Updated: Aug 21, 2020
As a follower of Christ, and period, it's important that you guard your heart from toxic things and people. When I was living without God as the Lord of my life I didn't know how detrimental it was for me to protect myself in this way. I simply watched what was popular and whatever I found interest in. I use to pride myself in knowing and listening to all kinds of music. I wasn't an every weekend club goer, but if I felt like it I went. I would talk loosely, and engage in any topic of conversation without second thought. I cursed very frequently....I mean like every other word was a curse word. I just wasn't cautious in this area, and it was due to my lack of knowledge
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NLT"
I didn't know that what I subjected my mind (thoughts) to would affect me (my heart or life) in any way. Your mind is made up of your thoughts, feelings, desires, dreams, passions and choices. Your heart is how you connect with God and people. Your heart is of value and it's to be guarded. The world looks at the outer appearance of a person to determine their value. But God looks at the heart of a Man. When we stand before Him on judgement day, it is our hearts that will be judged.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7 NLT"
God is concerned with our hearts. And if you didn't know the enemy opposes Him and tries to pervert every good thing God has made... You are the work of God! Don't you think that the enemy would want to taint what God loves so much??? Some secular music is filled with words and thoughts contrary to those of God's. I serve a Holy God who wouldn't want to hear His creation and daughter be called ANY derogatory term whatsoever even if "it's just a song". But it's just like the enemy to plant that point of view in our minds. He also wouldn't want me in a club objectifying myself for attention or a good time. And it's just like the enemy to deceive us into thinking that's what it takes to have a good time. Only to wake up empty again! When I began to see myself as God sees me I began to know that I am royalty...the daughter of a King. I can't just be around every ole body, doing any ole thing, watching and listening to whatever. What I had to realize was that as much as I enjoyed watching ratchet TV, twerking on a Saturday every now and then, listening to and talking about some good tea(gossip), or jamming to some 2 Chains and Migos and whoever else....those things were not good for me. In all actuality they were put here to distract me from true fulfillment, desensitize me to the Holy Spirit, and ultimately alter my thinking.
I had such a hard time letting go of secular music once I was born again. I don't know why but I was so attached to it and sad that I had to stop listening to it. I even tried to plead with God about listening to it. "Lord do I really have to stop listening to my music...I'm not actually living like them. I don't do drugs, drink alcohol, I'm a virgin for Christ sake! Can I live?!" Let me tell you, it was a long struggle but I eventually got to a point where I no longer desired to listen to it. It took me learning that because I am in Christ everything I do most bring glory to my Father.
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Cor 10:31 NLT"
"14So you must live as God's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn't know any better then. 15But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
1 Pet 10:14 & 15 NLT"
So, instead of trying to plead with God about the music my prayer became "Lord take the desires of my heart and remove any that don't bring glory to you". It didn't happen over night like I might've wanted, but it happened. I knew that I had to make a choice. I could continue to speak the dead things of the songs I was listening to over my life or I could preserve my life by speaking the word of God. I began to get disgusted with the music I once loved and wondered how I could have ever loved songs that spoke negatively about women and promoted other things that God is against. There I was thinking "I'm just turnin' up" when all along the fun I was engaged in was complete disrespect to my Father. I encourage you to ask God to lift the veil from your eyes and mind. Ask Him to reveal to you the things of the spirit. You will began to see the lies and deceit in all the things you watch and listen to.
I was one of those "it's not that deep" type of people. I didn't always think the way I do now. I was very ignorant and misled in my thinking. It is ignorant to think that you can't be affected by what you entertain. What goes in must come out. Think of how you feel when your favorite song comes on...it affects you! So much to the point you may even say "that's my song" and sway to the music. Your favorite movie may move you to tears. A news report may upset you. I can recall watching a popular show that I had no business watching. I told the Lord "I'm just seeing what everybody's talking about". One of the main characters was very loud, flamboyant, and argumentative woman. She was fussing and cursing everybody on the show. I was binge watching the season and decided to take a break from it for a moment. I left the room I was in and came in contact with my nephews and baby sister. Out of no where I started fussing at them, though it was light hearted and in a joking manner. As I was talking God allowed me to see myself mimicking the spirit of what I had just watched...I heard him say "It's spirits behind that show Meska that's why you shouldn't watch it. You may think you're spiritually strong enough to handle it but know that what you sit under will still affect you!" I was only joking in that moment, but imagine if I continued to watch that show and got into a real disagreement with someone. What I had been meditating on (the show) would arise in me and I would be being combative instead of walking in love as God calls us to.
It began to be important to me to guard my heart because I didn't want the corrupt things that I use to watch or listen (meditate on) to become my reality. I didn't want to form those spirits in my heart. I wanted what God wants for me, not what the enemy wants. I had to run everything by God that I was engaged in when I realized spirits are lurking within what I'm exposed to. "Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. 1 John 4:1" Not everything or everyone is of God. We have to test the spirit of anything that comes our way. How we test the spirit is by comparing that person, place, thing to the word of God. If it opposes what God says about it we should guard our hearts from it.