Faith’s Call to Holiness—1 Peter 1:13-16
Determination—prepare your minds
Prepare—to put in proper condition or readiness—make a concerted effort at getting something ready. Older translations use the terms, “gird up the loins of your mind”. That may sound strange but think about it—if you were wearing several layers of loose fitting robes that hung down to you shins, can you just start running at full speed whenever you want to? Anyone want to try it?
For a people that wore long flowing robes, to move quickly, to fight, or to work hard, you had to pick up or tie up your clothes.
It’s just like our need to put on a belt—I expect my grandfather would have said something like—“hitch up your britches”. Can anyone think of another phrase?
“Roll Up Your Sleeves.”
They had to make a deliberate decision to get ready and prepare themselves for action. They had to put in some effort, not just sit back and let things magically happen. But Peter wasn’t talking about clothes, he was talking about…
Your Mind—while there are many things our mind is wired to do—learn languages for example—your mind and thinking doesn’t come pre-wired or preprogrammed with knowledge that can help you accomplish architecture or calculus. Those things are learned. Your mind requires preparation to accomplish great things.
Your will, your thinking, your controlling agent. Your mind not someone else’s. Many have said that victory, invention, and other things are won with 10% Perspiration and 90% Inspiration. Athletes, soldiers, car salesmen, you name it, must have their mind prepared for the game, for the battle or whatever situation before the physical side begins. They must have a plan, must be focused on the goal, they must be determined and prepared mentally to accomplish the task at hand.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I might as well not wear my pads or uniform. I’ll be able to enjoy it more if I’m in my street clothes and I’ve got my camera.”
What does Self-Control look like to you? What does someone without Self-Control look like?
You be-self controlled—this is not an easy task—it is not natural to be self-controlled. Self-Controlled means to reign in impulse and sheer reaction. While it is possible for someone to learn self-control apart from faith in Christ—there is a reason that Self-Control is listed as one of the Fruits of the Spirit. God at work in our lives produces Self-Control
To be self-controlled is to not allow other things to control you—things like your desires, like your emotions, like temptations. No one else is responsible for you—other people’s actions and behavior is only able to control you if you give them the power to do so. So don’t worry, complain, or criticize what other people are doing or getting away with. As long as you are looking at them, you’re letting some part of yourself get away with something.
That sadly describes far too many believers. We have not determined to be self-controlled in our preparation, we have not shown the discipline it takes to be self-sacrificing in our service of those around us.
This is the 4th time in 13 verses that Peter has mentioned Christ’s Return.
All the determination and discipline is useless without an eternal direction
Your hope—your expectation and anticipation in what God is doing—your faith, your trust, your love for Jesus and the promise of His resurrection
Fully—completely, totally—relying and looking toward nothing else.
2 Timothy 2:22—“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Now, if you've made it this far in your reading, do you have any thoughts to add about holiness? About God's call and how it is to affect our thinking, our actions, our morals? One suggested that obedience needed to take a more prominent position. That's legitimate--obedience to what God has revealed about our lives and how we should live--in all things, not just the ones we like. We don't have the option of picking and choosing the commands of God--we're putting ourselves in His place when we do that. Any other thougths?