April 25, 2012
If there’s anything I have learned in the past few months, it’s that God has a protocol for everything. We saw a little bit of the protocol for answered prayer a few weeks ago. So what is the protocol for faith? I’m sure I’ll publish a book on these protocols some day (along with the many other books I plan to publish), but for now, I just want to touch on one that the Holy Spirit gave me this morning.
Romans 10:14-17 says
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The moment I asked God to show me how to get faith, this scripture came to mind. In this text, Paul was referring to people who didn’t believe the gospel simply because they had not heard it.
I think that we humans are an absolutely amazing creation. God created our eyes, ears, mouths, skin and nose as the smallest external parts of our bodies and even though they are so seemingly irrelevant they are among the most powerful tools that he has given us to connect with the world around us. The ears are particularly special (so are the eyes), because they are an integral connector from the natural to the spiritual realm. How’s so?
Have you ever given thought to the things you hear everyday? Have you ever wondered about how it is that you can hear the same song as you drive to work everyday, and without even trying, you subconsciously start singing the song as if you wrote it? That’s because your ears have taken words out of the airwaves, and through an intricate audio system, transferred them to your brain, which then transfers it to your mouth.
Here’s what’s even more interesting.
Let’s say you hear a song…the same song everyday on your way to work. “Lonely, I am so lonely, I have nobody to call my own”. You’re hearing this song EVERYDAY. Your brain sends out these little ‘buses’, that picks up every word that you routinely hear and brings them back to your ‘brain base’. When you hear it again, your brain will send out other ‘little buses’ with these words…as many words as it can, that matches the song you are hearing, so that you can sing bits of it. Every time a ‘bus’ transfers messages (bus’ passengers) to your mouth, it also deposits some of the same message to your spirit (I’m really not pulling this out of thin air, I once took Psychology as a concentration. But if you’re in doubt, Dr Caroline Leaf is Christian psychologist/communication pathologist that studies these thought processes and how they work. Look her up). Every time you hear the song, you deposit bits of what you hear into your spirit.
Now think about this! We human beings are hearing things every second of every minute of every day! We hear the fridge at night when we sleep, we hear the car engine revving, we hear birds chirping. But we also hear WORDS that people say. We hear “you look beautiful today”, “great job”, “Wow you’re amazing”. We also hear “you’re such a donkey”, “what an idiot”, “you’re not good enough”, “the economy is hard. You won’t get a job now”. We hear words through our songs, through the TV shows we watch because they exemplify our lives, from our close friends and family. And for every word you hear, there is a deposit into your spirit.
Here’s my personal story. PS: I am not writing this for sympathy. It’s really part of my testimony.
I once dated a guy that I loved very much. We broke up. I was heartbroken for a loooooooong time. So much that I fell into a depression that I felt no one really understood. During that time, I found that all these sad love songs and romantic movies exemplified where I was. I found comfort in them: Tony Braxton-Unbreak my heart, Whitney Houston-Why does it hurt so bad, It must have been love…and others I really can’t remember. One Tree Hill, 90210, and other relationship ‘dramas’ were my faves. I also had a group of ‘friends’ who comforted me with ‘men are idiots’ or ‘maybe it’s this quality that he didn’t like’. My depression period went on for about 2 years. I did fight as best as I knew how, but the fact is, all I was listening to was hurting me. Were these things bad? I dunno. It’s not my place to judge. But what I was hearing was making me stay in a place of hurt and excruciating emotional pain for a long time. More than that, it made me make some really bad decisions. The full testimony is yet to be told, but I had to make a stringent effort to block my ears from hearing these things, if I wanted to heal. So, I changed my mp3 play list. I started to listen to “Yes, Jesus Loves me”, “I’ve got the victory”, “Yet, Still I rise”, “I’m coming out (Aretha Franklin’s version)”. I stopped (literally) watching any sitcom or movie that would make me cry and reminisce on him. I also had to cut out friendships that insisted on being negative about men; they needed as much help as I and they were only making me hate him, or doubt my worth. I didn’t want that as a Christian. Bottom line, today I’m here. (Smile, Smile, Smile) Healed from the hurt. God did that.
Was I being extreme? Probably. But I needed to get out of the frame that I was in, and what I did worked.
What you hear is imperative to your faith walk. If you constantly listen to things that will make you depressed, broken, miserable, selfish, FEARFUL (that’s one we’ll address later this week), non-progressive, doubting your worth- it will be very difficult for you to have faith in God for the good things He’s promised. These things will seep into your spirit and keep you from receiving God’s blessings for you. It is no wonder Jesus said “take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24).
On the other hand, if you listen to things that are ‘good, true, lovely, noble, of GOOD REPORT’, your faith will be strengthened. Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Write a list of all the negative things you hear and the media you get them from, in a week. Then cut them out of your life (call it a fast if you want). Replace them with an audio bible in a version that’s practical. Listen to songs that are positive, that celebrate victory. Tune into a TV show that will build you up (good luck with that. I tend to just watch Vision TV or the Food network or TBN). Try that for a week. See if you don’t notice your faith increasing.
Talked enough for today. Be blessed. And take heed what you’re hearing.