The Overflow of the Heart
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
This verse has three main parts: it looks at our mouth, then our heart, and then why it is important for us to consider these things.
The average person speaks 7000 words a day - that is A LOT of words! It is hard to imagine that we have that much to say every day. But, as you speak or even before you speak, are you thinking about what you are actually saying? Do you consider how these words will be received? Are you thinking about the tone of your voice? David is prayerfully asking God that his words would be acceptable in the Lord’s sight. As we speak, we should be aiming to bring glory to God through our use of words that are acceptable to Him. If, as the Bible tells us, God knows everything about us (Ps. 139:1-7), then no word we speak escapes from His knowledge. With God knowing our every word, we need to be intentional in honouring Him in what we say as we speak to our parents, or our grandparents, or in the words that we type when we’re on our own. Given God’s perfect Word (Ps. 19:7-10) and the way that He has saved us through his Son, everything that we say needs to measure up to His perfect standard. This doesn’t mean that we won’t mess up: we all speak too quickly, too harshly, too thoughtlessly. Like David, we need to repent and pray that God would keep purifying us so that, more and more, our words honour God (Ps. 19:12-13). There are so many ways that we can do this: we can use our mouths to sing praise to God; we can talk to a friend and encourage them; we can tell our family how much we appreciate them; we can share the gospel with our neighbours. Are the 7000 words that you speak every day acceptable in God’s sight?
Our mouth, however, expresses what it is in our heart. We love to speak about the things that we love, don’t we? So: how can the words of our mouth be acceptable to God if our heart is not full of love towards him? Psalm 19 reminds us that being a child of God is so much more than just saying the right things. It is more than just saying the right answers or what we think others want to hear. It is more than flattering others. Acceptable words all come from the overflow of our hearts. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? This is a really clear way of working out what your heart loves and what your heart is meditating on. School? Friends? A relationship? Instagram? How much Netflix you can binge before bed? So often, our hearts are filled to the brim with these things. Really, they are idols: small things that we make into the big thing of our lives because we meditate on them, non-stop, in our hearts. But: because they are so small, they cannot satisfy us or make our words acceptable to God. God must be our central focus. He must be the mediation of our heart. How can we help focus our love on God? We can simply start by opening His Word. We need to read the Bible because it is the book that He has given us so that we can learn more about Him and grow in our love of Him. We can pray, using most of our 7000 words to talk to Him and ask for His help and strength. We can spend time with other Christians to encourage each other in our love of God. Are you living with God as the meditation of your heart?
Why do we need to make sure our mouths and hearts adore Him? Psalm 19:14 tells us that God is our rock. He is the firm foundation. We can depend on Him no matter what happens to us in life. Throughout the Psalms, we can see that God is David’s rock. God is always David’s source of stability, even as David walks through so many trials and temptations. Psalm 18 v 2, for example, reminds us that “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, stronghold.” Our words and our hearts matter because this God is the same God that we can know and trust today. He is worthy of all of our words and all of our love because He is not only our Rock: He is our Redeemer. He has given us Christ, in whom we can live freely and without fear, because of His death on the cross. As followers of Christ, knowing that we’ve been set free from sin, our biggest desire is to please God. The best way to do this is to listen to Psalm 19. Our hearts should meditate on His love so that everything we say, and sing, is to His glory.