Its hard to articulate the state of my heart this morning. After hearing the news that justice was served in the trial, that the accused was found guilty on all counts, that vindication had finally come…I must admit I was in shock…it was an unusual mix of elation and sorrow.
Sorrow for the fact that I, under the influence of Sound Doctrine for 12 years, hurt so many people close to me…and all “in the name of Jesus”… Sorrow for those who are still deceived and held captive by the lies of the evil one…and at the same time, elation that this may be the beginning of the end for Sound Doctrine and WinePress, the end of the unrelenting and horrible abuse meted out on the poor, deceived followers of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Tim Williams.
When I read this devotional this morning, I was struck by this line…”But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.” And thus the bittersweet feeling lingering in my heart…I too clearly recall the chains of legalism and deception that kept me believing in a lie for so long…and so the sense of triumph is tempered with a serious recollection of my own part in promoting what I now know to be a lie from the pit of hell.
God has taught me a new song through it all, but it came at a great cost to many. As I close this door on my past and walk through the new door God has opened for me, I sing a song of God’s great faithfulness.
Streams in the Desert – May 30
“And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”
THERE are songs which can only be learned in the valley. No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung. Their music is in the heart. They are songs of memory, of personal experience. They bring out their burden from the shadow of the past: they mount on the wings of yesterday.
St. John says that even in Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth─the strain of redemption. Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free. But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.
No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can. To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do. None can learn it but the children of the Cross.
And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father. Thou art being educated for the choir invisible. There are parts of the symphony that none can take but thee.
There are chords too minor for the angels. There may be heights in the symphony which are beyond the scale heights which angels alone can reach; but there are depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.
Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow. I have heard many say that He sends sorrow to prove thee; nay, he sends sorrow to educate thee, to train thee for the choir invisible.
In the night He is preparing thy song. In the valley He is tuning thy voice. In the cloud He is deepening thy chords. In the rain He is sweetening thy melody. In the cold He is moulding thy expression. In the transition from hope to fear He is perfecting thy lights.
Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song.
“Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He’ll give you a new, sweet song.
He’ll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He’ll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.
“And many a rapturous minstrel,
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music,
` I learned it in the night.’
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father’s home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.”