All right, today we’re going to shift gears. But before we jump in, you might want to stand up, go splash some water on your face, and do a few push ups and jumping jacks. Let’s get ready to have Grandpa Peter push us.
This passage starts with the word “Therefore.” It’s “there for” a reason. Peter is going to challenge us to respond to everything he’s said so far in the letter. That’s Peter’s style—to encourage, then challenge. Perhaps this is a good example for those of us who teach, coach, train, and lead others. We need to encourage, and we need to challenge. That’s what the Bible does, that’s what Jesus does, and that’s what Peter is doing now.
Peter literally uses these words: “Gird up your loins.” We translate that as “prepare for action.” Men in their culture wore long, flowing robes. So, before they went into battle, they tightened up their clothing to ready themselves for a fight. Put on your Under Armour, paint your face, lace up your boots, and let’s get going…
Surprisingly, Peter says all that about our minds. Usually when I think of action, I think of my body, not my mind. He then links it together with being “sober-minded.” In the Greek that means “not drunk!”
He is saying that the war for HOPE is won and lost in your mind. Your mind needs a boss, and that boss should be you. You get to determine if your mind is set on HOPE or DESPAIR.
Sometimes the battle isn’t that simple though, right? It may be one negative thought about your life or situation that quickly turns into jealousy—something as simple as an image on IG where you see friends hanging out without you. Other times, you’re tempted to listen to the negative voice in your head that keeps telling you that you’ll never measure up.
It might be lies of laziness telling you it’s okay to coast, that you don’t need to challenge your thinking and wrestle your beliefs to the ground. It may be the voice that keeps telling you to check your email, text messages, or social media—activities that keep pulling you from the greater work you know needs your full, undivided attention.
Laziness, confusion, apathy, and a weakened will all start in your mind. If you’re not careful, you can be easily pulled back to something you used to do, something you’ve already moved on from. Suddenly, you are emotionally engaging what you were just mentally entertaining.
It might be bitterness, jealousy, pride, selfishness, gossip, or insecurity. When it comes to battles of the mind, the list goes on and on.
Today we are going to declare war in our minds. We are going to roll up our sleeves and say, “You can’t have my thoughts any more.”
Right at this moment, I want you to write down the thing that’s occupying space in your mind unnecessarily and kick it out. Give it a name, drag it over to the trash can, and hit delete.
We are HOLY. We are set apart. We are called to live lives that are different. We have purpose. We have a higher calling, so we are going to let go of the lesser distractions.
We have barely enough space in our garage for our car and my makeshift home gym. I am ruthless about getting rid of stuff because I know if I don’t, I won’t work out, and if I don’t work out, I might put back on the weight I worked so hard to lose. And if I put back on the weight, I might have anger issues (more so than I do now). And if I have anger issues, my kids might think I am crazy (more crazy than they think I am now)…and so on. So I have to get rid of stuff.
I’m kind of joking about the garage, but I’m not joking about your mind and your thoughts. The Holy God of the Universe wants to help you pick up the broom and start sweeping it clean.
You do this by fixing your mind and ambitions on good things: the hope we have in Jesus, the calling He’s placed on our lives, and the mercy He gives to our lives.
Where is your mind fixed today? Would you be willing to do some summer cleaning and get rid of some junk so you can live more fully and lean into the person He created you to be?
He’s declared you HOLY because of what He’s done. That’s IDENTITY.
You decide if you live Holy by your choices. That’s OBEDIENCE!
Now is that time when you turn to Him and ask Him to strengthen you to live a HOLY, set-apart life, full of HOPE. We keep our lives pure when we keep our eyes fixed on Him.