John Chambers - A Song in our Hearts - Maroota II, Australia Convention - 2017

Revelation 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, 'Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.'” John the apostle wrote about these people in Heaven singing a new song, and they were from every nation. I know there are quite a few different nationalities here and we are so thankful that there is just one song, a blending of spirits. The song that comes from the heart of God’s people today is the same song that came from God’s people generation after generation. Revelation 15:3, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, 'Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.'” They sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. Included in the songs of Heaven is the song of Moses.


Deuteronomy 32:1, “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” I really enjoyed thinking about this song coming from the heart of Moses, the man who was given a very great task by God, and here he was speaking about God being the Rock. When we think about this new song of God’s people, we may wonder if there was an old song.


Maybe we remember a time when we sang a different song. When we are young, we have the impression that we understand things better than our parents; maybe that was the song of our life, and we thought we could sing our song a little louder than the song of the older people. Then as we grow up and have some achievements, maybe that gets included in the song. It brings satisfaction to sing about achievements, but when life doesn’t turn out exactly as you expect, the song takes a different twist and it is about all the things we have suffered. In some countries where things are not so fair, we often hear people say, “Look at what I have to suffer.” We are very thankful that this is not the song we have been listening to here, but we can say that God has put a new song in our hearts. It has really done me good to listen to the testimonies and feel I can join in, like we heard about singing with God.


Revelation 14:3, “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” Maybe the song of our hearts seems difficult for people of the world to understand because they cannot see how these things are possible. Nicodemus came and asked Jesus various questions. He was a very intelligent man who had studied the law, and he was dumbfounded by what Jesus said to him. People would hear us singing the song of God’s Kingdom and say, “How can you sing when things are like they are?”


Moses was asked by God to intervene with Pharaoh, not an easy task. Finally the day came when Pharaoh agreed to let God’s people go free but it didn’t last very long until they were dissatisfied, and who got the blame every time? Moses. Yet here he was singing about the God he ascribed greatness to. It is wonderful as we go through experiences if the song of our heart gives more glory to God. When we can go through experiences and say at the end of the experience, just like Moses, “God is great, God is just and right, fair in everything.” God has been very good and it brings glory to God. Moses was blamed time and time again by the very people he was working with, but he was not saying, “Why don’t you make these people a little more agreeable?” No. Because of the work that was done in his spirit during his life, we read that his song is going to be one of the songs in Heaven.


I thought of a day when Jesus really had a song in His heart. Luke 10:21, “In that hour, Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, 'I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.'” Jesus was completely at ease with the way God had arranged things. He was sent with a message that was hidden from the wise and intelligent people and He could have been prompted to say, “Why did you make it like this, when a lot of people cannot make sense of My way of teaching?” He could have been prompted to question why things had been arranged differently. But that wasn’t the song of the Lamb of God. His song harmonises with the song of Moses. He thanked God because He had an absolute conviction that God is right. I don’t exactly know how many thousand years Jesus was after Moses, yet there was a parallel in that both of them were teaching how God saw things, but a lot of people murmured. Because of having a close walk with God, both Moses and Jesus had this song.


A Sister was the only one in her country, so for a while she only had fellowship with visiting Workers. Then she travelled and had fellowship, then she went into this Work. A number of people made the comment, “She is so thankful.” One family was going through a difficult period when they lost their son; they were back to singing the song of their human nature, that this was not fair, it was unjust. That young Sister was in the area, and her life and the song of her spirit was able to touch the man in that family, and it was the first turning point because there was a song of thankfulness in her heart.


God saw her among all the millions in her country and God opened her eyes to reveal His way to her. It is not that God’s way is hidden to everybody, but when our attitude is right, God’s way becomes so clear. We are very thankful for every experience when God convinces us again that His way is so perfect; we can never come close with our own ideas. The day Jesus was singing that song in His heart was when the seventy new Workers had just come back to Him after being out preaching for a while. Luke 10:17, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name.'” That is the thing that caused Jesus to have a song in His heart. I thought of the new Workers’ list that comes out at Convention time when God’s servants are sent out to all the different areas. The year passes and they all come back to Convention again and it is lovely to see them come back with joy in their hearts.


From an earthly point of view, these seventy people had given up a life that would seem more normal and secure to go and tell people about Jesus. People ask all the usual questions and quite often, some people feel that we are not able to answer their questions adequately. But these seventy came back rejoicing, with a song of joy. It brings me great joy to see young Workers here. It is something that causes our hearts to rejoice and we feel, “God is still working, God still loves people on this earth.” They leave a life that is more normal, secure and predictable to put their lives on God’s altar, like those seventy who were dealing with some of the same people that murmured when Jesus talked to them, yet they came back with joy. Psalm 4:7, “Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.” David realised that there were things that give God’s children a song in their heart that is way beyond a song for things going well naturally.


I was in South Australia a few weeks back and had a chance to drive around the Barossa Valley. We came to a dam which has become famous for something the builders didn’t even think about. You can go to the far side of the dam and speak very softly and because of the curve of the wall, the sound of your voice is bounced off the wall right around to the far side. The voice bounces from point to point, and you hear the same voice at the other end. I am not sure how long it took, but it seemed like the other person’s voice speaks to you from about six metres away. We sing about the echoes of the songs of Heaven. Because we have physical limitations, the voice bounces. A few years ago, a lady in Colombia made her choice and not long after, she and her husband realised there was something wrong with their little girl who is a teenager now and cannot speak. This lady’s family were all Catholic and they were united in saying, “This is God punishing you because you have left the Catholic church,” and they tried to persuade her to go back to the faith of their fathers, but she wouldn’t.


One day, her brother went to have a talk with her and, because it was nice and warm, the windows were open and he could hear singing coming from inside the house. He stopped and listened, and she was singing this hymn, “I’m satisfied in Jesus now . . my soul has found a sure retreat, the lowly Jesus now is mine.” He was like Nicodemus, dumbfounded. “My sister has found out that her little girl has a serious limitation, how can this be?” He thought she should be thinking, “Why is God punishing me? Why has this happened?” He told her of his bewilderment and she tried to tell him a little about the joy God had given her that was even a greater joy than having a child who was completely healthy. He was amazed at her spirit and was thinking, “How do you learn something like this?”


The result was that he wanted to listen to the Gospel because this was such a mystery to him. A few years went by and he and his wife decided to serve God, then some of their children and more of the family circle decided to serve God. An echo happens when you speak and, depending on the surroundings, the voice is repeated. That lady was singing words that were not composed by her but she could identify with them, they became hers.


It is wonderful when the songs of Heaven become our songs. I understand that a servant of God wrote that hymn in Australia, and I also understand that the circumstances in which he wrote it were such that he could have been feeling sorry for himself, but it was an echo of the songs of Heaven coming from his heart. Those words were translated into Spanish, so way over the other side of the world, it became the song of this lady’s heart and because of that, those of her family have been touched by the same song. Her brother and his wife decided and last year the wife’s brother made his choice, all because of the songs of Heaven being echoed from life to life.


Revelation 4:10, “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.'”  Paul spoke about a crown that was prepared for those who love and serve God, and yet here we get a picture of the elders feeling so unworthy of such a crown.


It caused me to think about Matthew 25:34, “Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink, I was a stranger, and ye took Me in, naked, and ye clothed Me, I was sick, and ye visited Me, I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.' Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?'” When the love of God is reigning in a life, people are moved to think about other people, to visit somebody that really is needing comfort, and God rewards them so much that they actually come away feeling they are the ones who have gained from it.


A man in Colombia was injured after he was shot, his legs were paralysed and he was in hospital. It was going to be difficult to visit him as only his family were allowed to see him and the staff didn’t want any risk of infection brought in. His wife understood how much it meant for her husband to meet God’s people even though she is not one of God’s children, and she told the hospital staff it would mean a lot to him if we could go in for a visit, even for two or three minutes.She knew it would bring joy to her husband. So, we went into the ward and he was joined up to all sorts of tubes and things and he said, “How did you get in here?” I said, “The guide said if we were going in to say a prayer, we could enter.” He said, “If that is what you have come for, you don’t leave without praying.” It was like the Lord intervened and it was a very special visit. There was a song in his heart and it was the work of God’s Gospel, nothing else. I came away encouraged after just a few minutes visiting him. In very adverse circumstances, he had opportunity to rejoice and there was such a song in his heart that I left, walking on air. That is what Jesus said about the people on the right hand side of God. They are not going to say, “Think of all we did in our lifetime.” When God puts it in our heart to do something for someone we get such a reward, but we don’t feel we have done anything, rather that it has been a privilege.


A few years before I was willing to go into the Work, a Worker at Special Meetings said it was nice to hear people praying for those who are sick, and maybe it would also prompt people to think about visiting someone. There are times when we can pray and there are times when we can accompany our prayer with a deed. He also said, “It touches me when I hear younger people praying for Workers who are away from their families and homes. The Workers far away can be lonely. Did you ever think how you can help them?” At that time I had never written to a Worker and it opened the thought, “Yes, I can pray and maybe I can write a few lines.” I have now been on the receiving end of that after spending a few years in Romania before going to Colombia. Sometimes it is just a little message and I wonder, “Why would they think of me when I was a stranger in their land?”


It is wonderful to have these days at Convention, listening to the echoes of the songs of Heaven. We feel from our hearts, “This is my song,” and have the same thankfulness as Jesus had. When those seventy young Workers came back to Jesus, they would feel they hadn’t done anything much, yet there was Jesus with a song in His heart. It is wonderful to lift our eyes and think about how little actions that many people may never know about can cause Jesus to rejoice and to thank God that echoes from Heaven are still touching lives.


We don’t know how the song of our heart can touch another life and be like an echo. In that family I mentioned, I am not sure how many lives have been touched because of one lady accepting the Gospel and receiving a song in her heart. I am very thankful that this song has become the song of my heart, and that it has become the song of your hearts and we can feel as one.