There is so much that is ponderable in this chapter. So much! The one sentence in the ESV version that kicks off chapter one could keep you pondering for a week by itself…
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1:3-5)
And that’s just one sentence.
But there is another phrase that I want to focus on in this Brick. It is found in verse 13: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action…” I actually like the way that the KJV translates the verse because I think it gives a better sense of what Peter is saying. “Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind…”
Peter is using military language here. When you went into battle you would take the lengthy robe that was part of the dress code of the day and tuck it (gird it up) into your belt so that you had freedom of movement as to better do battle. So what does it mean to “gird up the loins of your mind,” or to “prepare your minds for action”? Here are 4 thoughts…
1) We must be fiercely determined – Make no doubt that we are involved in a war. And the war begins in your mind. The enemy has done a great job of leading people to forget that we are at war – and therefore our determination to overcome the evil one is for all practical purposes tenuous at best and nonexistent at worst. Where is the fierce determination to stand firm against and boldly battle the enemy of our souls?
2) We must be vigilantly aware – A good soldier is constantly alert and continuously on the lookout for an attack. They live by the motto “When you least expect it, expect it.” It is often when things seem to be going well in our lives that we are spiritually blindsided because we have let our guard down just enough to give the enemy an opening that he can take advantage of. We must maintain a state of vigilant awareness if our minds are going to be prepared for action.
3) We must be adequately armed – John 10:10 tells us that our enemy wants to “steal, kill, and destroy” us. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that he is a roaring lion “seeking someone to devour.” It would be silly to try to defend ourselves against such an enemy weaponless. And yet, more often than not, that is what we do. We do not utilize the weapons we have been given We neglect the Word. We forsake prayer. We do not cling to the gospel. We respond in fear rather than in faith. The Lord has given us all that we need to fight the good fight but many believers have chosen to lay down their weapons in obsequious surrender.
4) We must be appropriately trained – Having the right weapons to fight the enemy is good. But being trained to use those weapons with excellence is much much better. So here are a few questions for you to think about as you discern whether you are appropriately trained to fight the evil one… or not.
- Do you find that reading your Bible is a duty or a delight?
- Do you regularly hear God speak to you as you read His Word?
- Are you daily putting God’s Word into practice in your day to day life?
- Do you experience prayer as sweet and sacred or as monotonous and mundane?
- Do you regularly “preach the gospel to yourself” and remind yourself that “according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
- In what ways are living “by faith and not by sight?” Would anything be different about your the way your life is practically lived out if God was stripped away?
- Do you find that joyfully engage in worship or dutifully endure worship with other believers?
If you find that you need training in one of these areas I would be delighted to help. Just let me know.
May this brick better help you to prepare your minds for action as you anticipate going into battle today.