I don’t have to close my eyes to re-live one of my most cherished memories. Captured in my thoughts and stored in my heart, it is a beautiful scene that I often revisit.
It’s a chilly winter night, and an intimate “table for two” is set against a quaint brick wall in the small dining room of a cozy restaurant in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The ambiance creates an atmosphere of expectancy, igniting questions of hopeful love to swirl through my thoughts and dance through my heart! Is this “The One?” I wonder; my knight in shining armor, the man that God has called to be my husband?
Song of Solomon 2:4 (AMP);
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near Him].”
Through the flickering candlelight at our table for two I can see in Mark’s eyes the “protecting presence of God’s banner of love” waving over my heart. His beautiful blue eyes reflect an inviting peace that is both comforting and intimidating to me at the same time. As a fairly new believer, I wonder, how could this handsome and Godly man be interested in me? At moments I feel like I am in the midst of the most beautiful dream that I never want to end! For once in my life, it feels like the Cinderella glass slipper fits, and I’m wearing it!
Luke 12:37 (TPT):
“What great joy is ahead for The Awakened Ones who are for The Master’s return. He Himself will become their servant and wait on them at His Table as He passes by.”
It has been several years since the concert in Dover, Delaware. My best friend growing up begged me to go with her; at first, I was not interested since I wasn’t a big fan of rock music and had never heard the term “Christian Rock” before. Besides, I wasn’t feeling well, and it was going to take a few hours to get to the venue from our location.
Several phone calls later, and a promise that we’d stop to get something to eat, finds me on the road to Dover! As we journeyed along, my friend, who has previously dated the bands’ drummer, realized that we were running late and decided to forego the food—after all, there is no time to waste!
Arriving at the church, people began filtering in. The lights dimmed, and the atmosphere shifted, while dry ice added to the mystique of the moment. Suddenly, the spotlight highlighted a guy blindfolded, who was in a Plexiglas phone booth-shaped box. From an opening in the top of the box, there was a key hanging from a string dangling in front of him.
As the music started, the guy in the box grabbed the key and removed the blindfold, swung the door wide open, stepped out, and confronted another guy dressed as a demon. As they went through the motions of a staged fight between good and evil, I was intrigued by what I witnessed.
That staged fight seemed a lot like the life that I was currently living. I was a reasonably new Believer in Jesus Christ, yet the ties to my past were strong, and I was having a difficult time breaking free from a very toxic relationship in my life. I found out later, this was one of the reasons my friend had asked me to accompany her to the concert.
The Band -Illustrator “Ocean Records” “Word Records” 1987
Left to right: Kirk Allen, Dan Gaub, Dawndee Gaub, Mark Matthews, Nathan Gaub
After the guy in the box won his fight against the force of evil, the band came out in full force. Mark, the lead singer, sang a song that he wrote titled, “I Surrender.” With tears stinging my eyes and rolling down my cheeks, God used every lyric he sang to fully open the eyes of my heart and break me free from the soul ties of my past. For the first time in my life, I am not afraid to dine with Father God at His “Table for Two”.
Revelation 3:20 (TPT);
“Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come into you and feast with you, and you will feast with me.”
Feasting with God at His Table for Two created a Holy Hunger within me, a true divine appetite. Yes, “I Surrendered” to God’s perfect will for my life that night, and I am so glad I did!
Many years later, I can testify that the beauty of my relationship with Mark is that WE BOTH LOVE GOD MORE THAN WE LOVE EACH OTHER! We have learned to continually dine at Father God’s “Table for Two,” developing our intimacy with Him individually through His Word before communing as husband and wife in our daily living.
Matthew 6:33 (TPT);
“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s Kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from Him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.”
By not “chasing after the realm of God’s Kingdom first,” our marriage could have easily become a Wax Museum of Idolatry, attempting to mold each other into our own carnal idea of what a spouse should be. We both had struggled with dating relationships in our past. We did not put God first, but this time the table for two was set correctly. I refused to marry for the spotlight, and Mark chose not to marry for the applause.
Why is it so important to recognize idolatry!
Deuteronomy 5:7 (AMPC);
“You shall have no other gods before Me or besides Me.”
- Idolatry is the antithesis of intimacy with God.
- Idolatry is the devil’s playground.
- Idolatry is the force behind “crimes of passion!”
- Idolatry is the trap that the enemy will use to destroy your intimacy with God and kill the relationships in your life, spirit, soul, and body! So important in Rev. 3:20 when He says “Whoever”, “Hears my Voice.”
Merriam Webster Dictionary:
IDOLATRY = The worship of a physical object as a God.
ANTITHESIS = The Direct Opposite.
My friend, when you and I choose to love someone, something, or even our desires more than God, that person or thing becomes an “object of our worship,”—our god! By desecrating our hearts in this manner, we sit and dine at the tables of “foreign gods.” This heart action works in “The Direct Opposite” to developing True Intimacy with God, at His Holy, “Table for Two.”
That night at the concert, as I heard Mark sing “I Surrender,” God opened the eyes of my understanding. This revealed that I had been dining at the table of “foreign gods.”
The danger in all “idol worship,” is that our true soul satisfaction can never come from any other source outside of the “One True Source,” Jesus Christ!
John 4:13-14 (TPT);
“Jesus answered, If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again and again,” “but if anyone drinks the Living Water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of The Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”
To drink from the well of human efforts will disappoint and leave us dry, brittle, and thirsty again and again. However, to drink the Living Water of Jesus Christ fills our souls and life to the Brim with Him! We become a Gusher of Holy Spirit power as He springs up and floods us with endless life!
Whose dining table are you sitting at, my friend?
Have you chosen to dine at the table of foreign gods?
Have you answered God’s RSVP for Eternity?
I am so grateful that God, “who Is,” “Love Himself,” offers His Love to us in all of the right places. My journey with Mark began at The Most Important “Table for Two” FIRST— The Table of Intimacy with God, dining on His Word, and feasting on His presence!
When I reflect on that concert evening with my friend, my heart’s deepest desire was to meet and marry a man who LOVED GOD MORE THAN HE LOVED ME! Now the menu is complete. In Mark, I have found that dream come true!”
Song of Solomon 4:15 (AMPC);
“You are a fountain [springing up] in a garden, a well of living waters, and flowing streams from Lebanon.”
Be Strong and Live Free………….. Boldly For Him!
© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.” Photo: Raissa Lara Lutolf (-Fasel )
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