My dear friend and spiritual mentor sends a daily Bible verse to a group of people. It’s the one email I open every single day. This morning she sent a verse that is commonplace to anyone who has spent much time in God’s Word. The temptation when we read familiar verses is to pridefully skim. We may think to ourselves, “Oh, I know this one,” and move right on by. Or maybe it’s just me?
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
I memorized this verse years ago. I’ve prayed it back to the Lord. I’ve read it to my kids. I’ve written it on index cards and taped to my mirror. This verse is like a cozy blanket in the dead of winter to me. However, today, the Lord halted my prideful skim.
I am careful not to put words to God’s mouth by claiming “God said to me,” I feel this is highly overused when we want to put authority to our thoughts, plans, or actions. Not always, but at times. But as I read this verse today, I felt God hold up the stop sign. “Are your meditations pleasing to me?”
Meditation, according to dictionary.com, is continued, extended thought, contemplation, reflection.
What am I giving extended thought to? For me it is my worries. I have so many worries for my kids as all parents do. I want the very best for them. I spend countless hours contemplating their lives, futures, current choices, paths, etc.
Your meditations may be different. Maybe you spend extended thought on regret. Maybe it is on coddling your unforgiveness or bitter thoughts. Maybe it’s to the insane political climate. Maybe it’s to your pleasure and entertainment. Maybe it’s to envying what you see around you. Maybe it’s to your future and your path. Maybe it’s to good things, maybe it’s to bad things.
What I’m pondering in my heart, will eventually make its way out of my mouth.
Are the words coming out of my mouth pleasing to the Lord?
What comes out is indicative of what is stored in our hearts. Be careful what comes into your heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Wow, above all else. How important does God believe we should guard our hearts. It determines the course of our very lives.
Back to my original pondering today. What am I meditating on? Is it pleasing to the Lord? I may control, to a degree, what comes out of my mouth and feel that is pleasing to the Lord, but what am I tossing around in my heart. Is THAT pleasing to the Lord?
Lord, I confess my pride often when I approach your Word. You are limitless and full truth. Your Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. Thank you for your Word that convicts and guides. You are so good to us. Forgive me, Lord, for the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart that are not pleasing to You. Soften my heart and gentle my words. Create in me a new heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Help me place all my worries at your feet so I’m not tempted to meditate on my problems more than I meditate on the truth of your Word. Amen
P.S. One practical tool I’m using currently is to turn my worries into spoken prayers. I’m trying to retrain my brain to turn to God before myself. Each time I realize I’m fostering a worried thought, I whisper it back to God and pray about it. Worry won’t change my problems. God can. But even if He doesn’t change the circumstance, He will change my heart in the process.