“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” –Matthew 18:19-20 ESV
“For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.” –Proverbs 24:6 ESV
It is rare to find a man of any age who has not heard of King Arthur and his legendary knights of the round table. I was drawn to the idealism of these stories as a younger man, and as I get older I am coming to understand how difficult it is to act out those ideals. In Arthurian legend the king shared power with an order of his best and most trusted men. They were committed to one another, to the peace of the kingdom, and to the pursuit of holiness. Arthur’s table was filled with young men and old men, different views and perspectives, but all committed to unity and truth. The round table had no head position, so every man with a seat at the table had an equal voice and each respected the others. For all the virtues exemplified by Arthur and his knights, they are also flawed characters whose stories are tragic. One of Arthur’s knights, Lancelot, betrayed him and stole his bride Guinevere. Arthur’s son Mordred, the product of Arthur’s sins, returns to haunt Arthur and eventually kills him. We all can relate to the ideals and tragedies highlighted in the stories of Arthur and his knights, and the round table remains a symbol of equality and wisdom into today.
Much like the Arthurian legend, our King Jesus encourages us to connect with others for the sake of His kingdom. Jesus called multiple disciples because He knew that one man can be corrupted, but in a group it is harder to go astray. Not long after the apostles had begun preaching the Gospel of Jesus’ resurrection, Peter began to act in ways that were not in keeping with the truth of the Gospel. Paul confronted Peter and told him the truth about how he was acting apart from the Holy Spirit (See Galatians 2 for the full story). Peter needed someone like Paul in his inner circle, at his round table. When I was a young twenty-something I leaned on my own understanding a lot, and didn’t allow anyone to speak truth into my life that I didn’t want to hear. Because of some poor choices I ended up jobless, and had to ask my father to let me stay with him when I should have been graduating and launching a career. I remember my father irate with my foolishness, because he had warned me of the consequences for my actions. Unlike Peter though, I was not open to correction. I was so sure I was right, and my relationship with my father suffered. Eventually my temperament evened out, but not before doing some real damage to the relationship. For a while I thought we may never be close again. Thankfully for me, our God can rewrite any story. Through humility and a lot of diligence I was able to rebuild my relationship with my father, and I now have several men that I discuss things with who I know will tell me the truth. I seek wise counsel, and honest kingdom men to ensure that there are always two or more gathered in agreement with the Holy Spirit when I’m not sure what to do. They are my round table.
Daily Battle Order: Think about who is part of your inner circle, your round table. Are you giving other men permission to speak truth into your life? Are those men Kingdom Men committed to Christ? Do you have older men who will help you avoid mistakes and stay rooted in tradition and best practice? Do you have younger men who will challenge your perspective and help prevent you from being too rigid and set in your ways? Do you empower people to tell you things you don’t know about yourself? Are you partnering together with these men to advance the kingdom of God? If you answered no to any of these questions, consider adding a seat at your round table.