Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Door of Your Mouth, The Gate of Your Heart

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing.
(Psalm 141:3-4)
Consider the power of the mouth, or more precisely, our words. Words called the world into existence (Hebrews 11:3). God created us to exercise dominion over His Creation by our words. For example, Adam called forth the character and destiny of the animals by naming them (see Having Dominion). The Hebrew word for “speak,” dabar, means to arrange or subdue. Be careful, your mouth is a loaded weapon.

Yes, we need a guard to stand watch over our mouths. But David, the psalm writer, takes us to the heart of the problem, which is the … heart!
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing.
You see, there is a strong, inviolable connection between the mouth and the heart. Jesus said that it is out of the abundance, or overflow, of the heart that the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If you want to know what is in somebody’s heart in abundance, just listen to their mouth for a little while and you will soon find out. This is particularly true in pressure situations.

Paul also noted this powerful heart/mouth connection. “With the hear one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).

So as much as David desired God to set a guard over his mouth, he realized even more than something had to be done about the state of his heart, for that was the real problem.
Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
To practice wicked works with men who work iniquity;
And do not let me eat of their delicacies.
(Psalm 141:4)
Proverbs reinforces this point:
Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
(Proverbs 23:6-7)
Now, here is an example of the mouth speaking something different from the heart. And the mouth can certainly disguise the heart for a time — some people know how to tell a lie. But the truth eventually comes out, for the mouth with slip up and give away the heart.

Our hearts can be deceived very easily by evil if we allow ourselves to be lulled by delicacies. A delicacy is something your put in your mouth. Think “words.” What are the words you put in your mouth. The devil, your adversary, wants you to put his words in your mouth. But if you do, you will begin to think his thoughts and walk in his ways.

We were created to think higher thoughts and walk in higher ways, those of God. The words of the devil may sound sweet and beguiling, but you will not like where they take you — Adam and Eve certainly didn’t.

That is all the more reason why we must keep our own hearts. The Hebrew word for “think,” in Proverbs 23:7, literally means to act as a gatekeeper. The careless words we allow in our mouth eventually settle in our heart. Then when they are in our heart in abundance, they come forth with great destructive power.

How much better it is to fill your heart and your mouth with the Word of God. When you do, Jesus said you can move mountains.

Guard both your heart and your mouth with the promises and purposes of God. Speak them to your inner being, with great intent and focus, until your mouth begins to overflow with words of light and life. Then you will know that you are walking in faith.