Our beliefs are important, for eventually they define who we are and how we live. I would go as far as saying that genuine and lasting transformation is always accompanied by a change of beliefs. I believe we often make the mistake of focusing on transformation rather than truth. We focus on the perceived problem or goal and try desperately to change, to be better, to meet the standard. There is value in ‘effort,’ but I think we often miss the heart of the matter: it is that the truth will set us free.
Recently, I have felt God speak of such a truth, “take your place at the table.” I believe this is a metaphor that may apply to many of us. The table is the gathering place for the family; it’s where the action is at. It’s a place of equality, where each is valued for who they are. It’s a place for freely giving and receiving from others. It’s a place where we learn to love one another, a place of humility and unity, a place of realness and forgiveness; a place where we are allowed to make mistakes. It is a place for joy and laughing, weeping and crying. It is the place of genuine community that we were each designed for.
For me, I have often been hesitant and fearful to join the ‘table.’ I have put my value in what others think of me, I have masked my dependence on others in a protective shell of independence, fearful that I am not good enough, fearful of rejection. But the truth is, there is a chair at the table with my name on it. It’s not the same as anyone else’s, and Jesus (the carpenter!) made it just for me. The table belongs to the Lord and I am an invited member of the family. If I don’t take my seat I am not just depriving myself, I am robbing the community of that part I was designed to bring.
Just think for a moment. What would our communities look like if each of us took our rightful place at the table? I believe we would start to see heaven on earth, we would see overflowing transformation. What does taking your place at the table look like for you? Are you holding back from taking your rightful seat? Are there things you long to bring forwards but don’t? Or perhaps you are sitting in someone else’s chair trying to be someone else? I encourage you not to try harder but to seek truth. Accept the Lord’s invitation and take your rightful place at the table.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears” (John 16:13)
Photos: Lauren Malpass, Abigail Hall