Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
Have you fallen? We all do. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
In the Bible, Peter comes to us after his failure and return and tells us to arm yourselves with a new way of thinking – thinking like Jesus.
I think there are three ways Peter gives us to arm our thinking:
1. Arm yourself with hope.
Hope is a battle in the mind – we must be thoughtful (sober-minded) – we always have a choice. Even though I had no choice in my situation, I have a choice in how I prepare my mind for action – how I put off the old mind and put on the new, and ultimately it’s about not letting go of hope.
I don’t know about you, but I can be so pessimistic about life. I think back to my day’s as a Missionary in Croatia when I would hear this Croatian phrase, “It’s bad today, it will be worse tomorrow.”
We can change our perspective of hope in our minds.
How? By setting our minds on things above not below. Putting our thoughts toward heaven and the hope we have. The grace – unmerited favor.
He went to prepare a place for us – why? So we could be with him forever. Hope is the best of things – arm yourself with hope.
Arm yourself with self-restraint.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11 ESV
2. Arm yourself with self-restraint
this is different for everyone…we all have passions of the flesh that we give permission to when we go through trials…
I know that when we are under attack, our flesh is weak and we can too easily fall to temptation. Then, we can start to justify all kinds of self destructive behavior.
Let me give you one of the many things I struggled with. I found myself talking about myself all the time, every conversation I had with people seemed to focus on my pain and I became disgusted with it all. I stopped asking others questions, I stopped being empathetic for other’s pain and I thought of myself more than I thought of others and their pain.
I could hear myself thinking – “they don’t know what real pain is.”
Self-restraint is at the core of Jesus telling us to pick up your cross and follow Him, where you lay down your life to get His life.
In order to gain
Here’s something you can do this week: pick something that you think you might do a little too much. Maybe it’s drinking, watching television, playing video games, or not doing anything, and stop it completely for one month. See what happens.
3. Arm yourself with faith.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:6-9 ESV
Arming yourself with faith ultimately comes down to what you believe about God. And what you believe about God will drive you to your knees in humility. I’ve been humbled by the hand of God and by what He’s done for me on the Cross and in my daily life.
The devil wants to sift you like wheat – shake you until you don’t believe…but today is a moment for me and for you to arm yourself with fresh hope, self-restraint, and firm faith… and when you do the devil will flee.