EIGHT_WAY TEST ON MEDITATION
What you think determines what is in your heart. What is in your heart determines what you say. What you say determines who you are and who you are determines your final destination, which can be heaven or the lake of fire.
As a minister of the gospel of Christ, what you tell your congregation shapes their thought-pattern. You can send members of your congregation to heaven or to hell depending on what you feed their hearts and minds with. That is why the Bible says: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” (Jam 3:1-2 NKJV)
Submitting yourself to God is not merely accepting the substitutionary work of Christ and being born again. That’s part of it. In the main, it means submitting your thoughts, words and action to the standards of God’s Word, the Bible and the control of the Holy Spirit.
Some decade ago, I was a member of Rotary International. The club has a motto called ‘The Four-Way Test.’ It was recited at every weekly meeting of the Club. It goes like this:
The 4-way test of the things we think say or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
Rotary International is not a Christian organisation. People from different faiths belong to it. The four-way test is a good guide. The world would become a more peaceful place to live in if everybody followed these rules.
While visiting the Philippines, I attended a Rotary meeting where I was asked to say a few words. I spoke on God’s 8-way test, using the 4-way test as analogy. I posited that man lives in two dimensions. Events take place in the spirit realm before they manifest in the physical realm. The four-way test can only be achieved in this life if the spiritual dimension is taken care of. God searches the hearts and the reigns.
Sometime ago I had a dream where I was shown how the thoughts of my heart were transmitted in heaven like news from a radio broadcasting station. The sound was so loud that I was thoroughly embarrassed that what I was thinking in the privacy of my heart was heard clearly not by God only but by heavenly personalities. I made the common mistake of thinking that God listens to me only when I am praying.
At that time I adjusted by thinking habit. But as time went on there was a relapse. Recently, I am ashamed of the type of thoughts that cross my mind and are allowed to linger for a fleeting moment before I came to myself. So, this write-up is designed to remind me of what to do per time regarding my thought-life.
We have formalised prayer to the point that we become conscious of our thoughts when we knell to pray or in worship mode. Even at such times distractions occur. James tells us that “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”(Jam 1:8).
I have come to realise that meditation is an important aspect of prayer. Our prayer life depends more on what we think about when we are not in prayer mode than what we talk about at private or corporate altars.
The bible has made provision for thinking the right thoughts. This is because spiritual warfare is a battle of the mind. “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.” (Phil 4:8 NKJV)
Philippians 4:8 is the Bible standard for meditation. Anything that falls short of this eight-way test must be discarded. For a thought to enter a believer’s mind and be entertained it must be subjected to this eight-way test:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it NOBLE?
- Is it JUST?
- Is it PURE?
- Is it LOVELY?
- Is it of GOOD REPORT?
- Is it VIRTUOUS
- Is it PRAISEWORTHY?
If the answer to the thought that is lingering in your mind is positive on these eight points, then go ahead and meditate on it. The Lord will be delighted. As it is written: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
The most assured way of drawing near to God is through proper meditation. Use the eight-way test. It works.