Mark 4: 24 "Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you--and more [beside] will be given to you who hear".
Proverbs 4: 23 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs of life”.
Recall what it means to "Guard". It means” to keep diligent watch over to prevent intruders”,” to protect against invasion”
God says to us" Guard your heart above all you guard. You know sometimes we think our most import treasure is our money, some think it is their jewellery, others think it is our children, and other think it is their houses and properties, and so we put guards over them and securely protect them. But we leave out the most important treasure, “our hearts", we do not protect access to it. We have an instruction; Guard it over everything else you guard, because out it will proceed the issues that govern life. What is jewellery when you are sad and depressed and mean? How can you possible take care of a child when you are full of strife and envy and all evil things? Your actions, reactions and inactions are a product of what you have in your heart.
What are the avenues through which a man’s heart can be invaded?
Let’s see Proverbs 4: 20- 27” My Son give attention to my words, incline your ears to my sayings, do not let them depart from your eyes, keep then in the midst of your heart. For they are life unto those that find them and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it comes the issue that govern life. Put away from you a froward mouth and perverse lips put away from you. . . “
This scripture lists the various avenue to a man’s heart through which faith or fear can invade:
1. Through what you see (i.e. the eye gate)
2. Through what you hear (the ear gate)
3. Through what you say (the mouth gate)
4. Through what you think (the thought gate)
The avenues to the heart:
A. The eye gate: What you see can invade your heart. Mark 4: 24, Take heed what you pay attention to. The Bible talks about John the beloved, at the tomb of Jesus. The bible says “he saw and he believed”. What you see influences what you believe. Thomas said “If I do not see, I will not believe”. Deut 11: 16-18 “ Take heed to yourself, that your heart be not deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods and worship them . . . therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.”
B. The ear gate: Rom 10:14, 17 say “. . . 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? “. Your believing is tied to your hearing. 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
C. The mouth gate: Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation”. Your salvation (soteria) is confirmed with your mouth. Jesus is called the high priest of our profession. The bible also says that in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses every word shall be established. You are the confirming witness. James 3; 1-12 talk s about the tongue being a small member but boasting great things. Your mouth can set the course of your life like a rudder controls a ship. If we keep speaking anything we feel like, things will soon break down.
D. The thought gate: Romans 10: 10a “With the heart man believes unto righteousness. . . “. To “Think” also involves to meditate or to ponder. Joshua 1: 8a “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. . .” What you keep meditating on, you will end up observing and doing. .
Why pay attention to the word:
1. Because it is to key to observing to do, Joshua 1:6-8, God began to teach Joshua and said to him, Joshua, you need to keep paying attention to the word and to mediate on them that you may observe to do them. He said “. . . For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success”. The key to observing to do is to hear and hear, not just once or twice or thrice, but to hear and hear.
2. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of faith. You can't expect to have faith if you are not paying attention to the word.
3. The only way the word can get to your heart and mouth is by paying attention to it.
4. Whatever you pay attention to gets into your heart and mind and governs your life.
Deuteronomy 11: 16-21 tells us to what intensity we need to be paying attention to the word, this has to be paranoia. We need to become paranoid about the word of God. People outside are addicted to drugs or alcohol, we need to be addicted to the word. Deuteronomy 11 16-1 shows us how:
16Take heed to yourselves, lest your [minds and] hearts be deceived and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,
18Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your [minds and] hearts and in your [entire] being, and bind them for a sign upon your hands and as forehead bands between your eyes.
19And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise up.
20And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates,
21That your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
Memory verse: Proverbs 4: 23 “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs of life”.