This page features three writings, the first entitled "Be Careful What You Allow Your Eyes To See Your Ears To Hear." Also included on this page are two more related topics entitled "Idol Worship" and "The Enemy."

                                                                           

Be Careful What You Allow Your Eyes To See And Your Ears To Hear

The world we live in is always bombarding us with images and words that are trying to steal us away from the Lord. We should be careful to keep our minds and hearts as anointed as they can be at all times. What is your anointing? It is living a life of integrity and purity before the Lord, it is living to please the Lord. Stay alert with your Holy Spirit discernment between good or evil, to realize what you're seeing or hearing is right and when it’s wrong. 

We need to be aware of how the media in our world impacts our lives. Be careful what you allow your eyes to see and your ears to hear. We can control this to some degree. We can control the movies we watch, the TV programs we watch, the music we listen to, the magazines we read. Parents should be aware of websites their children are accessing or the TV programs their children are watching and their content.

Let’s talk first about movies or shows that have bad language. It says in the Ephesians 5:4 “Entirely out of place is obscene, silly and vulgar talk, but instead let there be thanksgiving." Later in the same chapter it talks about exposing the unfruitful works of darkness. Using the Lord's name in vain is breaking the second commandment and another transgression we need to be aware of. The Lord's name is commonly used as an expression or a cussword. It says in Exodus 20:7 "the Lord will not aquit anyone who misuses his name." God also does not want us to either be vulgar or use abusive language, it’s out of place for a believer. In Colossians 3:8 it says, ”but now you must get rid of all such things, anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive language from your mouth." If you tend to cuss sometimes, try to stop cussing. Control yourself. For some, it might be hard at first but you can do it. Stop watching movies that have cuss words. If you catch yourself cussing, stop and try replacing cussing with words of praise to the Lord. “Thank you Lord for another opportunity to praise your name. Thank you Lord for helping me to catch myself before this got out of control. Thank you Lord for helping me not be angry or offended."

If a movie you are watching begins to get abusive or vulgar with either language or content, also such as being overly sexual or violent, you do have the choice to turn it off or leave the theatre. The Holy Spirit, Christ Jesus within you, the believer’s inner compass, will guide you. Protect yourself. Be good to your inner man, keep your anointing, follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It says in Phillipians Chapter 4:8 to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Be careful what you take in with your eyes and ears because that is what you will think about. Try to keep your mind as pure as you can keep it, you can even pray for purity, I do. I have turned off movies with abusive language without finishing them and taken them back to the rental store. I have told the people in the rental store in a nice way it was offensive and asked for credit towards another movie. They have done this for me. That’s one way to expose the darkness. If they don’t give you a credit just give it back and be done with it.

If a magazine has silly gossip about celebrities with stories about idle things you don’t need to read or a TV show is full of gossip, you don’t need to see that. Choose not to look at it, pass on it, change the channel, don’t buy into it. God doesn’t like gossip, he warns against it, there are many scriptures concerning this. I don’t want to be too blunt, but we wouldn’t eat garbage, so why do we allow ourselves to see and hear it?

Another troubling aspect of media is their fascination with witchcraft. Believers should choose to say no to this as well. One scripture concerning this is in Deuteronomy 18:10-13 “No one shall be found amoung you who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer or an auger or who consults with ghosts or spirits or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out from you. You must remain completely loyal to the Lord your God." What this is saying is to involve oneself with these activities is abhorrent to God.

Witchcraft and sorcery in our society can come in cute movies and forms that are very appealing to children and adults. There is a very popular series of books and movies that catch children at a young age and make them think magic and sorcery is Ok. It is not Ok. Clearly in His word, God does not approve of witches and warlocks. There are horror movies the glorify Satan and demons, stay away from those things. Stay away from mystical beings, oui'ja boards, shows with incantations and magic powers, ghosts and vampires, tarot cards, psychics, new age, all of that. Pray for God to give discernment in these matters, to give you the discipline to not support them, for the Holy Spirit to guide you in turning away from them.

One thing that is totally out of place for a believer is pornography. If you have pornography in your house, either magazines or movies, you should get a garbage bag and get rid of it. It should go into the dump where it belongs, never to be seen again. Magazines should be torn into little pieces so no one else will see it once it’s thrown out. Destroy the DVD’s or tapes, then throw them out. If you look at pornography, you will feel much better about yourself getting rid of it, that with you are gaining control over it. This will give you victory in your life. Pray to God to give you strength to keep from ever wanting to look at it again. Phillipians Chapter 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Keep repeating that verse should the temptation arise. Apply your Bible verses to this with prayer and thank the Lord that this temptation, which you most likely knew in your heart was wrong even before you were a believer, is now out of your life. Pornography promotes lust, it says in the Bible to flee from anything that stimulates lust. It says to turn away from evil and turn towards good. Pornography is evil and can lead to fornication. Strive for purity and guard your anointing because pornography will steal your anointing. Pray that the Lord can heal you from the damage pornography has done to your mind. To watch pornography is damaging to your mind and your thoughts. It will rob you of innocence and beauty, it turns sex into something loveless and carnal, it will steal your joy and peace.     

                                                                    Cross from the Holy Land

Idol Worship

The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God during the time that he was leading millions of Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and back to Israel, the promised land. It was a two week trip by foot that took them 40 years to complete. Why did God allow the Hebrews to wander in the desert for 40 years? The answers, idol worship and disbelief. The first Commandment reads as follows: Exodus 20:2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me."

 At the beginning of the trip, as Moses was receiving these words from God himself on a mountain, the Israelites had made and were worshipping a golden calf below. God said in Exodus 20:4-5 "You shall not make yourself an idol, whether on the form of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me." Not to minimize the other eight commandments but if God put "thou shall worship no other gods before me" and "You shall not make yourself an idol" as the number one and two, I would definitely give it full attention.

The Bible is full of warnings against idol worship from the beginning in Genesis, till the end in Revelations. Idol worship is an abomination to God. The enemy is trying to steal away God's people. Idol worship is one way he does this. The Israelites were coming out of Egypt which was full of idol worship into a new land which was also full of idol worship. The idols they worshipped in this new land were hideous idols. One of the idols of the day was called Molech. Parents sacrificed their children, burning them alive, in worship of this pagan god. There is an account of an ancient city under siege by opposing forces in which dozens of children in the city were murdered in appeal to Molech during the siege. In some pagan temples sexual acts were committed with temple prostitutues in worship of false gods. This was idol worship and practices of the ancient and this was the world the Israelites were walking into.

It is clear that God wants his people to have no worship relationship with anything except Him. The idol worship of today is varied and might include things you never thought of before. When we think of false gods of today we think of religions such as Hinduism and Buddism and their statues and idols. But included in this are things such as psychics, astrology, tarot cards, witchcraft, crystals, worshipping money, worshipping celebrities, worshipping saints and addictions. When something other than God himself is being prayed-to or believed-in this is idol worship. This is breaking God's #1 commandment, "you shall have no other gods before me".

People will end up believing in something else when there is absence of God in their life or when God is not real to them.. Some easily venture into and accept other beliefs. Others might be worshipping the wrong thing due to a lack of information, not realizing it's an idol. Let's look at a few examples of this:

a) Worshipping money and things of this world - Money is not the root of all evil, it's the love of money. 1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pangs." Jesus spoke in Luke 16:13-15 " ..A slave cannot serve two masters...You cannot serve God and wealth. The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this and they ridiculed him. So he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination to God" Christians can and should be successful, this verse is not speaking against financial success. However, we have to be careful about how money can dominate our thoughts, make us greedy for more, make us wander away from the faith and become it's slave.

b) Worshipping the saints and Mary - Ezekiel 14: 7-8 "For any of those of the house of Isreal or of the aliens who reside in Israel, who separate themselves from me, taking their idols into their hearts and placing their iniquity as a stumbling block before them and yet come to a prophet to inquire of me by him, I the Lord will answer them myself. I will set my face against them"

The saints and mother Mary are Christian examples. Mother Mary was the beloved earthly mother of Jesus and the saints went through many trials, they are to honored for their Godly works, we can learn from them. However the saints and mother Mary are not to be prayed to and worshipped as a God go-betweens or a God substitute. Only God is to be worshipped.

c) Celebrities and famous people - This needs to be kept in a proper perspective. Even with celebrity evangelists, we should keep our eyes and ears on the message rather than the messenger. Many people are fans of TV, sports or movie stars and this is Ok to enjoy but it should not overtake your life so that it turns your thoughts and focus away from God.

 d) Addictions - People will worship substances or allow behaviors to take over and push God out. This includes drugs, sexual addictions, alcoholism, compulsive gambling, overspending, excessive eating, self-worship and the like. These are all desires of the flesh. God is here to intervene, to break strongholds. The first step towards overcoming these is to admit there is a problem. Be strong, it takes strength to admit a weakness. God forgives and forgets. God wants health and wholeness. Isaiah 53:5 "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

In closing, globally it is interesting to look at the Bible and apply it to the behavior of nations. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 "The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful -for he cannot deny himself." In Chronicles and Kings it becomes apparant that kings who governed with God were rewarded. Those that governed without God were removed. Jeremiah 12:17 "But if any nation will not listen, then I will completely uproot and destroy it, says the Lord." Our nation was founded on God, has believed in God and has flourished. We must be vigilant not to wander away from the Lord and so get pierced with many pangs.

 

The Enemy

As a believer, it is important to know about the enemy. The first thing. you should know is the enemy, also known as Satan or the Devil, is a beaten foe. We know this because in Revelations 20:19 it tells us the enemy is defeated in the end times and thrown into a lake of fire and sulfur, "tormented day and night forever and ever." The second thing we should know is that we have authority over the enemy, we are greater than the enemy. Why? Because we have the Holy Spirit living in us. God gave us the Holy Spirit through Jesus. 1 John 4:4 "for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Jesus always took authority over the enemy, the Bible has many examples of Jesus casting out demons. Demonic forces cannot stand the word of God, the word of truth. When they hear it, they depart. Use the word of God to fight the enemy in spiritual warfare.

The enemy is actually a fallen angel, who out of pride, tried to make himself equal or higher than God. Pride was the first sin and is still destructive today. Isaiah 14:13 speaking of this angel, "You said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven , I will raise my throne above the stars of God." Verse 14 "I will ascend to the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High." God removed this evil angel from heaven. Now this angel roams the earth with his followers, the rulers and authorities and the spiritual forces of evil. They bring destruction, trying to separate people from God, preying on weaknesses of the flesh. John 10:10 "The thief comes only to kill, to steal and destroy."

Even if a non-believer is a good person by the world's standards but still turns their back on God, choosing to live in darkness, the devil has them where he wants them. Hopefully they can still save themselves. For believers, who live in the light, who are citizens of heaven, be vigilant. The enemy is a beaten foe but still active trying to come against God’s people. Take authority over the enemy. Pray, speak out the word of truth, put on your armor of God as it states in Ephesians 6:13-17. Maintain your peace. And don’t give the devil too much credit for everything that happens. Just because something bad happens it’s not always the enemy. It might be because of our own poor choices or lack of self-control with our tongue or emotions. But the devil can use these poor choices or lack of control as a starting point to wreak havoc. We must follow our inner Holy Spirit compass, repent, make right out of wrong and not give the devil a foothold. We must stay alert against the enemy and resist him. 1 Peter 5:8 "Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour."