BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
We live in the information age. So much information is being made available to us through the radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and books. There are all kinds of audio and video materials containing all forms of information not to talk of the internet through which one can easily access diverse resources from different parts of the world.
The volume of information, both positive and negative, that is available and accessible by human beings in the contemporary world is unprecedented in human history. Because it is inexpensive to get and even own the means of accessing the large information being disseminated by all manners of people, it is extremely dangerous and destructive if one is not selective about the kind of information one exposes one’s mind to.
Protect Your Heart
One of the gates to a person’s heart is his or her mind, and the Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). A human being is largely a product of what he or she reads, watches, and listens to. If someone feeds his or her mind with dirty information through unwholesome music and literature, such a person’s life cannot be better than these pieces of information – in computer parlance, “garbage in, garbage out.”
Dirty information that you daily allow into your mind will find its way into your heart and defile it. “And He said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:20-23 NKJV).
It is sad to say that much of the music being produced today in CDs, VCDs, DVDs, etc., and being broadcast on radio and television, though popular, leaves much to be desired. It is even sadder that many of the artists behind the unwholesome music dominating the entertainment world in our society today grew up in the church and many even sang in the church choir in the past where they developed their music skills. But they are now using their music skills to worship Satan.
Satan’s Discipleship Programme
Much more embarrassing is the fact that many church people today patronize this nonsensical and hazardous worldly music either privately or publicly instead of feeding their spirit with anointed messages and inspiring music. Many homes and many minds are living under the siege of the creative works of those whose God-given talents satan has hijacked and perverted to corrupt many more lives and disciple them for himself. Indeed, Satan is living true to his name as the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) because, really, he is controlling the airwave at the moment as more popular music with unedifying lyrics is being aired than edifying songs.
Those who read dirty and immoral books and watch and stuff their minds with similar destructive information from music and movies cannot live a spiritually and morally healthy life and their future cannot bring glory to God. What do you expect from someone whose hobby is reading pornographic literature and watching x-rated films? He or she will become sexually perverted and violent. Disgusting words, lyrics, and images in immoral publications, music, and movies will hold people’s minds captive and corrupt them.
I like what God’s prophet, A. W. Tozer said. He said, “What can you say about the kinds of books and magazines you read? The things you read will fashion you by slowly conditioning your mind. Little by little, even though you think you are resisting, you will take on the shape of the mind of the author of that book you are reading. You will begin to put your emphasis where he puts his. You will begin to put your values where he places his. You will find yourself liking what he likes and thinking as he thinks. The same thing is certainly true of the power of modern films on the minds and morals of those who give themselves over to their influences.” Did you see that? He said this many years ago but the truth is still valid, and will ever be.
Hear him again: “It is not overstating the case to insist that the kinds of music you enjoy will demonstrate pretty much what you are inside. If you give yourself to the contemporary fare of music that touches the baser emotions, it will shape your mind and emotions and desires, whether you admit it or not.” Think about that!
Your life will be shaped by the information you allow into your mind, which it will process. Jesus said, “Take heed what you hear” (Mark 4:24 NKJV). He said again “Take heed how you hear” (Luke 8:18 NKJV). Don’t listen to just any music. Don’t watch just any film or movie. Don’t listen to just any music. Don’t read just any book or magazine. Don’t say, “It doesn’t matter.” It matters.
Be selective and guided by the Word of God. “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 — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV). Whatever you meditate upon will eventually be magnified, whether it is the ‘poison’ from those junk movies, music, magazines, and books or the life-giving words from the Bible and Bible-based materials.
You Determine Your Future
There are three phases in a man’s life – the past, the present, and the future. The past is gone and there is nothing anyone can do to change it while the future is before us yet to be explored. God has a glorious future for everyone notwithstanding what anyone did with his or her past. He told the children of Israel while in captivity: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT). What God said to them, He is also saying to you.
The future God has planned for you and me is not one of disaster. But what you do today determines the type of future you will have. However, no matter how much you desire a glorious future, what you read, watch and listen to will determine a great deal the kind of future that you will get.
You cannot be reading pornographic magazines or watching pornographic films or feeding your minds with sexually suggestive music or music that glorifies what the Bible condemns, and enjoy the kind of future that God plans for you. God’s commandments or laws are for the good of mankind and obeying them is not doing God a favour. Obeying the Word of God is in your own interest. Therefore, God’s Word should become your delight and should not be seen as a burden. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV).
Any musician, author, writer, or artist who trivializes, mocks, or encourages you to violate the Word of God, no matter how popular he or she is, should be seen as the devil’s instrument against your destiny. As I have said, you become what you read, watch and listen to. If you expose your mind to what those behind the popular satanic music, drama, writing, etc. are saying and embrace their views, patterning your life after them, you make yourself an enemy of God and create a sorrowful future for yourself though you may think you are enjoying yourself now. If you have been feeding your minds with these satanic materials, you need to repent now in order to avert a sorrowful future later on earth and after death, in hell-fire.
Parents, in particular, need to be more involved in what their children read, watch and listen to so as to ensure that they are quality materials founded on the Word of God. Most of the children and youths today have already sold themselves to satan through the different resources they have exposed their minds to. Satan has negatively influenced them. Such children and youths need help.
The Bible: The Most Essential Book
The Bible and Bible-based books, magazines, music, etc. are what everyone needs to live a godly life and fulfill God’s purpose for his or her life; you don’t need all the deception satan is peddling around. The Bible and the values it preaches are what will preserve both the young and the old in any generation.
For you to be able to please God and fulfil your destiny on earth, you need the Bible. Faith to please God and also fulfill your destiny doesn’t come by reading, watching, and listening to junks. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
A sorrowful future awaits those who devote their lives to listening to indecent music, watching immoral films and videos and reading ungodly and satanic books and magazines, or browsing internet sites containing resources that are not Bible compliant. Anyone who desires a glorious future should protect himself or herself against the ungodly information that satan is using to ruin destinies, devastate families, ravage society through today’s powerful media. Don’t be deceived. I pray that you and your family will be preserved in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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