“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” – Psalm 23:5
Not long ago I was having a tough time keeping weight on because of a hormone imbalance issue. Sometimes, even the thought of food made me feel sick to my stomach. As my hormones began to balance out (I could see this by tests I had done), I thought my weight would just come right back. But, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I had developed a fear of eating even normal portions of food because my memory told me that every time I had done that in the recent past, I wound up feeling very ill. So even as the root cause for losing weight had been seemingly abolished, I was left with a new enemy: Fear.
One day I was taking a walk and I was listening to a message when the speaker quoted Psalm 23:5, and all of a sudden I sensed the Lord saying to me, “Erica, fear is your enemy, and he's seated at your table, morning, noon, and night, convincing you not to eat. But I tell you I've prepared a table for you in the presence of this enemy, and I wouldn't do it if it wasn't safe for you to eat. Sit and eat in the presence of your enemy.”
At first, it was very difficult. Fear is a strong enemy. He likes to remind you of every single thing that went wrong “the last time.” He keeps you stuck to just that one outcome. But our God is the God of all things new. He's the One of the new outcome. He runs rivers in the desert, creates something out of nothing, and calls things that are not as though they WERE!
I made a decision I was simply going to eat meals, no matter what. Any time I felt the slightest bit hungry, I would eat. Even if that sense hit me at 10pm and I was already in bed. And I wasn't going to be afraid of certain types of food either — foods that “traditionally” caused worse symptoms in the past. After about five days, the fear released. I guess fear didn't want to sit at my table anymore while I was enjoying food again for the first time in a long time!
Maybe for you, your fear is similar. I didn't have anorexia, but I can totally see now how fear holds people to that condition. Maybe for you, it's the opposite. Fear is causing you to pack on pounds – either because of fear of not being enough or being too much. Or maybe your enemy has nothing to do with weight or food. Whatever that enemy is, you're going to have to make a decision to sit down at the table of provision and abundance that God is preparing for you, in the presence of your rival, and say, “God told me to receive with confidence in my enemy's presence today, and so I will do it!”
Our body is hard pressed to enjoy anything good when it is stressed. Hormones and neurotransmitters and chemicals go to levels that make it nearly impossible to breathe easy, digest food or detoxify the system. Even when we find ourselves combating a true biological issue, the enemy, fear, will ALWAYS make it worse. This is why it's so important to push through the wall of fear, take your place at the table God has prepared for you and FEAST like you know your enemy's lifespan is very limited.