What’s in this Episode?
In this episode of the Church Tips podcast, author Louie Giglio is unpacking his new book, At the Table with Jesus.
Read the Transcript
Dick Hardy 0:00
Hey friends, it’s great to have you here on the Church Tips podcast. We are here today with a friend of mine now, although I’ve known him from afar for quite some time, I count him a new friend… Louie Giglio. You’ll recognize him from the so much that he’s written and the impact that Passion City Church has had, not only in Atlanta, but around the country. And Louie, I gotta tell you, it’s great to be able to spend a few minutes here with you today.
Louie Giglio 0:28
Dick, it’s my honor to be on with you. So great meeting you recently in Springfield, and looking forward to today.
Dick Hardy 0:35
Yeah, yeah, it’s gonna be good. Well, you know, I just got recently, this book, At the Table with Jesus. Now, I had this book, Don’t Let the Enemy Have a Seat at Your Table. And so I thought, you know, when you were in town, I thought, we need to figure out if there’s a way that we can sit and chat about how all this came together for you. So, we’ve got in the show notes, both of these books, so the viewers can click in and pick them up. But really, Louie, just take off. Tell us, how did these books come together for you?
Louie Giglio 1:13
Well, you know, the first book is the nine words that really changed my life, and I’m not writing really to anybody to try to tell them something I haven’t already had to walk through myself, and those words are “don’t give the enemy a seat at your table.” And those words came to me from a friend after a really big season of turmoil, a lot of struggle and strife. A lot of leaders go through those seasons, and I’ve been through the thickest one of all.
Louie Giglio 1:42
And a few months after that I got a text or a phone call from a friend, on the way home from work, and it was that phone call, Dick, of a little bit of vindication. You know, hey, you’re not going to believe what happened today. And in some small way, proved my point. And this whole big thing that had been going on and, you know, I hate to admit it, but if I’m honest, and I think leaders need more vulnerability and honesty, I really like the little bit of vindication I got that day.
Louie Giglio 2:12
I got home, it was a few minutes to my house from when I got the call. And when I pulled up into my driveway, I texted a friend who’d had my back through this whole season, and texted this really long message explaining everything I just heard on the phone call. And it was kind of that text, and maybe some leader can relate, it with the “can you believe it” text? Can you believe this happened today? And what I wanted, Dick, was commiseration.
Louie Giglio 2:39
And I think we all get in those spots where we just want somebody to come alongside and say, “hey, I never doubted you, blah, blah, blah.” But I waited and waited and waited for the text that was going to come back, hoping it was going to be as big as the one that I sent, which was pretty formidable to a guy in my demographic. It takes a minute. And I got this little blurb back on my phone. And I was like, surely that’s not the whole response.
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Louie Giglio 3:05
And so I waited for the follow up and there wasn’t any, so I zeroed in on the little blurb. And standing at the top of my driveway, I read the words, “don’t give the enemy a seat at your table.” And Dick, those words, absolutely arrested me. And I realized in a heartbeat, all you know, there was a real issue and there were real things that went down. But I allowed the enemy to take that and compound it and to exponentially blow it up in my mind and in my heart and create all this unrest and these sleepless nights and this, you know, this desire to control all the outcomes and manage the narrative.
Louie Giglio 3:48
And months of this had gone by and I just realized it was like a lightning bolt went right through me in that moment. And I thought oh my word. And I decided right then and there. I am taking back the table of my mind, right now. And it started a process it really has changed my life. And even here we are a decade later, I still don’t make it through a week where at some point, a thought is planted, a seed is planted in my mind a fear and anxiety, a doubt and a point of tension. And I just stop and go wait a minute, wait a minute. I’m not going to let the enemy have a seat at my table.
Louie Giglio 4:28
Those nine words “don’t give the enemy a seat at your table” and they connect it pretty quickly to Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table,” there’s our word, right, “before me in the presence of my enemies.” So in the battle, in the conflict, in the storm Jesus is there and he’s preparing a table for us with everything we need to be everything he’s called us to be.
Louie Giglio 4:52
And so that message really started working in my heart. I got a chance to share it in a little tiny set with a few football coaches one morning at a coach’s Bible study. I saw something change in them. I came back shared it in all team with my staff. Saw something change. Shared it that Sunday at church. Saw something change. And, you know, like God does, he’s just chosen to take that message literally all around the world.
Dick Hardy 5:18
Wow, that’s amazing. You know, I first saw you demonstrate it with an illustrated sermon at James River, when you put that table out there, and I will tell you, you had the fruit, you had the vegetables, and it really looked to be a delightful table. And the image that it just planted in people’s minds, that empty chair, you know, don’t let the enemy have that seat. That is so powerful. What are you hearing from people, you know, you’re interacting with people all over the country and the world, on this message. What is this message saying to people?
Louie Giglio 6:00
I think it’s awakening people to the reality that we’re not the victim of whatever thought passes through our mind. If you talk to a neuroscientist, they say 1000s, possibly 10,000s of thoughts pass through our mind every day. And we don’t know all of where they come from. And we don’t know how the enemy influences them. But Jesus made it clear that there is an enemy, and he’s seeking to deceive us, and ultimately destroy us.
Louie Giglio 6:29
And we know that all of the negative and the positive things that happen in our lives begin in the mind. So first, there’s a thought. And then there’s an action. First, there’s a thought. And then there’s some sort of behavior that follows. And so thinking is important.
Louie Giglio 6:48
And what I’m hearing from people is that this message is helping them wake up to the idea that every thought that comes in their mind doesn’t have the right to reside in their mind. And certainly not to get aid and comfort from us to say, “oh, man, here comes this negative thought, I’m gonna help you build a house and plant a garden and help you take over and establish real estate in my mind.”
Louie Giglio 7:13
Instead, we can examine the thought, this is what the Scripture teaches us, and immediately know whether it’s congruent with the will of God, the ways of God, the heart of God, the character of God, God’s purpose and plan for our life. And if it’s not, we can arrest it right then and there. The Scripture says, “Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” And so people are waking up to this idea that just because the thought is there, doesn’t mean the thought has to stay there. And then realizing, you know, what, I’ve got more power than the enemy wants me to believe that I have to control the things that actually live inside my mind.
Dick Hardy 7:53
Yeah, that is so good. You know, then you follow up with At the Table With Jesus. So, this is 66 Days to Draw Closer to Christ. So well written, as per your normal writings and the images. So, how did this come together as an outflow? Was that planned from the beginning or what happened?
Louie Giglio 8:14
It wasn’t planned necessarily from the get go. But as we got into, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat, and started to understand this message that we really began to realize how important it is that we learn how to fight well. And you don’t fight well by trying to resist negative thoughts. In fact, when we do that… say someone spoke over you as a kid, “you don’t matter to your mom and I and we never wanted you anyway.” Well, the more you say, “you know what my parents said they didn’t want me anyway. But I don’t care what my parents think.”
Louie Giglio 8:50
Well, I just repeated what my parents think. If one of your parents was an alcoholic and you’ve spent the last 15 years going, I’ll never be an alcoholic, like my parents. I’ll never be like my parent, trust me, I will never be like my parent. What you’re repeating every time is what you don’t want to be like. And so you don’t win the battle by fighting against the lie, you win the battle by focusing on the truth.
Louie Giglio 9:17
And God knew this long before we did. He said, “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” But then, as Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat released, I did a lot of podcast interviews in that season, and one of them was with a neuroscientist, one of the most well known ones in the world. And she said that each of us, in 66 days, can create a new habit or a new thought highway in our mind.
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Louie Giglio 9:47
And you know, we’ve always thought in 30 days you can create a new habit. I think for the exceptional people, it’s maybe more like 18 days, but the average human takes 66 days to create a new habit. So we thought, okay, if we don’t want the enemy at the table, who do we want at the table? This table is already prepared for us by the King of the universe. And so we wrote this devotional journey, 66 days believing that at the end of the 66 days, if we focus on Jesus and the various aspects of his character, who he is how he wants to present himself in our lives, in a relationship with us, that we (A) create a new habit of spending time with God, (B), we create a habit of learning more about Jesus and (C), we create a new neural pathway in our mind, that truth can travel down.
Louie Giglio 10:37
And I just want to encourage everyone listening today, don’t buy the lie that you’re the product of whatever thoughts have been in your past, because God is giving you the power, and science is actually backing it up, to change the way you think.
Dick Hardy 10:54
Oh, that’s so good. You know, just going through this here. You broke this down into, what 11 segments? And it just, just the number… Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus is, Jesus does, Jesus. All 66 days. I mean to tell you. Go to, I presume, can they get this at the Passion City website, or just best to go to Amazon? What’s best?
Dick Hardy 11:29
So this one, and this one, I highly recommend that you pick them up. They’re going to have a profound impact on your life. Give us a hitch-up, friend, if we don’t remember anything, what is it you want the viewer and listener to hear from you?
Louie Giglio 11:46
I want each one of us to be overwhelmed, stunned, amazed, mystified, put any adjective you want, with the idea that we were created for communion with God. And yes, we all have gifts, abilities, aptitude, opportunities, and yes, we all have something to do in God’s creation, but not before, we were created by and desired by the Creator Himself.
Louie Giglio 12:15
And right now, in this moment, the God of Heaven wants to have a relationship with each one of us. He wants to sit down at the table with us and have a relationship. And I just want to encourage each one of us today to carve out the time to say “yes”, to create a new mindset that says I’m wanted, I’m invited, I’m welcomed in and I am appointed for the table of the king. And if we will accept that invitation, then I believe it will put us in the position and the posture we need to be in, to be God’s people on mission in this world with him.
Dick Hardy 12:50
Oh, man, I can’t thank you enough, Louie. I cannot thank you enough. Pick up both books, wherever books are sold and you’ll be blessed and strengthened. And you’ll grow in your faith. Thank you, Louie. It’s been great hanging out with you.
Louie Giglio 13:05
It’s a pleasure. Thank you so much.
Dick Hardy 13:05
Friends, thanks for hanging out with the Church Tips Podcast, we’ll look forward to catching you on the next one. Be blessed.
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