Proverbs 4:23 NKJV Keep your heart with all diligence, For out if it spring the issues of life.
Have you ever heard someone say, “oh, she's just got issues”? One of the writers of Proverbs, the book in the Bible that we consider as “the book of wisdom”, states in this verse that it is out of the heart, man's inner being, that “issues” arise. And that all of us have them!
Issues – Hebrew word towtsaah or totsaah – means (only in plural collective) exit, i.e. (geographical) boundary, or (figuratively) deliverance, (actively) source -- border(-s), going(-s) forth (out), issues, outgoings.
The word actually comes from the root word yatsa which means to go or come out. So the issues in the heart of man are things that go or come out such as emotions, beliefs, knowledge acquired through education or other knowledge-producing forums, upbringing, circumstances in life, relationships, spiritual or religious growth, and Biblical revelation. Many things through life can be stored in a person's heart. Those “issues” flow out and reveal where a person is at any given point in time. You can listen to the emotions of your heart and understand where you are on any given subject as it is arising within.
Young's Literal translation gives this rendering of Proverbs 4:23: Above every charge keep thy heart, For out of it are the outgoings of life.
The heart holds the “outgoings” of life. Mr. Young says that above every charge, or above all else that you do, “guard” or “keep” your heart.
Diligence – Hebrew word mishmar which means a place of confinement, jail, prison, guard, watch, observance. It gives the picture of keeping or guarding your heart as a prison guard would keep watch over the inmates under his charge; not allowing anything to come and go from that prison or place of confinement that is not legally allowed.
So from the Hebrew understanding of this verse of scripture we can ascertain that there are things, “issues” in our heart that come and go sometimes without legal permission but have often simply been allowed to be there because we have not monitored what should be there, but have allowed outside influences to “plant” their beliefs, emotions, etc., into our hearts.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:33-35 that it is from what is stored up in a person's heart that the mouth speaks. He referred to the good man as speaking out of the treasures of his heart good things and the evil person out of the evil treasure in his heart brings forth evil things.
Matthew 12:35 NKJV “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.
So we see that what we keep or allow in our hearts can reflect the emotional outgoings produced in the heart and spoken out of the mouth. As believers in Christ Jesus, we can very simply ask “Holy Spirit, what is in my heart” and be able to identify an area of strength or weakness from what is revealed as the primary emotion erupting from our inner being. It is as we identify those “issues” that we can be set free and begin to replace the hurt with the healing truth of God's word that brings freedom from the wounds of our hearts.
A healed heart will revealed emotions such as faith, hope, love, or the emotions known as the “fruit of the Spirit”. A hurting heart will often have as a primary emotion sadness, pain, discouragement, despair, hopelessness, and negativity. There are situations in life that we encounter that naturally produce these emotions. We are spirit beings who live in a body and have a soul that is subject to the happenings or challenges of life. It is not bad to have the emotions that reveal a hurting heart; it simply locates us as to what underlying hurts or feelings we may be experiencing in our hearts. It is a barometer, so to speak, of what is going on in our inner most being. And when those emotions are identified and presented to the Lord they can be healed and replaced with the emotions of a healed heart. We live in the world around us and often that world presents us with situations and circumstances that affect our hearts. As we ask God to heal our hearts and we release those hurts to Him a new peace comes to replace the pain of whatever has affected our hearts. We are set free from the wounds that may have been inflicted by another person's actions or words, beliefs that have arisen from false teaching or losses of life or material possessions. God, in His healing power, can deliver and set a person free from all the pain that arises from a wounded heart.
Luke 4:18, 19 NKJV “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Jesus stated in the above verse that He is the One who came to heal the brokenhearted and to proclaim freedom to the captives. He is the One who died to set you free from the pain of a broken heart, the bondage of sickness, disease, poverty and lack. He came to bring freedom to those who are oppressed, beaten down, heart sick and mentally distraught. He came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord or as the New International Version says “the year of the Lord's favor”.
The “acceptable year of the Lord” and “the year of the Lord's favor” in the Old Testament referred to the year of Jubilee. Every 50 years there would be a year of Jubilee where debts were forgiven, slaves were released to return to their families and oppression was removed from people's lives. They were set free from from the bondage of all that had enslaved them through the previous 49 years.
Leviticus 25:10 NKJV 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.'
Jesus forever proclaimed the year of Jubilee in His death, burial and resurrection to set us from from the bondage of sin, sickness, disease, heartache, poverty and lack. He came to free you from the wounds of your past; to heal your hearts, minds, souls, and bodies.
Once a person is set free he/she can begin the process of filling the heart with the emotions of a healed heart. That comes as you focus on the truth of God's word thinking on things that are pure, lovely and of good report as stated in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—mediate on these things.
2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 tells us that we are to arrest the thoughts that are not praiseworthy. We take control of what comes into our hearts through our mental processes and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 NKJV For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
This is spoken of as doing warfare not through a carnal or fleshly set of weapons, but by using the weapons that God has given us in Him, in our spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be on the guard for those thoughts that are not of Him, arrest them through the power of His Spirit and replace them with the truth of God's word.
Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to wield the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God when fighting a spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:17 NKJV And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
The word of God within the heart of the believer brings healing and prepares you to be successful in fighting the battles of life. Once the word of God has been planted in your heart it becomes the dividing factor between the soul and spirit and it discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. A word-filled heart spews out of it the word of God needed to win the battles. Healing comes as God is called upon to set a person free and then the wounded areas that have been removed are filled with the truth of God's word that counteracts the fiery darts of the enemy. It is then that the word of God becomes the good treasure that fills a person's heart and expresses a healed heart. This healing is a progression and often transpires like the layers of an onion as it is peeled. One layer at a time is removed until the core issue is revealed and healed.
What is the primary emotion that is springing forth from your heart today? Does it indicate a wound that needs to be healed? If so, call on the Lord to bring His healing and delivering power into your heart to release you from the bondage of pain and sorrow. He is waiting to set you free!
Father, I thank You for the year of the Lord's favor that Jesus came to give us. I thank You that in Him we can be set free from the wounds of our hearts, from the bondage of sin, sickness, disease, heartache, poverty and lack. I thank You that when we call on the Lord Your word says that He will save us. Father, I pray for those who may be hurting today that You would minister Your healing power to the wounds of their hearts. I pray that they will release the pain and sorrow that has their hearts imprisoned today. Father, I speak life to their hearts and freedom from oppression in the name of Jesus Christ! I thank You for setting the people free! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.