1 Peter 1:13-16
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.””
I was reminded, today, of a truth that I had taken for granted. God didn’t ever tell us to try to be holy or walk in righteousness. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus say, “Okay, guys. I know I am perfect and you’re just human so I don’t expect much from you. In fact, count it pure joy when you hit but just figure you’re going to fail so you don’t get your hopes up too high.” It’s kind of sounds funny, if you can imagine Jesus telling the disciples to just “try your best”.
In 1 Peter, we see the first thing, that was instructed, was to “gird up the loins of your mind”. I love how a pastor friend of mine explained it. He said, “Peter was telling us to protect the tender or vulnerable parts of your mind. The parts [of our thoughts] that is sensitive to injury, causing us to stumble or become immobile.” What comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, which says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” Peter was talking about bring every thought into alignment and making sure that they are protected so that when the enemy does attack our minds, and he will, they are well protected!
I have struggled through the past 6 months with mental/spiritual warfare. Through my son’s surgery, dealing with his disabilities, trying to evenly spread my time between God, myself, husband, house, children, church, finances, and LIFE, satan has attempted to penetrate all of my defenses. The battle was long and hard. The attacks were relentless. One thing I know for sure is God is faithful. The storm is not over. Satan doesn’t quit attacking just because we’ve had enough. However, Jesus didn’t have peace after he calmed the storm. He had peace in spite of it!
Being sober and knowing that God is in control is not always as easy as saying, “I will be sober and trust in God.” Sober is not just the absence of drugs and alcohol. A sober mind is the absence of any mind-altering substances, including delusions, deceptions, and lies! These can be self inflicted through ignoring reality or by choosing to believe what others are giving us without consulting God and His word for truth. (Philippians 4:8 “Whatsoever things are true… think on these things”) You mind must be in alignment with God’s word and His truth! When your mind is focused on truth, it is so much easier to trust God, because you are not being deceived that He is unable to handle your problems! Knowing that He is in control and the truth of His good, acceptable and perfect will, will keep you in a place of humility and security. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). This means that even though we may not see behind the scenes or even know where our provision or answers are coming from, He will bring them all together for our benefit, if we keep our minds set on Him.
I thought of my children as I read the last part. My children have no doubts that at 5:30ish, I am going to call them to the table and feed them. It never crossed their minds that there could come a day that they come to the table for supper and have nothing in front of them. Why? The truth of it is, they never will! God promised that we would never have to worry about what to eat or what to wear.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were concerned about the clothes my children did have. They were all summer clothes and getting way too small. Not long after we prayed over it, and gave it to Jesus (1 Peter 5:7), did a co-worker, and fellow child of God, hand us a card with enough money in it to buy two new outfits for each child and food for two days. He heard God’s call and answered it. We didn’t expect it, and didn’t know where it was going to come from but was trusting God to work in our behalf!
As children of God, we are called to be Holy. Not to try to be holy but to be holy. Does this mean perfection? No! However, we are called to be part of the family. Another way to look at this is as a family unit. When I married my husband, I took his name and we became a family. Our children were born into our family. As they grow up, we are constantly reminding them that they are representatives of God and our family. My husband, Joe, will look at my son sternly, but full of love, and say “You are my son and I expect you to act like it.” Does this mean that he won’t make mistakes? No. When he makes mistakes, we lovingly discipline him because we cannot allow him to continue behaving badly and acting out of family character. Just as we discipline our son and bring him back into right-standing, so does God discipline us and bring us back into righteousness!
This week I challenge you to look at the God the Father. See what He expects from His children. He loves us so much and will never call us to do something destructive. We can trust Him to do what is best! He wants you to be a part of the family! If you are not part of the family, it is simple. Throw out everything you think you know about God, and ask Him to show you who He is through a relationship with Him.
He loves you more than you know!