Addressing the Issues of Our Heart

A fire begins with a small spark; but when conditions are favourable it catches on and turns into an inferno!!

The Tongue is a Fire

God knows that when there is an issue going on deep within our hearts; that it needs to be addressed. And He has given each one of us a very powerful weapon or tool to do just that. It is the instrument of our tongue. Though a very small instrument it is capable of great things!

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark”.

(James 3:3–5)

This Scripture describes the affect that even a small instrument can have on something far greater when it is put to use in the right place. In this passage, James goes on to describe the tongue as a fire, able to set the whole course of a person’s life, simply by what it says. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).

In the context of these verses, Paul is referring to the negative effect our tongues can have and its consequences. But what if this small spark, this fire, were used for something good? What if it were used to set the course of our lives in a positive direction, to bring us into freedom and to accomplish great and unstoppable things?

A fire begins with a small spark; but when conditions are favourable it catches on and turns into an inferno!!

Proverbs describes the tongue as having a power – the power of life and death. Proverbs also tells us, that either for good or for bad – our words will bear fruit.

Use your words intentionally and use your words for good!

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.

(Proverbs 18:21)

Fight With the Words of Your Mouth

King David describes very well what goes on within us when there is an ongoing issue within our hearts. He makes a very wise choice in setting a guard over his mouth to keep his tongue from sin. But he also makes a very interesting statement about what happened when he refrained from saying anything good. “I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.’ But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue” (Psalm 39:1–3).

  • When David did not say anything good – his anguish increased!
  • Remaining silent does not address the issues in our hearts.
  • Frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, identity issues, unbelief and anything else we struggle with, will not go away until we address it with the truth!

It is not enough to just keep silent and avoid saying anything bad – We need to fight with the words of our mouth and to speak into our situation what is positive and true as well. There is one thing that is certain and unwavering in the midst of all difficulty – and that is the truth of God’s Word! Because David did not address the issue in his heart by saying anything good – His heart grew hot within him and as he meditated (thought on it) the fire burned!!

What we meditate or think on (either consciously or subconsciously) directly affects our emotions.

Our thoughts not only affect how we feel about God and others – they affect how we feel about ourselves. For better or for worse – we Become what we Believe and Think about ourselves. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).

  • We address the issues in our hearts by fighting with our words.
  • We bring our hearts into agreement by speaking God’s Word.
  • Where our hearts are in agreement our emotions will follow.

What’s Your Heart’s Issue?

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out”.

(Proverbs 20: 5)

Trying to pinpoint and understand the issues within our hearts can be an evasive thing. But out of the overflow of our heart our mouth speaks. So if you want to gain insight into the issues of your heart – take note of your words! “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Matthew 12:34 & 35).

David said, that as he meditated, the fire burned; then he spoke with his tongue. “As I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3).

Meditating, whether on good things or bad is like stoking a fire. Sooner or later, what we meditate on, will come out of our mouths!

Are your words, words of life? Are they words of forgiveness, provision, faith, healing and hope? Do your words line-up with the Word of God? Wrong words make our heart unclean and cause our circumstances to grow worse. Jesus said, “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean’” (Matthew 15:11).

  • When we speak wrong or negative words – we damage our lives and the lives of those who receive them.
  • We have the power to bring restoration and life by speaking the truth of God’s Word!
  • So where you need to – change your words!

God’s Word Reveals Our Hearts

Our spirit is that part within us, which at the moment of receiving Christ is completely made new and born again. God’s seed remains within us. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God” (1 Peter 1: 23).

Our soul, on the other hand, is comprised of our mind, our will and emotions. It is that part of us that, by faith, needs transforming on a continual basis to be conformed to the truth of God’s Word. The division of soul and spirit becomes apparent when we read the Word of God. His Word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts and compares them to both the truth of His Word and to the imperishable seed that resides within us.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God, but until God’s Word reveals it, it may be hidden from us

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”.

(Hebrews 4:12 & 13)

That means that when we read or hear God’s Word (the Bible), any thoughts, attitudes, decisions or emotions that don’t line-up with the truth of God’s Word are exposed and brought into the light. But we won’t become aware of those things unless we know the Word!

  • Through God’s Word the Holy Spirit brings our hearts to light!
  • God’s truth is established within us as we meditate on His Word.

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stands in the way of sinners, or sits in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” .

(Psalm 1:1-3)

Faith Comes by Hearing the Word

All of life – our choices, attitudes, actions and words – stem from what we believe within our hearts. King David said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4: 23, NIV). Or “for out of it are the issues of life” (KJV).

The Bible even says that we think from within our hearts: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV).

Then out of our hearts our mouth speaks! “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”
(Matthew 12: 34).

  • What we believe affects the way we think.
  • What we think affects our words.

So, how do we bring the beliefs and thoughts of our hearts into line with God’s Word? We come into agreement by using our words! The Apostle Paul says that faith comes when we hear the Word of God. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17, NKJV).

We cause our faith to grow by both speaking and hearing His Word.

The more we speak God’s Word, the more we hear it. And the more we hear it, the more our faith grows in His Word. David knew the importance of words. When he ‘made right’ his words, he ‘made right’ his beliefs and the thoughts of his heart as well. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).

For more on the power of the tongue, you may also like to read; “The creative power of words”, “False prophecy in the church” and “Overcoming the spirit of Baal.”

If you have never made the decision to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, but would like to begin a relationship with God through Christ today, please click here to find out how.

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If you would like to have a relationship with God through accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please pray the prayer below.

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for the sins I have committed and I ask You to forgive me. I now turn away from all the things that I know to be wrong and I receive Your Holy Spirit and Your gift of eternal life. Thank You for this free gift of Salvation and eternal life. Help me to come to know and experience Your love for me more and more, and to now share the love You have given me with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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What next: Once we have started our relationship with Christ – it is important that we continue to grow in our understanding of Him, and experience His love for us on a regular basis. God does this for us as we read the Bible, which I encourage you to do on a regular basis, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand it and make it “come alive” to you in a very personal way. May I encourage you to do this every day, and to actively pursue those things that God reveals to you. We also need to be spending time with other like-minded Christians on a regular basis, who are also growing in their relationship with God. We gain encouragement from being with other growing believers. Ask God to lead you to a Bible-believing church (or Bible-believing Christian group) that will encourage your relationship with Christ and help to meet your needs. Ask Him, and trust that He will guide you to the place of fellowship that is right for you.

May God both work in you and through you, those things that He desires, as you continue to submit your life to Him each day.