"He sent His word and healed them, And rescued them from their destruction." Psalm 107:20 He sent His word and healed them. Chew on this for a moment while you read this next beauty. "So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life."
Proverbs 4:23 Have you ever considered that the bulk, if not all, of your challenges in life are a direct result of you? Put down your stones, I'm mostly talking to myself yet feel free to listen in and learn from my personal mistakes. Being a big fan of different bible translations, I found myself praying over my children recently from Proverbs 4, and looked at the Passion translation as I prayed over my youngest. What I read stunned me- no wait. Floored me? Yes, I think that is a better description. When one thinks about watching their words, of course we immediately understand that our words should be kind, helpful etc. We may fall under conviction of the Holy Spirit and post a cute little graphic with something like "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" so that we are reminded and gently reminding our peer group to watch our mouth, so to speak. Yet rarely, no, never, have I stopped to assess how my life's challenges could be a direct result of my own mouth. Upon further review, I can say with certainty that roughly 99.9999% of the challenges I have faced, and currently face are a direct result of my loose lips and careless whispers. In Proverbs 4 we find a father pleading with his son to listen to him, to remember his teachings and words. We ought to rightly look to that is our Father pleading with us to not lose sight of His words to us. Is it me, or is asking someone to not lose sight of words odd? As we read on we come to a quite famous and oft quoted passage- Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. There are a few different variations of this and while that is lovely, sometimes quoting from anything other than original texts causes us to lose the brevity of it. Have a look at the word heart. The Hebrew word levav is the most common word for heart which includes our thoughts, our wills, our discernment, and our affections. From now on, each time you see the word heart, look and see is it this word and if so, remind yourself what the Word says about your will, discernment, affections and most of all, thoughts. We can read the passage in this way then, 'so above all guard your thoughts, wills, discernment, and affections for they affect all that you are'. Interesting, we are to carefully guard (keep, watch over, preserve from dangers) our thoughts, will, discernment and affections because everything about us seems to hang on this. We move on to the wellsprings, springs or issues of life and I hope you pause and take a deep breath as you study this with me. Although most translations have the issues of life, the Hebrew word yasa is actually seasons, especially springtime. If you know about the Hebrew mind and seasons you understand that during the spring (think the feasts we celebrate) this is a time of deliverance and great joy! So out of your heart (levav) flow the seasons of life. It is our hearts, not our time we live in or circumstances, that shape the seasons of our lives. If our hearts are tender to God, we can live in perpetual springtime. Did she just write live in perpetual springtime? Oh yes, yes I sure did. Again, stones and false doctrines down please. Allow me to use scripture to back up scripture. Psalm 1:3 says "and he will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its seasons ('eth) and its leaf does not wither and in whatever he does he prospers." Fruit springs forth in Spring. The Lord calls us to produce fruit, good fruit, fruit that remains- healing fruit, fruit that gives life. The Word of the Lord says the leaves and fruit are for food and healing. Psalm 1 tells us the way to get this kind of fruit- not walk in counsel (form of speech) with the wicked, stand in path of sinners nor sit in the seat of scoffers (also, people scoff only with their mouths). Fruit, in this context when we rightly understand the Hebrew mind, we know that it is an example of growth and increase and it yields at the appointed time. Spring is my favorite season. The trees in full bloom, colors that dazzle the sight and smells, oh! Nothing better than a budding rose coming to life and producing its signature aroma. Yet for our natural world, this time only comes for about three months. In the spiritual realm however, it's an ongoing season- one that our Messiah told us would happen if only we abide, remain in Him. And when we remain in Him and He in us, we will spring forth life giving fruit- beginning from our mouths. Matthew 12:35 says this;“When virtue is stored within, the hearts of good, upright people will produce good fruit. But when evil is hidden within, those who are evil will produce evil fruit." The Hebrew Matthew reads "truly the heart awakens and the mouth speaks". The heart awakens and the mouth speaks. Indeed. When you consider the Word was sent out by the Father in order to heal His people, and we are a people created in the image of God, wouldn't we be wise to carefully guard what we say? And if we have anything unsavory in our lives, whether it is a financial situation, or a wayward child, or even, a virus that befalls a globe, how these things affect us is all within our power by the words we say. "The economy is bad", you say. Well friend, I say to you, the Word of God says that we can sow seed and reap a hundred fold- even during famine. "My child is making foolish choices", you wail. Again, I must bring before you the Word- don't call anyone a fool, number one because it's the same thing as murder, and second- call forth the promises the Lord has given you over that child. Don't even discuss the choices you don't want to see only the potential the Lord sees in them. Too many of us get caught up, (read hung up) on facts yet neglect truth far too often. "The world has gone nuts and they might require me to get a poke in order to do x,y,z.", you declare. Oh, dear reader, I declare to you, that by saying those words and declaring this to be so, you have aligned with what you do not want simply by stating the words. When we speak out something we do not want to see whether we mean to or not, we declare that thing to be thus and it is so- so says the Word of God. Guard your words. Begin to align with that which you do desire, and cease from saying what you do not. You need healing? The word of God has a lot to say about how He WILL heal you. Say it, declare it, remind Him of His promise. Oh and if you've been taught something about the Lord not healing always on this side of heaven, I'm going to require you to back that up with scripture. He sent His word and He healed them. The last verse in Proverbs 4 is this; "Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words. Be free from using perverse words no matter what!" We all tend to think we don't lie, yet when we speak out the opposite of what His word says and declares, we lie. We use dishonest speech and frankly, it is a perverse thing to do so. Now it's your turn- what careless words have slipped from your lips? What we all must grasp is that we will produce fruit, but is it fruit we desire. If your life is not in the place you think it ought to be, likely, it's you. Jesus gets such a bad wrap because we blame Him for all the misgivings and mishaps in our lives and yet He's probably like 'oh huh uh, that's not Me, that all you." What if we didn't blame Him anymore for our junk but laid on our faces in utter repentance for spewing words that killed and tore down rather than healed and built up? It's not the economy, it's not your children, it's not your spouse, it's not the Church, it's not the media, (oh sweet Lord it is not the media), it's you. It's me. It's how we use our mouth, the speech, the words. If you're ready to receive healing whether physical, emotional or spiritual in nature, start by confessing the useless, worthless and untrue words you have uttered. Ask Him to heal any damage you have caused by speaking such words. Pray the Lord redeems the time wasted from investing in useless lies and ugly words. After all, our Lord is in the business of healing and restoration, I imagine He is just waiting for you to ask.