We study the Bible and learn Scriptures and we attend church and join in the praise with the rest of the congregation. As time goes on we begin to feel as if we have transformed into a Christian. We made it! We feel good about ourself because we have absorbed so much and have come so far in our walk with God. But if we want to know just how much we actually believe from our studies, then we just need to watch our mouth!
When we are focused on a situation, it’s easy draw the right words from our head knowledge and speak what we think is in our heart. And because we do that, we tend to think that this is what we actually believe. But it’s the words we speak when we’re not paying attention or when we’re stressed or angry that will give us a good idea of how much of what we’ve learned has gone down into our heart, and how much is still just sitting there in our head.
Matthew 12:34 tells us that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So our minds may be learned and even programmed to speak a certain way, but when we’re caught off guard we tend to speak the words that come natural to our heart. And these words may really surprise us when we were sure that we didn’t think that way anymore. The truth is that we don’t “think” that way anymore, but we are deceived when our heart doesn’t know what our mind knows.
This is why many people will answer the call for salvation at a Christian rally and then go back into the world soon afterwards. Christians wonder how this is possible, how they could give up God so quickly. The truth is that the salvation message was a good idea and the thought remained in the mind to make it seem real, but it never got down into the heart and was never really accepted. So it’s not that the “new Christian” has turned his or her back on God; it’s that they never knew God in the first place. It was a good idea at the time, but there was never any heart-felt commitment to God.
And for those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, the battle goes on. The devil doesn’t care what’s in our head as long as it doesn’t get into our heart, and he will do everything possible to stop what we’ve learned from getting there. His greatest tool is deception. This is why we are tested throughout our walk with God—so that we can know what we actually believe in our heart. When stresses and challenges come our way, this is our opportunity to put our faith to work and we do this when we speak “out of the abundance of our heart”. This is when the truth of what we believe comes out.
It’s often very shocking to realize that we still have so much of the old way in us and that we don’t have the faith we thought we had. And when we’re caught in a situation and the words we speak are cursing, judgmental, offensive, accusing, aggressive, profane and hostile, then we know that the lessons on patience, loving our neighbour, being a good witness and a peacemaker for Christ are still in our head because our heart just proved otherwise.
Ideally, when we study the Bible, we should always ask for God’s blessing on it then so that His truth can get right into our heart. But often we study and learn things and just assume that they’re going into our heart, and it’s during these times of testing that we discover what’s really there. Fortunately, we can go to God and repent for what our mouths have said and ask God to help us take the truth we’ve learned in our head and put it into our heart. And God will do this because He loves us and He wants our hearts to be filled with His truth. He wants us to be His witnesses in this world.
- But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”—Matthew 12:36-37
We need to know what we really believe in our heart and the words we speak will give evidence to God’s truth in the good times AND in the trials that come against us. If we want to go forward in God’s ministry to help others and lead them to salvation, then it will only happen because we believe it first! Others will follow and many will be blessed because God is able to show Himself through what we truly believe in our heart!
And so, if we want to know just how much of God we believe, we just need to watch our mouth!
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
- Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He who does not put out his money at usury, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.—Psalm 15
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