Day 14 | Lent is for Fighting Battles
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows."
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
In the presence of enemies we might expect a battle. Instead, Jesus, our Good Shepherd, prepares a table for us. He sets a feast for us in the midst of our enemies in the middle of the battleground. And He is Himself the feast.
One of my favorite recent songs of worship comes out of a community called UpperRoom in Dallas. It is called “Fight my Battles.” Though it is one of the most repetitive songs I’ve ever sung, it’s one I don’t tire of repeating. It makes the biblical and theological connection between the Table of the Lord and this table prepared for us in the presence of our enemies. Over and over and over we sing, “This is how I fight my battles,” almost twenty times each time through the song, referencing the Body and Blood of Jesus and the weapons of praise and thanksgiving. After singing the song through five times and then another five for good measure, as worship leaders like to do, it comes to about a hundred repetitions of this one line, “This is how I fight my battles.”
But is this how I actually fight my battles; sitting at the Table of the Lord in the presence of my enemies in the deep dark valleys of life? This seems so passive. How can one be so relaxed and at peace in the presence of such threats? It raises the other refrain in the song which repeats itself sixteen times.
“It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.”
But it doesn’t stop there.
You anoint my head with oil;
It’s interesting to think about the author of this Psalm, David. When the prophet, Samuel, came to his house to anoint the next King of Israel, David was not even considered by his Father as a candidate. He was out shepherding the sheep. Samuel sent for him and he turned out to be the Lord’s choice as the next King.
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. (1 Samuel 16:13)
Something tells me David remembered this anointing as he wrote the Psalm.
It doesn’t stop there. The extraordinary, extravagant blessing of the presence of God keeps leveling up.
My cup overflows.
More than enough. My memory goes to the famed wedding at Cana of Galilee when they ran out of wine. Jesus transformed water into wine to the tune of one hundred eighty gallons. Talk about cups overflowing! This is our God—above and beyond more than enough.
People who say such things know this is how we fight our battles. They know it may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you.
- Excerpted from People Who Say Such Things: This Is How We Fight Our Battles by J.D. Walt
- Who or what exactly right now do you consider to be your enemy?
- How do you feel God is anointing you with a "healing" or "consecrating" oil in this season? What feels unique about what God is doing in you this past few weeks or month?
- A cup overflowing... Despite stressful circumstances or strenuous relational tensions, are there spaces in your life where you'd say your "cup is overflowing"? If so, where is that space? And does it give a hint to you about where/how/what you might be able to pour out or overflow for others?
Original article can be found here.
Listen to our worship song of the day, Surrounded (Fight My Battles), below or find it here on Spotify on our 2020 Lenten Worship Playlist, growing daily one song at a time.
I learned how to fight only when...
Only when I encountered,
when I admitted...
Before I discovered,
before I faced,
I fought on my own.
I battled through my own strength.
I relied on my ability.
Then, I learned.
I learned how to fight.
For when there was nothing,
when there was no more,
I could do...
Then I turned to another.
I emptied myself.
And I was filled.
When I was at my darkest...
When I surrendered...
There I found provision.
Provision at the table of the Lord.
There I found anointing.
Anointing washing over and through me.
There I found I was surrounded.
Surrounded by the Lord.
This is how I fight my battles.