Proverb 4: 23 “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it comes the issues that govern life”.
I Cor. 15: 33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
We have a responsibility to keep ourselves in an atmosphere of faith. There are certain atmospheres that build our faith and there are others that are toxic to our faith walk, we have a duty to discern which environment we are in and how to condition the atmosphere to be conducive for our growth in Faith. Faith cannot grow in isolation, the environment has a great impact on the depth of expression your faith has.
Genetics professionals experimented the impact of the environment on the genotype in the expression of our phenotypes (the outward manifestation of our genes). They posited that the phenotype of an organism is a product of its gene (his genotype) and the environment. The equation is like this:
Phenotype = Genotype + Environment.
The role of the environment in the expression of the gene cannot be overemphasized. Let me give you an instance, a Friesian cow from Holland that produced 10 liters of Milk in the temperate regions of Europe, may end up producing about 2 liters of Milk in the tropical region of Nigeria. Even though it has a high milk yield genotype, but the expression is thwarted because the animal does not survive well in the tropical of Africa. This is even the basis for cross breeding and development of hybrids, to take advantage of the adaptability and gene of a specie, as it relates to an environment. Let take another example, even the colour of your skin may be influenced by the environment. The skin of black people glows more in the temperate region than in the hot tropics, the environment defining the expression of our genes.
This is the same with our walk of faith. Some environments are so good for your faith that when your faith is in such atmosphere, it will soar and grow and shine, while some other ones will make faith walk look malnourished and choke your faith. The only advantage is that you have the responsibility to keep your faith environment looking the way you want it.
To keep yourself in an atmosphere of faith, you need to keep guard over the gateways to your heart. The gateways are as follows:
1. Your ear gate: What you keep hearing will take root in your heart. So you do have to control what you keep hearing and paying attention to. You can't listen to all the garbage and expect supernatural faith to jump out of your heart.
2. Your eye gate: What do you keep before your eyes all the time. Let the word not depart from your eyes, keep it in the midst of your heart.
3. Your thought gate. Keep the word in your heart. God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1: 8 "The word of the Lord shall not depart from your mouth and you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do them, then you shall make your way prosperous and you shall have good success. Col.3:16 ‘Let the word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom. . .". These also include your imaginations and reasoning, line them up with the word of God. Make a habit of seeing yourself walking in the word of God and doing the word.
4. Your touch or sensory gate. Keep yourself surrounded with faith filled people in your environment. Don't walk with foolish men and wonder why you are not wise. Have your own company of "wise" men. Remember the disciples in Acts 4 when they were harassed, the bible says they went to their company and reported what the elders have said to them and the power of God fell upon them in a fresh anointing.
5. Your mouth gate: Jesus said it is not what goes into a man that defiles the man but what comes out of him (Mark 7:15). By your words you are justified and by your word you are condemned. What you are saying is controlling your life. We will talk about that later again.
Quick things you can do to enable you stay in faith:
1. Use technology: CD, internet (podcast, live streams, Internet TVs and radios, written articles, on-line music etc), radio, television. We are surrounded with these things, we have control over the content we want on it, use it. People have grown their faith by just buying tapes and listening to it over and over. People read articles on line or download podcasts etc. I heard an interesting story about Kenneth Copeland when he began to listen to Kenneth Hagin, he talked about how he got Hagin’s tapes and would listen and listen and listen, he would play it in the car until the batteries of the tape fade out. Mike Murdock did the same on Kenneth Copeland Tapes, Jerry Savelle did the same on Kenneth Copeland tapes. That is the way it works.
2. Read books. People collect thoughts and learning in books. Books on all kinds of topics are available, books that will motivate you and encourage you. This is one of the oldest practices for keeping an atmosphere of faith. Remember Paul in Timothy writing and requesting that they bring his books (parchments) to him.
3. Surround yourselves with faith filled friends: He that walks with the wise shall be wise; a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Three things that will determine your altitude in your faith walk: Your friendships, Influences and your associations.
4. Keep the word of faith going through your mouth, in and out of season, whether in play or at work. Remember our scripture in Deuteronomy 11:19 it says speaking of them (the word) when you come in or go out, when you lie down, at every point in time. Keep a free flow of the word of faith, going into your heart and coming out of your mouth. You speech seasoned with salt.
Memory Verse: I Cor. 15: 33 “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.