Discipleship Training Lesson #6-The Eyegate and The Eargate
This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
Psalm 119:130 (NIV) "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
What is entering into your life every day?
When we think of ways that something can enter our bodies, there are three primary ways that happens. The mouth is the first one we think about and a little baby is brought into this world crying for milk.
For the purpose of this lesson, we will look at the other two primary entrances into our body. Our eyes and our ears. I refer to these as the "Eyegate" and the "Eargate".
In our world today, we are bombarded by the media through the radio and television with a multitude of information, some good and some bad. We seem to have become "Information Age" addicts.
Most folks get up in the morning and read the morning paper. Newspaper readership subscriptions are at an all time high. Financial publications such as the Wall Street Journal capture the minds of business travelers as they commute to and from work.
As you can see from Psalm 119:130, when we let God's word enter our lives each day, it gives us new perspective on living. His word does indeed give us light. His word is also a light unto our path. (Psalm 119:105) It also cleans us. (John 15:3)
Do you want to get rid of sin in your life? Read Psalm 37:31 (KJV) "The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide." One of the first verses you should memorize is Psalm 119:11, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
I do not need to elaborate very much on what we let in through the "eyegate". One look around your home will tell you that. Look at the books and magazines on your coffee table. Look at your library if you have one. Magazine subscriptions? You can do your own evaluation. And we could write volumes about the one eyed monster, the television set.
Probably the easiest way to help yourself and your young disciple in this area, is to write down your schedule of what you do each week. Most of us sit in front of the tube for many hours each week watching mindless shows that do absolutely nothing to enhance our walk with God. Looking at your weekly schedule will help you make better choices. Most folks will be surprised how much time they waste, and how little time they spend in the Word of God.
The "eargate" is also very important. In today's "commuter world" many folks spend hours in their car going back and forth to work. How we use our radio and tape player has a direct impact upon our lives. You do indeed become what you listen to.
You have the choice of listening to Christian music and preaching on the radio or tapes, or rock music, or country music, or rap music, or any other music that you like.
Let me tell you about my own experience with the radio. In my town on the FM Station at 99.7 is a Christian radio station. That station carries messages from well know teachers like Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, J. Vernon McGee, Charles Stanley and many others. These men of God have greatly influenced my life.
Well, if I push the search button, next station that pops up is FM 100.5, a popular local country music station. Now being raised in the South for much of my life in Virginia and Alabama and West Virginia, you know that you are bombarded with Country stations all the time. About twenty years ago, I became addicted to the Country stations. Almost side by side on the dial, were two vastly different vehicles going into my "eargate".
My wife used to fuss at me because she does not like Country music. But I developed the habit of listening almost all the time to that station. Well in looking back over my life, I can tell you what I became largely because of that decision in my life.
I became a "honky, tonk, cowboy" right down to the cowboy hat, jeans, and fancy shirt. I even rode the bull at "Gilly's" in Pasadena Texas many years ago. Many of you have seen John Travolta as he portrayed a honky, tonk cowboy and captivated many in America. You see my friend, filling my ears with that music, really took control of my life.
And associated with that lifestyle, are many other hurtful habits you can pick up. I will not go into great detail, since most of you have seen the movies about this, and you can visualize yourself what can happen. I only know that my relationship with my wife suffered greatly, and my family suffered also as I walked this path in front of them.
The change was slow and gradual. Seeping into my life was the twang, twang, twang of the words to those songs. When you listen to songs about drinking, divorce, infidelity and rowdiness, you will become just that. I did.
So after God let me wander around in the garbage for some time, some of those verses I had memorized many years before began to bombard my mind. Their was something missing in my life and real fulfillment was not in the honky tonk heaven I had found.
God gripped my heart and I backed up on the dial on the radio and began to listen to Christian radio and Christian tapes. Almost immediately, I began to walk with God again. Coming back to Him can be instantaneous. Confess you sin, and press on to higher ground. I had to let the "Light of Jesus" shine into my heart and memory and cleanse those thoughts and actions. By this illumination and inner healing of my thought life, I experienced a real renewal as God took away the desire for non-Christian music. This concept of ministry was introduced to me during the early part of 2004. If you would like more information on this ministry, please click this link.