Our words can do horrible damage. James said, “the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (Js. 3:6).
Our words can do holy work. Our words can praise God. John was given a vision of every creature saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13). Our words can preach Jesus. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
How can we stop doing horrible damage and start doing holy work? If our hearts are healed, then our words will be holy. Jesus said, “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart” (Matt. 15:18). The “new heart” is a key promise of Christianity. Ezekiel recorded God’s promise to give his people “a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 11:19 and again in 36:26). Ezekiel also records God’s command: “make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” (18:31).
Ezekiel 36:24-31 helps us to see how God works as our spiritual heart surgeon. God’s people had hardened their hearts against him. Because of their hard hearts, God punished their iniquities. But he is gracious.
- God promised redemption when he said, “I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land” (Ezek. 36:24).
- God promised forgiveness when he said, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you” (Ezek. 36:25).
- God promised sanctification when he said, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26).
- God promised his holy presence when he said, ” And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them” (Ezek. 36:27).
- God promised the covenant blessings when he said, “and ye shall dwell in the land” (Ezek. 36:28).
- God promised salvation when he said, “and I will save you from all your uncleannesses” (Ezek. 36:29).
The Great Physician can heal our hearts. He said “ye must be born again” (Jn. 3:3, 5, 6). We should continually pray “create in me a clean heart O God” (Ps. 51:10). Our hearts must be “cleansed…by faith” (Acts 15:9). Instead of jealousy and hatred which flow from insecurity, you are to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15).
With this new heart, we can turn from harm to holiness. Our mouths will no longer be filled with harmful words. Instead, we will be able to say, “My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day” (Ps. 71:8).