The Beat of Heaven's Drum

Posted on 10/01/2017 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

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lyrics by Henry van Dyke
music by Ludwig van Beethoven

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o'er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.

by Benjamin R. Faust

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path

No longer do we walk in darkness
No longer do we walk in darkness
No longer do we walk in darkness

For you have called us out of darkness
into your marvelous light
We turn our backs on what is wrong
and choose to do what's right

Your blood is flowing through my veins
to cleanse until all that remains
Is clay that's molded
through the pains of life

Your Spirit blows into these bones
to claim this temple as its home
And starts a fire
that soon becomes a blaze

by Frances J. Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
born of His Spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting, looking above
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***

A few weeks ago we discussed the truth that, while you might see yourself or some others as lesser or not as important, each one of us is a priceless, beautiful instrument who can play notes that no one else can play the way we do.

And two weeks ago, we talked about the importance of being in tune with ourselves, with others, and with God.

Today, I'd like for us to continue this topic, as we consider another area of harmony that is vital for contributing the level of excellence to the Symphony of Life that God created you to play.

You've probably heard the phrase, "Marching to the beat of a different drum." This can mean "doing things in one's own way regardless of societal norms and conventional expectations," or, "doing things unconventionally."

Well today, I'd like for us to discuss what it means to march to The Beat of Heaven's Drum, and why it is important for us to do so.

So, how important is timing?

Different songs have different rhythms. Some songs speed up or slow down their rhythm at some point in the song.

And occassionally hitting a note a little off beat probably isn't that big of a deal. It makes it seem more real. In fact, some digital music creation software packages include an option to "humanize" the piece so it's not absolutely perfect, making it feel more natural, as though real people actually played it.

But we're not talking about making mistakes. And as you can hear, if each instrument plays a different tempo, even if they are all playing the perfect notes, the song quickly turns into something confusing that doesn't convey what the composer wanted to express.

Of course, ultimately, the Great Composer, being God, expresses Himself through everything He has created, and His Nature, His Person, His Radiant Essense, is Love. Pure, Perfect, Intense, and All-Consuming Love.

So, how can we find the proper tempo so we more accurately express Perfect Love both inside and in the world around us?

Last time, we talked about being tuned to Love, tuned within, and tuned to those around us by not being judgemental, and by not fighting against what we are being given in This Moment.

But as you can hear, playing the wrong tempo, the wrong timing, or, you could say, playing your notes at the wrong time, is missing the mark of Love.

So what does it actually mean, in practical terms, to be in or out of tempo?

Well, here's an example. Let's say someone is anxious to find romance. They go on dates, waiting for some sort of spark of magic.

And then it happens. They connect on some level with someone, and they both feel an intimate attraction. One thing leads to another, and they share what should only be shared between husband and wife.

Because the romantic attraction is so strong, and their involvement has created emotional ties, they tend to overlook the flies in the ointment.

First of all, if someone compromises their sexual purity BEFORE they are married, statistics show us that they are more likely to compromise their sexual morality AFTER marriage, which is something we call and extra-marital affair.

For me, that manifested in my being cheated on by every partner I've had in the past.

They might also overlook things such as an addiction to alcohol or drugs, an abusive personality (which is often toned down during the courting process), or a lack of empathy, compassion, or some other manifestation of the lack of a close walk with God.

With music, being just a little off-tempo doesn't matter at first. But as time goes on, it can become unbearable.

So what can be done? More specifically, what can be done about the past?

In a word, NOTHING. You can't change the past. The past is only memories inside the head. And spending time regretting the past and imagining how things would be different now if you had only done things differently, is, in itself, out of tempo.

And what I mean by that is this: spending energy fighting what has already happened is energy that is directed at the WRONG TIME.

It is out of tempo. And it creates discord and inner turmoil.

If you are in a marriage whose history fits some part of the description we just examined, and you are experiencing the negative effects of those unheeded warnings from the past, stop looking behind you. Things are as they are right now, and fighting against them only causes you and others unnecessary suffering.

Instead, do the right thing right now, whatever that might be. Show compassion, understanding, tollerance, kindness, selflessness, and the other characteristics of Divine Love to that person, no matter how undeserving your mind tells you they are.

Or maybe you're just in a relationship. Are you pure? And I don't mean, have you been pure in the past. I mean, right this moment, are you sexually pure? And when the time of temptation become the Present Moment, what do you do?

Giving into temptation is doing things at the wrong time. It causes confusion, and muddies your ability to do the right thing, throwing your tempo off in other areas of your life as well.

And allowing yourself to get into situations that lend themselves TO that temptation is just as foolish as giving into the temptation.

So the right thing to do right now, if that "right now" is a time in which you choose to either play with temptation or stay away from it, is to stay away.

The feelings of romance are wonderful. But they will not stay the same as they are right now for long. Be wise. Do the right thing right now without any compromises. That's the only way to march to The Beat of Heaven's Drum.

I've heard people say things such as, "If I keep waiting for the right person, it will be too late." And so they settle for a relationship with someone who is not walking moment-by-moment with God.

But once again, their energy is misplaced. Instead of being directed to the past like someone who lives with regret, their attention is directed to the future, resulting in fear.

But just as the past does not exist beyond memories in the head, so the future is only a fantasy. It is not real. It does not exist.

And along those lines, let's consider someone who comforts their present-day sin with the thought that they will probably get married, and then they won't be sinning anymore.

But that takes us back to our first example. You are doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Doing so is out of tempo. And being out of tempo, doing things at the wrong time, causes confusion. And as a result, you are very likely to make the wrong choices.

And if you're thinking that it won't ALWAYS be sin, then THAT is out of tempo TOO. Remember, the future does not exist, so taking the right action in the future is taking the right action at the wrong time. In fact, taking ANY action in the future is not taking that action at all. For you can only act in the Present Moment. Anything else is a fantasy in the head.

In the 21st chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus tells this parable:

Matthew 21:28-32 (NASB)

28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.'
29 And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went.
30 The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, 'I will, sir'; but he did not go.
31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you."

So the second son said of the near future, "I will do such-and-such." But when the time imagined about the future became the Present Moment, he did not keep his word.

The imagined actions concerning the future weren't important. The only thing that mattered was what they did in the present moment. The time to work in the vineyard was not right that moment. And so going to work in the vineyard was not the right thing to do. When the time DID come, the right thing to do was to get up, go to the vineyard, and work.

And right now, the right thing for you to do, if you're in a relationship, is to be sexually pure, and pure in all other ways, RIGHT NOW.

Otherwise, you are dishonering that other person, you are dishonering yourself, you are dishonering your relationship, and you are dishonering God.

God doesn't care if you say, "I will go work in the vineyard; I will do the right thing," if you actions do not line up in this Present Moment.

Okay. So that's just one example. The possible examples are practically endless. But the point is this:

If you are worrying about the future, regretting the past, or justifying your wrong actions by placing the RIGHT actions into the non-existent future, then you are OUT OF TEMPO.

And as a result, even if you think you can, you cannot see clearly. You are out of sync with righteousness, and the pieces of the puzzle of your life CANNOT fit together properly.

And your perception of the elements of your life's story will not be in sync. The pieces will be off tempo, and there will be some level of confusion, and the resulting reduction in your ability to make the right choices.

But if you step back... if you don't fight all the out-of-tempo pieces, and instead just step back and take your attention away from all the stuff in your head...

...and that's what it all is. If you look around you where you are right now, 99% of the things that have been going through your head are imaginations about things that are out of place -- things that are not here and now.

...and if you take a step back, and see all those out-of-time pieces for what they are -- imaginations inside your head, thought forms -- and instead you just do whatever is the right thing to do right now in the place you are -- then you will be, in this Present Moment, in tempo.

What is the moral thing to do? What is the compassionate thing to do? What is the kind thing to do? What is the Divinely Loving thing to do right here and right now?

THAT is proper timing -- playing the right note, and playing it at the right time.

And when you live in this way, things begin to line up, and the confusion begins to fade away.

As Proverbs 3:5-6 (TLS*) says,

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not dwell in or rely upon your own understanding.
6 Know Him in all things, and He will direct your paths, making them plain and straight.

And when you discover that you have, once again, gotten lost in the past or future, giving your energy of attention and action to the wrong time, which is any time that is not right now, don't fight against it. Don't label it a failure. Don't label YOURSELF a failure.

Instead, just let it be, and bring your attention back into the Now.

One thing that will help you do this, and we've talked about this before, is to come back home. Return your attention into the Temple of God -- the home of clay where you and God reside. And feel His Breath there -- the warmth, the energy.

In that place, you are intimately dwelling with God -- with Love.

It is in the perfect timing, the perfect tempo, the perfect place. And the decisions that come, as they come, will, in their proper time and place, become clear.

"And He will direct your paths, making them plain and straight."

So let the confusion be, and return Home to the Temple of God in the Now realm of Timeless Eternity, and march, step by step, to The Beat of Heaven's Drum.