Sunday, February 3, 2013

Integrity of Heart, Purity of Mouth

UV 656/10,000 Integrity of Hearts and Mouths “You have tested my heart; You have visited me by night; You have tested me and You find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” Proverbs 17 v 3 David’ s central focus in life was not power or position or wealth but His relationship and intimacy with the Lord. The Lord tested his heart in the furnace of afflictions and his heart came forth as gold despite the fact that he had fallen into adulterous sin with Bathsheba. He found no iniquity or shortcoming in his attitudes towards Him. That is why the Lord certified like a master goldsmith that David had a heart after His own. Likewise the Lord examines the heart of everyone who claims to be His. He proves their hearts. He tries them. He refines and purifies our hearts through adversity. He visits us during these times to check our heart attitudes: are we complaining and resentful? Or are we faithful and hopeful? Without this test, we cannot be the best. David purposed in his heart that he would not sin with his mouth. In other words, he made a deep and sincere commitment not to err with his tongue. In short, he was aiming at perfection for as St James wrote, “ The man who bridles his tongue is perfect and can bring his whole body under control.” Every word spoken must be thought through, measured and used with precision. The Word provides us the reins to control our mind, mouth and tongue. We too need to vow to ourselves that we will not offend or sin with our mouths. Next to the integrity of the human heart and mind, the Lord looks for discipline of our mouths and tongues. We must not utter a word to hurt or harm or discourage or malign others. We must not speak falsehood or untruth. In this same uni-verse, there is a reference to heart and mouth. If we want to work on our mouths, we need to start with our hearts. For as Jesus said, “ The mouth will speak what the heart is full of.” We need to constantly clear our hearts of the debris of the past- bitterness, envy, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, fear, greed, lust, ingratitude and evil. We need to fill it with the fruit of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,humility,self control and wisdom. We must not only not sin with our mouths, we must also use it to edify, encourage, build others for the Kingdom of God. This is not a easy discipline- it is something I have failed consistently in, over the past many years. The tongue without discipline is like a wildly galloping horse, now running this way and now running that way, unmindful of the damage caused to anything and anyone in the way. But, we must hide His Word in our hearts and under our tongues. The Word constitutes the saddle and bridle and reins. We must then ask the Holy Spirit to ride on our tongues and to crack the whip when we go wrong. When we do this consistently day after day, we will go places for God. Therefore, let us purpose in our hearts that we will not transgress with our mouths hereafter. Prateep V Philip

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