Meditations of the Heart - David Mitts
Words and Meditations! Last chapter we spoke about using our speech for edification and not for criticism and judgments. In order to change the confession of our mouth, we need to deal with meditations of the heart. It is the meditations of our hearts that define our lives.
"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23
The key to heart diligence is the meditations of the heart. The Psalmist cries, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. The key here is the word acceptable. It sets the objective of the meditations.
In Hebrew, the word is derived from the root “ratz” which is derived from broken pieces of pottery. A broken piece or a shard would be used to deliver an important message or desire to another person. This would be delivered by a runner who would run to deliver the important message. This word picture informs us of the idea of what is meant by our meditations being acceptable.
First, they are broken like the shards of pottery they are written on. This is where we get the term heartbreak. There is a brokenness that is required for our heart to be acceptable in its meditations, a humility, a tenderness. Next, there is an urgency that requires a runner to be dispatched to bring the heart’s communication. This is such a potent picture that in contemporary Hebrew “rutz” means to run. To me, this reminds me not to allow my mind’s reasonings to become idle. Idle ruminations produce idle words.
"Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."" Matthew 12:34-37
Acceptable heart meditation is one that is on alert. This is different than the concept of zoning out meditation. The Lord tells us to be diligent with the meditations of our hearts.
Our meditations are revealed in our words. I have often found myself saying things that in retrospect, were careless and not well-intentioned words, what Yeshua called idle words which revealed an idle heart. It is a sobering thought to realize that we will all be judged by those very same words. Wow! It’s past time to pay attention to the meditations and the words.
How do we do that?
Paul in his letter to the Philippians tells us:
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." Philippians 3:12-16
This is the Apostle Paul speaking. When he states that he hasn’t attained what the goal of his salvation is, we would do well to heed these words. He says that he is pressing on to obtain something in his spiritual life, that was the goal of the cross. He goes on to say this attainment of the spirit that was worthy of the cross is connected to forgetting those things which are in the past. These memories are in conflict with the upward call of God.
We all have meditations in our hearts, which are routines that just run when we are in "neutral" and draw us away from the upward call of God. These are the thoughts of our spiritual Egypt that pull on us to keep us from our Promised Land. It’s much easier to get people out of Egypt than it is to get Egypt out of them. These are meditations of the heart that keep us from running the race set before us.
Paul is admonishing us as mature believers to be of one mind, the mind that is free of Egypt. This heart is intentional.
In the next chapter, Paul gives us another piece of the heart meditations:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
The end of the passage tells us that the goal is a heart that is protected, that is guarded. To get to this place we are encouraged to rejoice always. This is more than positive thinking. This is an attitude of joy as an offensive weapon of the spirit. How do we attack life with an attitude of joy? Through our meditations.
Our heart meditations are about being intentional. Paul describes this as prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Research has shown us that the heart responds to an attitude of gratitude by becoming more resilient to stress and change. This is called heart rate variability. A hardened heart physiologically is one that has difficulty with heart rate variability. The heart is a muscle, a very special muscle but still a muscle. Muscles not only have strength but also elasticity and flexibility. This is what stretching and yoga are all about. The heart however is somewhat unique in that it not only is a physical muscle that pumps our blood it also has neural fibers and acts as a brain in our chest.
At the Institute of Heart Math, this is called heart intelligence. “Heart intelligence is the flow of higher awareness and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into synchronistic alignment with the heart.” The Apostle Paul describes this quality of being by the term “gentleness”. He states let your gentleness be known by all men. This is the outward evidence of the inner heart quality of joy. When the heart is operating with true inner wisdom, it is grounded in joy and ceases from strife. Polarity-driven life of having to be right and fearing death and shame is replaced by joy and the outcome is a gentleness of manner and heart.
In this place, anxiety has been replaced by trust. We trust God and in that dialogue, we bring our requests to Him. Our trust in and through Him results in the shalom or peace that goes beyond what our intellect can discern about our situations in life. We may not know the immediate solution to life’s challenges but we trust the inner voice of the Lord that brings our intuition to bear.
The root of the term intuition stems from the Latin word in-tuir, which can be translated as “looking, regarding, or knowing from within.” We know from within that we will in due season find our way into the solutions that are the best.
The gateway to our intuition, our inner knowing is thanksgiving. By being thankful we affirm the truth of God’s love in our lives. This is true meditation.
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you." Philippians 4:8-9
Activation: Truth exercise. Ask God who am I to You?