“And give no opportunity to the devil.”
Her table was set so properly that it would gain Emily Post’s commendation.
We had been invited for Sunday dinner and quickly accepted because she had just lost her husband suddenly. We wanted to support her in her season of bereavement.
Brother and Sister Moore were always together. He was a deacon in our church and she was a church mother. They were both prayer warriors and live witnesses for the Lord. As a young couple, novice in the ministry, my husband and I saw these co-laborers as role models.
It was shocking for our church body and the community as well, when he took sick and died suddenly.
He had prayed so fervently the previous Sunday morning, stopping to proclaim, “I have been on the mountain top children. I’ve looked over and seen the promise land!”
She placed the last dish on the table, and asked us to join her for the meal, directing each one to our seats as if there was a seating arrangement. It seemed natural until she explained..
at the head of the table.
All eyes gazed at the empty seat and the place setting so carefully placed; plate, saucer, silverware and goblet each in its designated places. The only missing ingredient – her husband.
My family stood frozen, trying to be inconspicuous; we peered at the seat in question. Our eyes fixated on the place setting, slowly absorbing this incredible information.
Fearing that we thought she was mentally unstable, she began to justify. This faithful wife explained that she knew her husband was not coming back. She understood that he would never take his rightful place at their table again. But, out of respect and in his memory she was going to leave it vacant for a while. No one else would have the opportunity to sit in his seat. Whew! Sighs of relief filled the room.
I have pondered that day many times over the last twenty some years.
Have I saved a seat at my table?
Do I show respect for the one I proclaim to be head of my life?
God will never physically sit in the seat of my heart. Yet, he has promised that if I will open the door (keep setting his place at the table) he will come in and have dinner with me. Rev. 3:20
My sister, we are guilty!
We let other people sit in God’s seat. Laying things down in his seat and moving the place settings out of the way, replacing it with something far less important. While repeating to God that he alone is worthy of being first in our lives we make room for the devil and his representatives.
We sing love songs to him with lyrics like, “My life is not my own. To you I belong. I give myself, I give myself away” or “I surrender all”. Sadly, our behavior is in drastic contrast to those sweet words dripping off our lips. James 3:11 Our lifestyles become hypocritical.
Lord help us to save a seat for you in every area of our lives. We are tempted to set you aside for a while or to replace you permanently. God forbid! Strengthen us. Fortify us. Empower us to stay the course, to hold on and see what the end is going to be. You deserve nothing less than first in our lives. In Jesus name, Amen!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33