Monday, September 4, 2006

The Heart/Mouth Connection

You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have tried me and have found nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
(Psalm 17:3)
There is a very important spiritual connection between your heart and your mouth. Jesus said that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Whatever is in your heart in abundance, that is what is going to come out of your mouth, especially when the heat is on.

Jesus also taught His disciples, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23). Here, we see the heart represented by what we believe, and the mouth by what we say.

The apostle Paul recognized the importance of the heart/mouth connection. Quoting from Deuteronomy 30:14, he says this:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)
The reason the heart/mouth connection is so important is because that is how faith works, and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). With the heart, we believe; with the mouth, we confess — and that greatly pleases God.

So David says to the Lord, “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” Here is how other versions render it:

The Hebrew word for “tried” literally means to fuse, as a metal, and refers to a refining process, such as that of a goldsmith. When God visits you and examines your hearts, is not in order to condemn you, but to refine you. It is not just about what He finds in you, but also about He removes from you, and what He fuses into you.

This is a 24/7 process. Much of it takes place in the night, while we are on our beds, and our hearts are more receptive. Of the righteous man, it is said, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). David said, “I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night season” (Psalms 16:7). That is why Clement of Alexandria could say, “For the saints, even their slumber is prayer.” The counsel of the Lord speaks to our hearts, even at night, and our hearts instruct us. God visits and refines us.

“I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” When we let the Lord do His refining work in us, our hearts become filled with His purpose, and His purpose becomes our purpose. When that purpose fills our heart in abundance, it will overflow from our lips and our mouths will speak the purposes of God.

When your heart is lined up with the heart of the Father, the words of your mouth will have a powerful, life-giving quality that floods you with light. When the words of your mouth line up with the Word of God in your heart, they will bring forth an explosion of faith that changes the world. What have your purposed in your heart?

(See also, My Mouth Shall Not Transgress and His Words, Your Mouth)