CHICKEN PIT

Ps.40:2,3 – He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.

Did I ever tell you about the day I fell into the chicken pit? It had to be the most disgusting and stinky day of my life. It was a cold, rainy day in the San Joaquin Valley and I was rushing to work. It had been raining all night and was 40 something degrees outside. I got to work at the B and C Egg Ranch at 7 and the workers were in a panic. The pump that was used to pump the liquified chicken manure had shorted out and had been pumping liquid chicken mess all night. I went running to the scene of the disaster between two of the chicken houses and was shocked at what I saw. The whole area was flooded with liquid chicken mess at about a depth of one foot and the pump was still pumping into the army style water truck which had overflowed hours before. I took off running (I had my boots on) through the mess to turn off the pump. There was only one problem, I forgot about the fourteen foot deep pit that was next to the truck. Remember, the whole area was flooded and you couldn’t see where the pit started or finished. I’m sure you already guessed what happened next. That’s right, in I went into that pit of liquid 40 degree chicken mess. By the grace of God I kept my head from going under. I was able to get out and get a change of clothes ( the shower had to wait until after work). Ill never forget the smell that seemed to stick with me for days. I understand a little bit of David’s pit.

The point of this story is this, all of us have made bad mistakes in our lives. Often, the consequences are like that stinky pit of chicken poo. It’s what happens in those pits that can be life changing. We can get consumed by our horrible circumstances or we can allow the Lord to put a new song in our mouth. Maybe today finds you in one of those horrible, stinky pits of despair. Call on the Lord and before you know it you too will be singing His sweet, sweet song.

WAIT

Psa. 40:1 ¶ I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
From time to time I pull out classic Christian books that effected me in my earliest days as a Christian. One of those books is Waiting on God by Andrew Murray. Murray had a profound understanding of prayer and it seemed to be that the foundation of his revelation was waiting on the Lord. Too often prayer is perceived as us doing something. Many times we tend to think it is our prayer efforts that are important. Nothing could be further from the truth. Prayer is total dependency on God and prayer starts and finishes with waiting. Here are some of Murray’s thoughts on waiting on the Lord.
“In waiting on God it is of infinite consequence that we not only submit, because we are compelled to, but because we lovingly and joyfully consent to be in the hands of our blessed Father. Patience then becomes our highest blessedness and our highest grace. It honors God, and gives Him time to have His way with us. It is the highest expression of our faith in His goodness and faithfulness. It brings the soul perfect rest in the assurance that God is carrying on His work. It is the token of our full consent that God should deal with us in such a way and time as He thinks best. True patience is the “losing of our self-will in His perfect will.”
I love this, waiting honors God and focuses on His goodness and faithfulness. As we wait in the presence of our faithful God we know He is good and He is working in all things on our behalf. Anxiousness tends to take matters into its own hands. That leads to frustration and even more anxiety. Waiting on God deepens our faith and puts us in touch with Him which is far better than all answered prayers. Murray continues to speak of the rich reward found in waiting.
“Patient waiting upon God brings a rich reward; the deliverance is sure; God Himself will put a new song into your mouth. O soul! be not impatient, whether it be in the exercise of prayer and worship that you find it difficult to wait, or in the delay in respect of definite requests, or in the fulfilling of your heart’s desire for the revelation of God Himself in a deeper spiritual life – fear not, but rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”
This new song not only sustains us but it brings great glory to God. David said many would take notice of this song of the Lord and would put their trust in Him.

A NEW SONG FROM A NEW HEART

Psa. 40:3  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

I was shocked by the suddenness and the dramatic degree of the change I experienced in the summer of 1973. Christ came into my life and He began His amazing work just like He said, He was making all things new. One of the changes that surprised me the most was the change in the music that I listened to. For years, my life had been centered around music. I was consumed by the likes of Dylan, Joplin, Zeppelin, Clapton, Cocker and a list too long to remember. It was suddenly replaced with Barry McGuire, the Second Chapter of Acts, Love Song, and Phil Keaggy. I lost my attraction to the music of the world, it was empty and uninviting to me. This Jesus music was passionate and had a substance or presence in it that agreed with the new thing that was happening in me. I didn’t know how to say it back then but God was transforming my life and His new song was playing a huge role in the process. Jonathan Edwards talked about how music played a huge role in their revival experiences in Northampton. Here are some of his insights about renewal and this new song.

“By this work of God in renewing the heart, the man that is the subject of it becomes a new creature or is a new man, as it is often said in Scripture. And therefore no wonder that his song is new: for we are told that “old things are passed away” and “all things become new with him”. [The] hearts of the redeemed are new. He has a new spirit put within him. Their natures are new. In some sense their bodies are new. They have new eyes. They are renewed in the whole man. They are said to be “a new lump,” having put away “the old leaven”. They are newborn babes. They have new garments, for their filthy garments are taken away and they are clothed with change of raiment. And they have a new name. “He that overcometh I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” And ch. Revelation 3:12, “I will write upon him my new name.”

Yep, God is doing a new thing and here is the best part, He is doing it inside of you. Yield to His new song, soon you will find that the song is not only all around you but is actually bubbling up from deep within your heart.

NEW SONG

Psa. 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

David was probably the greatest song writer of all time. Actually, David had a very unfair advantage. He had been anointed by the Lord for that very purpose. Just like David said in today’s verse, he had a new song in his mouth. The anointing on David was an anointing to worship God. He sang spontaneous songs birthed by the Holy Spirit, that became songs for God’s people that are still being sung today. You can tell a lot about someone by the songs that they sing. After all, we sing about what matters to us. Jonathan Edwards spoke about this spontaneous song. It flowed out of him as a result of God’s touch upon his life. Here is a snippet from his book “Personal Narrative” that describes his personal relationship with the Lord.

“After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of everything was altered: there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost everything. God’s excellency, his wisdom, his purity and love, seemed to appear in everything; in the sun, moon and stars; in the clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water, and all nature; which used greatly to fix my mind. I often used to sit and view the moon, for a long time; and so in the daytime, spent much time in viewing the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of God in these things: in the meantime, singing forth with a low voice, my contemplations of the Creator and Redeemer. And scarce anything, among all the works of nature, was so sweet to me as thunder and lightning. Formerly, nothing had been so terrible to me. I used to be a person uncommonly terrified with thunder: and it used to strike me with terror, when I saw a thunderstorm rising. But now, on the contrary, it rejoiced me. I felt God at the first appearance of a thunderstorm. And used to take the opportunity at such times, to fix myself to view the clouds, and see the lightnings play, and hear the majestic and awful voice of God’s thunder: which often times was exceeding entertaining, leading me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God. And while I viewed, used to spend my time, as it always seemed natural to me, to sing or chant forth my meditations; to speak my thoughts in soliloquies, and speak with a singing voice.”

So maybe today you can take some time and go for a walk with the Lord. When He comes down, everything does look different. Maybe it is because we become different. Maybe you too will be singing this new song to the Lord.

FORTY

Psa. 40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are more than can be told.

God’s plan is astounding! He had His plans in place for redemption long before we fell into sin. Redemption predates eternity by a length of time called eternity. Christ was slain as a sacrifice for fallen man before He created the universe with a word. Not only did He have plans for the fallen race, He also had thoughts and plans for you and me. We were also known by God from eternity. These kinds of thoughts are too high for us, they are as endless as His love. As Jonathan Edwards often said, His love is like an ocean without a bottom and without shores. Here is how Charles Spurgeon described this verse in his timeless commentary called the Treasury of David.

“Creation, providence, and redemption, teem with wonders as the sea with life. Our special attention is called by this passage to the marvels which cluster around the cross and flash from it. The accomplished redemption achieves many ends, and compasses a variety of designs; the outgoings of the atonement are not to be reckoned up, the influences of the cross reach further than the beams of the sun. Wonders of grace beyond all enumeration take their rise from the cross; adoption, pardon, justification, and a long chain of godlike miracles of love proceed from it. Note that our Lord here speaks of the Lord as “my God.” The man Christ Jesus claimed for himself and us a covenant relationship with Jehovah. Let our interest in our God be ever to us our peculiar treasure. And thy thoughts which are toward us. The divine thoughts march with the divine acts, for it is not according the God’s wisdom to act without deliberation and counsel. All the divine thoughts are good and gracious towards his elect. God’s thoughts of love are very many, very wonderful, very practical! Muse on them, dear reader; no sweeter subject ever occupied your mind.”

Maybe your life feels unimportant. Possibly you feel like you are drifting through life like a boat loosed from its moorings. Draw near to God. Open up His book. Before you know it His thoughts will come streaming into your life. He has plans for you. What kinds of plans? Things that are far above anything that you can ask or even think.

SONGS OF JOY IN TOUGH TIMES

SONGS OF JOY IN TOUGH TIMES

Psalm 40:2,3
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth –
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

The song of The Lord becomes part of the very make up of our souls. As a result, this song sustains us in the darkest of times. The worldly man sings songs of joy only when things are going well for him in this world. For the Christian, we have no such limitations. Our songs of joy are not even related to our present circumstances. Our songs are spiritual in nature and flow out of the relationship with Christ that burns in our souls. We have tasted His love, we have been touched deeply by His power, and we have sensed the nearness of His coming kingdom. What else can we do but sing for joy. Here is how Jonathan Edwards saw this song in relationship to our troubles in this world.

“How great does the rejoicing of this company that John saw in his vision seem to be in singing this sweet song. So engaged were they in it, and so loud and sweet was the melody of their united voices, that John seems not know how to express it, and therefore uses various similitudes. Says he, it was “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder,” and as “the voice of harpers harping with their harps”. The joy and praise and melody were inexpressible. This song is fit to be sung in the mournful and sorrowful times. We have always reason to sing it, whatever afflictions we may be under, and there is support and joy to be had in the melody of it in the darkest times. This is the song that God gives in the night in the night of affliction. ‘Tis very proper to sing this new song on a death bed. And many of the saints have sung it then, and thereby have triumphed over death; yea, many have sung this new song in the flames of martyrdom and have exulted in the midst of torments. The joy and sweetness of it is enough to carry the soul above pain and above the cruelty of men and devils.”

This new song is actually a foretaste of our incredible life to come. When the reality of that other world is in us, the troubles of this present life lose their sting. This is the way Paul was able to sing from the dungeon in Philippi, this is how John endured his isolation on Patmos, and this is the strength that kept Peter in his martyrdom. All of us face troubles in this life, only those who know the new song can actually face their troubles with joy.

FROM MOMBASSA TO HONG KONG

SINGING FROM MOMBASSA TO HONG KONG

Psa. 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.

Music and singing are a huge part of all of our lives. People love to sing; from Mombassa to Hong Kong, from Sidney to London, and from Anchorage to Shanghai; people just love to sing. They are singing in elevators and showers, at the office and in their bedroom. Songs are being sung about falling in love and losing their love, songs about glory days and tragic days, songs from their past and songs about tomorrow. We were created to express the things we feel strongly about in a song. Even Jesus is a singer. Charles Spurgeon captured the essence of this aspect of The Lord in his thoughts about the new song.

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. At the passover, before his passion, our Lord sang one of the grand old Psalms of praise; but what is the music of his heart now, in the midst of his redeemed! What a song is that in which his glad heart for ever leads the chorus of the elect! Justice magnified and grace victorious; hell subdued and heaven glorified; death destroyed and immortality established; sin overthrown and righteousness resplendent; what a theme for a hymn in that day when our Lord drinks the red wine new with us all in our heavenly Father’s kingdom! Even on earth, and before his great passion, he foresaw the joy which was set before him, and was sustained by the prospect. Our God. The God of Jesus, the God of Israel, “my God and your God.” How will we praise him, but ah! Jesus will be the chief player on our stringed instruments; he will lead the solemn hallelujah which shall go up from the sacramental host redeemed by blood. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. A multitude that no man can number shall see the griefs and triumphs of Jesus, shall tremble because of their sinful rejection of him, and then through grace shall receive faith and become trusters in Jehovah. Here is our Lord’s reward.”

Just think about it, when Jesus was facing his imminent death just before His arrest in Gethsemane, He prepared His heart and the heart of His disciples with a song. We don’t know exactly what He sang but David typified Christ facing His passion when he sang the new song from what he called a “horrible pit”. This spiritual song is empowered by the Spirit and accomplishes multiple things. It actually carries power within itself and strengthens and encourages the singer. It also carries the seeds of prophesy within it. As we sing the new song we are actually declaring or announcing aspects of His coming kingdom. So why don’t you go ahead and sing. If you are down in the dumper, sing. If you need to make decisions, sing. Join together with the voices of the nations, sing a new song to The Lord.

A LABYRINTH OF EXQUISITE FLOWERS

“A LABYRINTH OF EXQUISITE FLOWERS”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY -THE SONG OF SONGS-

In a few days I will be teaching on the book of Song of Solomon. I never tire of saturating myself in its sweetness. In the Preachers Homiletic Commentary it says, ‘The song a labyrinth of exquisite flowers transplanted from heaven to earth. Wafts a perfumed breath of celestial spring from paradise to this world. The song a “maze of sweets, and lovely obscurity”. A heaven-given riddle in connection with the marriage of the Lamb, the true Samson. It Requires ‘the mind that hath, not earthly but, heavenly wisdom”, is a mine of precious diamonds, demanding patient and prayerful labour and the Spirit’s light to explore it and discovers them. The song a mirror of the believer’s heart. Only taught by a divine anointing, and only learned by a spiritual experience. The subject of this song is a Divine and heavenly union. A song of the bride-chamber. A Gospel song, and one for Gospel times, the subject being the love of Jesus Christ to sinners and the salvation He brings to them. The Gospel puts a new song in our mouth.” What a great word for a Monday morning! I so pray you never come out of this labyrinth! lab·y·rinth /ˈlab(ə)ˌrinTH/ Noun A complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze. An intricate and confusing arrangement. Getting lost in Him is our game-plan!
Years ago during the time revival hit our church, we were in a time of extended worship and I begin to feel The Lord tug at my heart. I felt I saw the arch of our church with God’s mouth open wide over it. He was asking me if we/I would step into the New Song. The Lord had been ministering to me for a few years out of Psalm 40. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” So he was beckoning me to open wide my mouth for expansion. Sometimes expansion means changing and stretching. Going deeper into the things of God and moving into full surrender.
I feel that in 2013 you will begin to experience a new song come from out of you. Deep calls unto deep. It is the song of the bride chamber and he beckons you to close the door and let his song cover you with his stillness, compassion and love for world around you. This new song will carry you throughout your life into deeper challenges and greater dreams. It is the breath of the celestial spring bubbling up. Yes, spring up oh well this Monday morn, spilling out and over. It’s the labyrinth of His joy!

GOD’S SONG IN THE DARKEST OF NIGHTS

GOD’S SONG IN THE DARKEST OF NIGHTS

Psa. 40:1-3 ¶ I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.

David’s life was not all fun and games. He went though some very dark places in his life. His experience with God even in those dark nights of the soul, is what makes his writings so attractive to us today. We can relate to David. His relationship with God sustained him in the darkest of nights, even when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. All of us go through those dark nights of the soul. Some of those places are darker than others. David Brainerd was a young missionary during the time of the Great Awakening. He went through some very dark times. He was expelled from Yale because of some statements he had made about the dean of the college in relation to the revival. He was also battling tuberculosis which ultimately took his life at twenty nine. He became a missionary to the Native Americans. It was in the battle for his health while living in the wilderness, ministering to the Native Americans that he wrote his journal. To him it was insignificant, his work seemed insignificant. Brainerd’s journal is crediting with playing a huge role in the birthing of the modern missions movement. In his darkest moments, God gave Brainerd a song in the night. That song is still being sung today. Brainerd’s journal has never been out of print since the 1700’s. Check out a brief portion of his words.

“He is able to support the heart under the heaviest sorrows, and to give light in the greatest darkness: he can divide the thickest cloud with beams of heavenly light and comfort: he is one that gives songs in the night, and turns the shadow of death into the morning: he has power to make up the loss of those that are bereaved by the death of the most eminent minister. His own presence with the bereaved is sufficient…
Persons under sorrowful bereavements are ready to go and lay open their sorrows to them that they think will be ready to pity them, though they know they can but pity them, and cannot help them. How much more is here in such a case to induce us to go to Jesus, who is not only so ready to pity, but so able to help, able abundantly more than to fill up the breach, and able to turn all our sorrows into joy!”

He is able to turn all our sorrows into joy!!!. The power of Brainerd’s life is this, the reality of God in the darkest of nights. That is the appeal of his journal. Why have missionaries like William Carey, Hudson Taylor, and Jim Elliott attributed Brainerd’s journal as one of the main tools the Spirit used in inspiring them to go to the nations? It is because Brainerd found the joy of the Lord’s song in the dark night of his soul. Maybe you are in one of those dark nights, if so, listen carefully. You might just hear the joyful sound of God’s Song in the Night.

RETURN TO NARNIA

The land of Narnia
Merry Monday by Parris Bailey

“The world’s a huge stockpile of God’s-wonders and God’s thoughts. Nothing and no one else comes close to you! I start talking about you, telling what I know and quickly run out of words.”
Ps.40 Message

I raised my children reading Narnia books to them, I even find myself reading those mystical books again and again. When another movie comes out in the series I will be the first to see it. In this crazy world where everything is upside down, its nice to push out the back of the wardrobe and go into Narnia land. I believe David, from time to time, had to leave this world of cut throats and evil people. Jacob saw a ladder with angels going up and down on it and we won’t even begin to tell what Ezekiel saw. It is the unseen world and learning to see God in our present world. When we go outside, and I mean really go outside, do we see the huge stockpile of God’s wonders and His thoughts? How long will you surround yourself with plastic- synthetic and machinery? Then to make matters worse we sit down and eat plastic synthetic foods and we wonder why we feel bad and have a hard time creating anything lasting. Everything on this earth exists for our benefit and to see His glory and hear His thoughts.
In the “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” Lucy, after finding out she would not return to Narnia exclaimed, “And how can we live, never meeting you?” Aslan replied, “But there you shall meet me, dear one. There I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
David goes on in Ps.45:1 by saying “My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words.” I pray that at some point you will just STOP and take in GOD. His love for you and his dreams for you. Yes, it might involve changing your lifestyle of whatever else was so important but take a trip to Narnia—the unseen world of His beauty and the seen world of his creation. It might involve changing your appetites and putting down all the distractions. Who knows you might just put down that iPhone of yours and hear something amazing.
“Your ozone-drenched garments are fragrant with mountain breeze. Chamber music- from the throne room-makes you want to dance.” Ps.45 Oh sorry gotta go now someone is calling me…..