only fifteen days before continuing his missionary journeys. He later said, “By revelation he made known unto me the mystery” (Ephesians 3:3). The Holy Spirit knows the deep and hidden secrets of God, and Paul prayed constantly for the gift of grace to understand and preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).

The Lord is looking for believers who are not satisfied with sifting through all the conflicting voices to find a true word. He wants us to hunger for a revelation of him that is all our own—a deep, personal intimacy.