Mark 4:24-25 – “And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” NASU
I have long heard that the “eyes” are the window to the soul and often hear warnings about the “words” we speak and their impact but do not hear as frequently the warnings about “hearing” and what we “listen” to. Yet, I believe that is one of the most powerful gates to the soul in mankind. In attempting to determine what groups of people are thinking and the direction they desire to pursue, I attempt to discover what they are watching and to what they listen. When I observe many youths today, I often have to proceed no further than their music to know their hearts. You may challenge that but I suggest that what we listen to shapes our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our attitude, and our attitudes shape our actions or inactions. What I feed my mind, through the Ear Gate helps shape my belief system and if I am not careful about what enters that Gate I allow many dangerous things to have a place in my mind and ultimately my heart. If it does nothing beyond anesthetizing me to the filth and perversion of truth and reality that is enough.
It was not too many years in the past that profanity was not heard on prime time television. Today it is commonplace. Nudity and gratuitous sex were unheard of, but now in everything from commercials to programs we are bombarded with various forms of nudity and sexual gratification. The tragedy is not simply that it exists but that it no longer bothers many who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been told, more than once, and by preachers, that we cannot be prudish and have to live in the real world where that type of thing exists. It does but I do not have to willingly expose myself to it. I have worked in the public sector and been around situations where the conversation turned to lasciviousness and vulgarity. If I was not able to steer the conversation in a more wholesome direction, I excused myself and walked away. I have been the recipient of ridicule for that stance but I choose to determine what I allow through my Ear Gate and desire nothing enter there that I would not be confident and comfortable hearing in the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself. (He is there because He is Omnipresent and lives in my heart.)
My question and challenge to you for further study are can we divorce the warning in verse 24 from the next statement in that same verse and from the continuation in verse 25? If we cannot then is it possible that the spiritual revelation and truth we receive is connected to what we LISTEN TO? Is it also possible that by allowing the wrong things to come through the Ear Gate we diminish the availability of Spiritual Truth and Revelation we have available? I believe those statements go far beyond what we listen to but I believe they are included.
We are repeatedly challenged in scripture to “guard our minds” and “hearts” and if we do not guard what comes through the Ear Gate in our lives, how can we effectively do that? If I allow a continual bombardment of music with vile and suggestive lyrics how can I have a pure mind? I am responsible for what I hear as well as what I say and if I listen. I have challenged people with regard to music not based on my preference or taste but on the content. I did that with a group of millennials and was told, “Oh we don’t listen to the words on the beat.” NO YOU DON’T! You cannot avoid the words even if you do not consciously focus on them, your subconscious hears them and they become inscribed on your mind and possibly your heart. That is why it is valuable to hear “Praise” and fill our hearing with the Word of God. I have often read the Bible aloud and found it inspirational and transforming. It went beyond my thoughts into my entire being. Could that happen by just readily silently? Of course, but I wanted to release God’s word into the atmosphere by my voice and capture it with my hearing.
May the Lord be with you as you go through this day in Him!