Saturday, April 2, 2016

My Heart Speaks

               Sometimes words just fly out of my mouth. They just come up from inside me and out the come. A few weeks ago, my mouth ran off without me, I said some things that hurt the person I was in conversation with and I got convicted. I told the person that I had hurt with my words that I was just kidding, I didn’t really mean what I had just said. But in the depths of my being, as I was making excuses for my mouth, I heard “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 15:18) My true feelings for this person just came out of my mouth. I could try as much as I wanted to convince them that it was all in jest, but God knew my heart. He knew my true thoughts and feelings for this person and what came out of my mouth convicted me to the core, because it revealed to me my true feelings.
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   Since this happened, I have been struggling in my walk. I have been struggling to read His word. I find myself wrestling with this bitterness that the Lord revealed to me by what I had spoken. I didn’t even realize that bitterness had taken root till the words just came flying out of my mouth. Now, I just can’t seem to get past this aching feeling that my relationship with the Lord is hindered by this most recent wrestling match with sin.
               I have been praying and seeking and asking the Lord why there seems to be this rift between us. Why can’t I seem to get into His word? Why does it feel like His Word is falling on deaf ears and blind eyes? During the day I think about ways that I can get back on track. I have this thought that if I rearrange my office then that will give me a fresh perspective on things, and I will be able to focus more. I have made a plan to get my spiritual life back on track and I went to the Lord today to tell Him all about it. But, as I was showing Him my brilliant ideas for getting back into His Word, this scripture passed over my heart, and I was broken, once again, before Him.
               “Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisee’s, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
 Matthew 23:25 ESV
               I am trying so hard to change my surroundings instead of changing what is truly and clearly the issue. My heart. We can rearrange our lives and make all the changes on the outside, but until we get real with ourselves and face up to the simple truth that we have a heart issue, our spiritual lives will continue to be dry and we will be left wanting.
               My heart needs to be dealt with. I can rearrange my office, put up post-it notes with scriptures to motivate me, and even turn my phone off to avoid distractions, but none of these things will matter one wit if I don’t face up to the truth that my heart is in dire need of God’s cleansing. You can go out on the Internet and find all the “How to” books on getting your life right with God. There are books on how to make time for study, how to organize your days to make more room for God, how to rearrange this part of your life, or that part of your life. If only you would do this, then it would all fall into place and some miraculous ray of light would shine down from heaven and you would finally walk this spiritual life with power and righteousness. Let’s be real that will never happen because it is not about the outside of the cup and plate, it’s all about the inside!
               When those words flew out of my mouth that day I knew that no amount of rearranging was going to help me. The only thing that I needed to do was come clean before God, admit that sin had taken up residence in my heart towards this person and get right before Him once again. It was not the position of my furniture that was causing this rift in my relationship with the Lord, it was the position of my heart, it was my sin.
               “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person…”
 Matthew 15:19-20
               Have you ever really listened to what comes out of your mouth? I was appalled at what I had said, and once I said it there was no taking it back. The person that was the victim of my sin was hurt and I could see it all over their face. My heart was not only revealed to me at that moment, but it was revealed to them. My words told them what was truly in my heart in regards to how I felt about them and what I thought about them! God is not concerned about the outside of my cup and plate, because that part of me is going to die and a new one will be put in its place. God only cares about the inside of me, my heart. I can wash all I want of the outside of my life; I can go to church, say all the right things and do all the right things, and be whatever I think God wants me to be on the outside. But the truth of who we are and what we are comes from our hearts and reveals itself to us through our mouths, and our thoughts.

               The heart of man is his mind, will and emotions. It is the place where sin takes up residence and affects every aspect of our lives. But the heart is also the place where God meets with us. It is the place where God reveals our sins, the deep hidden sins we didn’t even know were there. Jesus reminds us that no matter what we do or say on the outside, who we truly are is hidden on the inside. If you want to know your heart, listen to the words that come from it. Listen to your thoughts about the people in your life. What your thoughts and words speak, that is what you truly believe, that is what you truly feel for them. Out of the abundance of the heart your mouth speaks. What is your heart speaking to you today?