For His Dining Pleasure

What is the job description of a ‘waiter or waitress’?  The federal government gives the following definition:  “A waiter is responsible for coordinating the entire station and communicating with front- and back-of-the-house personnel to provide a dining experience that meets or exceeds guest expectations. He will process guest orders to ensure that all items are prepared properly and on a timely basis. He may carve meats, de-bone fish and fowl, prepare flaming dishes and desserts at tableside and present, open, and pour wine when serving guests. He observes diners to ensure that guests are satisfied with the food and service, and he responds to additional requests and determines when the meal has been completed. He totals bills and accepts payment or refers guests to cashier. He may assist bus person with stocking, removing, and resetting dishes and silverware between courses and cleaning and resetting vacated tables.”

Schonwalder.org says, “A waiter should be able to handle any task of a waiter’s complex and demanding job. A waiter should be experienced in seating, greeting, cocktail preparation and service, wine serving and sales.  If he knows something about accounting, the better for him. A waiter has to be able to explain the menu!  He has to be able to write fast and legible. He has to know how to serve any and all the guests’ orders! A good waiter is expected to handle himself in any situation, never to get angry with a guest and never to start a fight with coworkers. A waiter should be well groomed and able to stand long hours on his feet.”

It is a matter of choice for any waiter to be:

  • a) just an order taker and plate carrier or
  • b) a professional waiter well respected by the customers.

The customer, the patron, the guest – whatever you call him - is always right.

God is the diner…God is the guest…God is the patron…God is the customer…and, of course, He is always right. 

God dines on the fellowship of His children. This is His favorite meal.  God devours this fellowship and intimacy with His children.

You and I are the ‘wait-ers or wait-resses’.

It is our job to satisfy the needs and desires of our one client for the day or evening.  We are to turn down every other table for we have one diner, one guest.  It is God.  How rude to leave our one table and go serve another!  For now, we have one table.  Later, you can wait on the ‘table of work’, and the ‘table of sports’, and the ‘table of finances’.  But for right now…just one table…God’s table.  You and I are His ‘wait-er’ and we are to ‘wait’ on Him.

I can decide to do the bare minimum and just take God’s order and carry His plate.  Or – I can decide that I am going to make this the greatest dining experience that I can offer!  No need, no desire will go unmet!  I will anticipate His every desire and be ready to respond at one simple glance of His eye!  I will ‘serve’ Him glory and honor and praise.  I will delight in my work, my path in life,  and my responsibility as inner joy shows forth.  I have no way of knowing how long this dining experience will last.  I really don’t care; I am just enjoying the process.

At some point in time, if I have done my job correctly, my Guest will turn and give me a look of satisfaction that says, “Well done!”  The dining experience is over for now. In the process, I have learned areas that I can improve.  In fact, I can’t wait for the next dining experience with my one Guest…God Himself!

By the way…there is a perk to the job!

The prophet Isaiah gives us a great word in Isaiah 64:4, “…God works…God acts…God moves…on the behalf of those who ‘wait’ for him!” 

Wow!

Have a great week ‘wait-ing’ on your one Guest’s table!

Billy and Sheilah Daws

Why Pray?

In 1 Kings 18:1, we find these words: And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” God tells Elijah that it is going to rain. Elijah proceeds to pray seven times for it to rain. After the seventh prayer, God sent a drenching rain on the land.

In Revelation 5:8, John records for us: “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” There are golden bowls in heaven that hold our prayers.

In Ephesians 3:20, Paul wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” I have known this passage for years but one phrase stood out this week as I was studying…’according to the power that works in us’. If I understand this correctly, all that God is and can do is released as I allow an effectual power to work in me.

In Revelation 16:1 John also writes, Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” God’s bowls were meant to be poured out….as a release of the contents.

Question: why did Elijah have to pray seven times asking God to send rain? God had just said He was going to cause it to rain. So why did God still want Elijah to pray for rain?

I believe that the four verses above are connected.

God desires His will to be done.
God desires a close relationship with His children.
God desires His children to grow mighty in the Lord.
God releases His power as we connect and grow.

God willed it to rain. God prompted Elijah to pray seven times. What was happening every time Elijah prayed? The essence of his prayer was captured and stored in a bowl…seven times this happened. What was happening to God? He was enjoying the fellowship…you see, every time we pray, we go into the Holy of Holies and talk to God. He enjoys this like a dad enjoys his son coming to talk. What was happening to Elijah? He was getting stronger every time he prayed for he was in the presence of God…an energy was beginning to flow through Elijah! After seven prayers, Elijah is pumped! God is having a good ole time…He has had seven sessions with one of His children. The prayer bowl is full! Now as an effectual power is working in Elijah, God is free to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! The prayer bowl is tipped over and poured out on the situation. God moves! Need is met! God gets glory! And we are growing in the Lord!

And we wonder why we have to wait and pray and pray and wait and wait and pray! It is part of God’s divine process!

James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Have a great week…spend some time filling your prayer bowl this week.

Billy and Sheilah Daws

Falling To Be Useful

The ‘inner three’ consisted on Peter, James and John. Of the ‘inner three’, Peter was the closest to Jesus. He also had more uncontrolled emotions than all the rest. Peter was impulsive and arrogant in his rough and raw state. Yet this is the man that went on to preach that great sermon on the day of Pentecost. God used him mightily…but for Peter, the journey took him through failure before he was ready for Pentecost.

Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31-32 “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

God allows a sifting process to make us into what he desires for us to be and do. Sifting is a two stage process. One step involves tossing the wheat in the air to allow the chaff to blow away in the wind. The second stage involves a sieve that would be used to separate what is valuable and useful from what is not profitable. In this way, the farmer cleans the wheat and prepares it for the market. He is preparing it for a purpose. God does that with us. He allows people, circumstances, and events in our lives to take place in order to sift us.

I notice two encouraging facts about the way Jesus treated Peter: 1) He never criticized him and, 2) He never gave up on him. Jesus knew about Peter’s denial long before it happened. He knew what Peter would do, he knew how he would react, and he knew the kind of man Peter would be afterward. That’s why he said “when you have turned back” …not “if”… but “when”! He knew that Peter’s heart was good, he knew after his terrible sin he would return to the Lord. Isn’t that wonderful? Jesus has more faith in Peter than Peter has in Jesus. He knew that Peter had important work to do – “Strengthen your brothers”. But he was not ready for such a task in his ‘pre-sifting’ period of his life.

Peter was more effective for Christ after his fall just as a bone that is broken often becomes stronger after it is healed. Something in the healing process actually makes the break point stronger than it was before. The same is true of a rope that breaks. In the hands of a master splicer, the rope once repaired becomes stronger than it was before. The same thing is true of our failures. God can touch our broken places and make us stronger than we were before. Though we fall, we can rise by God’s grace from our defeat stronger and more useful than we were before.

Before Peter’s fall, he was loud, boisterous and unreliable; afterward he became a flaming preacher of the gospel. Before, he was a big talker; afterward, he talked only of what Jesus Christ could do for others. He was the same man, but he was different. He was still Peter through and through, but he had been sifted by Satan, and in the sifting the chaff of his life had been blown away

This is what Peter lost in his failure:

His vanity

His pride

His self-confidence

His rash impulsiveness

His unreliability

This is what Peter gained after his restoration:

Humility

New confidence in God

Tested courage

New determination to serve Jesus Christ

A willingness to use his experience to help others

The things he lost he didn’t really need; the things he gained couldn’t have come any other way. In the same way God redeems our mistakes by removing the things that brought us down and replacing them with the qualities we always wanted but couldn’t seem to find.

II Thessalonians 3:3 says, “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”

If you have experienced a failure, be encouraged. Whenever the evil one is causing you to fall, God is always guarding you and using what the enemy is doing to establish you in your faith and to make you more useful.

May God grant us the grace to learn from past mistakes and move on.

Please pray with us about the following:

We have been given access to a Bed and Breakfast for the purpose of conducting seminars.
The Bed and Breakfast can accommodate 4 couples.
We would like to schedule 4 pastors and spouses who need encouraging.
We would also like to develop a seminar for hurting families…parents of wayward kids, or couples on the verge of separating.
We are looking at scheduling the first of these in January…the sessions would run from Monday night throughThursday noon.

We leave for Kenya on the 17th of November. Continue to pray with us as we make final plans for this trip.

We love you.

Billy and Sheilah Daws