Be Careful What You Listen To
Though I didn’t plan on it, I found as I prepared for this week’s sermon that this is a two-part series when it comes to be careful what you listen to. I knew this would be more than what I could cover in one sermon. So we will pick up today in Mark 4:24-25 as a unit to continue this series on being careful of what you listen to.
Last week, we highlighted the reality that we are in a war as the people of God. The ultimate outcome has been determined, but there are still many battles which need to be fought, which means the war is not officially over. Some of these skirmishes against the world, the flesh, and the devil will be strong and violent. This is not the time for the people of God to sit back and be careless. It is a time the Lord has told us we should be vigilant and pay attention (1 Peter 5:8).
That verse comes after the ascension of Jesus Christ. So does Paul’s exhortation to us in Ephesians 6, a passage of Scripture that is very popular in terms of spiritual warfare. But it’s surprising that a vast majority of Christians don’t take this life as serious as they should in terms of their spiritual condition and the war that is still waging in the spirit. They are floating along, oblivious to not only the danger but the lurking enemy nearby.
The main reason for this is that they do not perceive their lives to be a divine mission. Without this divine mission mindset, you will be lulled into a sense of rote and routine that has nothing to do with accomplishing what God has given each of us to do. We all have a mission to fulfill, so we need to see our lives, now that we have defected from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, as an overarching assignment from our Commander-in-Chief.
The word of God is a special revelation from the Creator to His people (Deuteronomy 29:29).
The revelation the Lord has given us is not there just for our motivation. It is primarily our marching orders on how we should be on this Earth in our ultimate mission to glorify God in everything we do and of the gospel being disseminated throughout all the earth. All of us who are part of the body of Christ have a mission, a common goal of glorifying God and spreading the gospel. When we are ignorant of the revelation or we look at the revelation without the respect or depth with which we should approach it, we live subpar lives that are not as fruitful as they could be if we had the right mindset toward the word of God.
This revelation is what we should use to fulfill the mission God has given us, collectively and individually. It is our mission orders to be successful in fulfilling our assignment. But we need to be careful because our enemies attack our mind with so much nonsense and noise that seeks to distract or entrap us into utter ineffectiveness. In some cases, we inadvertently become allies with the enemy. So we must be attentive and discerning in what we listen to and who we follow.
The question we must answer daily is, what are we listening to, is it good and godly, and what are we doing with what we are listening to. Knowing it is one thing, but knowledge alone is useless. It’s nothing but trivia. There’s no power behind it. The Lord Jesus is looking for fruitfulness and faithfulness. This is the whole thrust behind the parable of the talents. Everyone gets a gift. Everyone is expected to exercise that gift to produce, and everyone will receive a reward for their faithfulness, not their results.
This is the problem with so many Christians. They are so focused on the results, which is God’s territory, instead of being focused on the worship of the work.
This morning I want to expound a little more at the end of verse 24 and then finish by looking at verse 25 in Mark 4.by