“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God . . . You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you . . . Then I said, ‘Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart’” [Psalm 40:1-3, 5, 7-8].
Let’s think a few minutes about living from our heart. Oh, I don’t mean about following blind emotions or “if it feels good, do it.” Not talking about the jealous, sentimental, mushy, puppy love type of heart living. I am talking about living in spiritual love, strength, empathy, caring, having courage, forgiveness in your heart, being non-judgmental, with a clarity of thought and purpose. Wow! Now that was a mouth full. You may want to scan that again.
What does that mean – “he will give me a new heart, a new spirit because he has heard my cry and drew me up from the desolate pit, the miry bog and put a song in my heart?” …. Ever been in that state? I have. I have been emotionally in the pits, and I bet you have too. I imagine everyone has. But what does that mean – that “He has put a new spirit within you?” I think it means that our emotions are able to change and changed in either direction – positive – to negative or negative to positive. The emotions grow out of our predominately held thoughts and beliefs—our persistently held attitudes. The emotions are actually seated lower than the heart—in the pit of the stomach if you will excuse that expression.
One aspect of emotions that we must realize is that WE ARE IN TOTAL CONTROL OF THEM. Nothing or nobody “makes” us have a specific emotion. We choose to “feel” the way we do. When I teach Anger Mgmt. I ask the students when they disagree that nobody makes them mad or happy, “If I spit in your face, does that make you angry?” Of course, they all say yes with a few adjectives thrown in. I reply, “No, I made you wet; you chose to be angry.”
And then we have to be honest and admit that we are angry or in the pits or happy. We must be honest about that emotion in order to deal with it. You have to acknowledge your emotions and deal with them appropriately when they come up. Don’t cover up and deny your emotion because it is written all over your face.
Then, if you find that these emotions have been destructive, you need to take some time looking at the thoughts and beliefs and attitudes that spawned them in the first place. Maybe you are going to have to make a correction in that area.
This morning we focused on Psalm 40 as one of our scriptures and it focuses on “a new song.” Here is the ending – “I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.” Each of us has a song of the heart. It is what we are about. We need to discover it, sing it, and live it, with all our being.
This song is who we are; it’s not about singing somebody else’s song, no matter how wonderful it might be. It is not about dancing to someone else’s tune. It is about finding and singing your own song, telling your own story, and dancing your own dance.
When we were first conceived our “story, our song, our dance” was already within us, held by God but hidden from us. We had to grow into it – accept it and live with the beauty of the dance – the truth of your message, your story.
Each song, each dance, each story is different. Do you remember Thoreau’s words: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” That is probably wghere “He marches to a different drummer” phrase came from.
Whatever beat you march to, or tune you dance to, or song you sing, let it be yours. Let the music of your life be from your heart—the higher heart, the Christ within you. And allow others the freedom to sing their songs, no matter how out of tune with your ear or syncopated in rhythm. Give them that freedom that you have.
Now, I do not mean that we have to condone wrong-doing or misanthropic actions or spiritual directions that are so opposed to yours. I am talking just about their personality, their song, their story. Accept them and appreciate them as living souls. We are each created by God. Love others and appreciate them without exception, without trying to make them be like you, or sing your song, or play in your band, under your direction. Remember Jesus said, “And love your neighbors as yourself.” Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27
As each of us was given a path, a story, a song, we must remember from where that song came. It came from God at conception. And I feel strongly, as a Christian, that our story and our emotions are shaped and controlled by God and Jesus Christ.
I also believe that sometimes we allow our song to become out of tune. We worry; we fill ourselves with anxiety for amazing reasons. As I said before, we choose to do this (unknowingly of course).
This is not God within us; this is letting Satan grab us and push us downward into a spiral that leads to feelings of unworthiness, no self esteem, hopelessness, helplessness. Satan loves us when we are in that mode. He then has total control of us.
Here is what we must focus on – we must know that our Lord cares for us as he does the tulip and the sparrow and the lost lamb (we are the lost lamb). We must cry out to the Lord as in Psalm 40 and know that – ; “he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”
Oh my, what a wonderful thought. Each time we feel ourselves falling, we know that God is lifting us out of that desolate pit, that miry bog.
What does it require of us, though – as we are being pulled under? It only requires us to keep our focus on the Truth and to trust the Truth. Reading and living the Holy Bible on a daily basis, will keep our feet on that solid rock, secure, and will put that song in our hearts. His wondrous deeds and His thoughts are for you to grasp and hold on to. Your song will never be out of tune.
There are three important ideas about living your song, dancing your dance:
If you have these three items working in your life, you will have a magnificent life. And if any of these is missing, something is missing from your life and you are not living up to your full potential as an authentic, actualized, loving, whole person within the community of humankind.
What is your song of the heart? Open your heart and let God in to keep you focused and open to the Truth of your song. Never take your eyes off the path you are walking. Know it and walk it. Have that clarity that can only come from God.
Here are two stories that illustrate the idea of commitment: One man sang his own unique song and the other didn’t.
“ Tim wanted to be an architect. He took mechanical drawing in high school. He was good at it.
During his senior year in high school he studied architecture. He was one of the best in the class. He wanted to go to Georgetown University, which has a very fine engineering school with pretty high academic standards.
His high school guidance counselor told him he was too weak in mathematics to go there. This young man’s parents had never been to college, but they wanted him to have the opportunity, so they saved money for him and gave him a choice. He could go to college or he could have a brand new car. Because that guidance counselor told him he couldn’t make it at Georgetown University, he decided not to sing his song. The day after graduation, he had a brand new shiny car. He was proud of that.
Today, twenty-five years after graduation, that car sits rusting and decaying in a scrap heap, and so does his vision.”
“Brian is another story. His family was dirt poor. Brian’s father died when Brian was young. His mother did the best she could. Brian’s song was to be a lawyer, but there was no money to go to college, not even a state school. So he went into the service and served in Vietnam. Four years later, he got a part-time job working in the inner city, and he went to college on a GI bill. He was a “C” student. His grades weren’t really good enough for law school, but he wanted to live his vision with all his heart, and he did.
He applied to dozens of law schools at considerable expense, and every one of them turned him down, except for one. They said to him, “You don’t really have the grades to get into law school, but because you worked your way through college and you helped kids in the inner city, we think there is something about you that deserves a second look. We have a summer remedial program. If you take the program and successfully complete it, we’ll let you into law school in the fall.”
He did it. He struggled. He made it into law school by the skin of his teeth. When he graduated from law school, he did so with honors.
Today, he is married with a great wife and two gorgeous children. He put his wife through college (nobody in her family had ever been through college); he put his younger brother through college. He’s in his mid-forties now.
He only has to work when he wants to—as much or as little as he likes. He lives in a beautiful home, and is happy and satisfied.
He once confessed that he knew he had just average intelligence, but he was committed to living his vision. He did that, and to this day, he reads at least one chapter in the Bible and a positive thinking, self-development book, every night”
Brian sings his own song and so can you. First step – clarity, knowing your song. You may have to pray over that if you do not know your song yet. But your song is there; I think you may know it. Then be sure to focus and keep it in the clearness of your mind.
You and God are the only ones who know what your song is. You can keep it in focus through prayer, meditation, connecting with God through His word – The Bible.
The second idea is commitment. We must be totally committed to our song/our story/our walk. Remember that Jesus knew His song of the heart and had total commitment to it. While being tortured and crucified, he asked His Father to forgive us because we did not know what we were doing. As He was taking His last, painful breath on the cross, He was still teaching His lessons on perfect love, positive living, mercy; and he was sharing His last ounce of strength. On the Cross, as He was taking His last breaths, He was teaching us some of His most powerful lessons in life.
Then in a final gasp, “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” His entire life was committed to His story/His purpose to be our spiritual leader and example. “He was so committed to that purpose that he could look death in the eye and not back up. So often, he could have just turned and walked away, but He did not. That is total commitment.
In Proverbs 16:3, we read, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
If you are at a place in your life where you are frustrated because you don’t really know your song of your heart, then now is the time to make a commitment to discover it again. Now is the time, no matter what your age, to discover your song.
Remember, God is not holding you back from receiving His message. Let God guide you right back to your vision, your song. Go to God
“The point is, if you have a song of your heart and you are committed to it, then you will have the sweetest, most precious, most wonderful experience known to man or woman.”
And the final point is cooperation. In the 133rd Psalm, we read: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head . . . it is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained His blessing, life forevermore.” [Psalm 133:1-3]
We need not sing alone. Singing in harmony and being accompanied by our fellow Christians and kindred spirits can uplift us and support us. We all need that. We are not meant to “Walk Alone.” Look upon your song/your story as a wonderful musical with an orchestra. It is your orchestra with each section in harmony and voices of perfect pitch to sing with you. That is dwelling together in God’s love, cooperating with our fellow human beings.
There is the reason for churches and spiritual gatherings. What one heart cannot bear alone, 100 hearts beating together can. Our Spiritual Family Prayer Room is just that. Our songs are in perfect harmony as we share together and support one another while praying for so many. If you are not familiar with us, please feel free to visit us on line at http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/ and then visit a church that you can feel in unity with where the fellowship is in cooperation with one another.
Today, we touched upon the most important topic I know of: the song of your heart. There were three key ideas:
Clarity—be clear and concise in your song.
Commitment—be committed to your song and if you don’t know it,
be committed to finding it.
Cooperation—cooperate with others in singing your song and in helping
them sing theirs.
Do you remember that attorney named Brian I talked about? I said he
was a “C” student. It dawned on me that he was,
indeed, a “C” student where it counted.
He had the three C’s—clarity, commitment, and cooperation.
That has made the difference in his life and it can make a difference in your life.
That’s the way to way to fulfillment—to sing the song of your heart and live your vision, your story.
To end where we begin:
This morning we focused on Psalm 40 as one of our scriptures and it focuses on “a new song.” Here is the ending – “I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”
Each of us has a song of the heart. It is what we are about. We need to discover it, sing it, and live it, with all our being.
God bless you!