When we grasp the impact of the new lifestyle of living under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit,
then we can understand why God sets such a high premium on it. He gave us a great goal to reach for; then Jesus became our example to imitate in achieving
this goal. The Lord has given us the ability to be His divine expression so we can more perfectly reflect His nature.
Certainly change is required to live this dynamic life. But when we stepped out of the kingdom of darkness and into the fullness of the Kingdom of God,
we immediately acquired the inherent ability to walk in God’s light. We are now under the dominion of a new kingdom.
We possess a sufficient supply of His strength to successfully sever the undesirable attitudes that have restrained our progress. We have a deep need for
positive change. The Apostle Peter describes some aspects of this needed change:
“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;
as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all
your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:13-16).
Peter begins with an appeal to bring our minds under control. The mind is the real battleground. Old habits and desires apply pressure to our minds. Negative
thoughts and defeat try to dominate our minds.
To “gird up the loins of our mind” is to put out of our minds all the things that will impede the progress of God’s power working through us, such things
as jealousy, fear, worry, unforgiveness, and impurity. When we harbor these things we prevent the Holy Spirit from flooding our minds with the creative,
inspired ideas that He tries to impart to us.
To be sober is to be calm and collected in our spirits, to be temperate. It brings our minds into a state of self-control. We are able to see things clearly
without distortion. Satan’s attacks of worry and fear have an intoxicating effect when they are allowed to remain unchecked. They will produce a distorted
or exaggerated view of situations which undermine the work of God’s Word in our lives.
Girding up the mind and soberness, together with an expectation of God’s grace,
create confidence that we can truly live holy and pleasing to God. Now our inward holiness begins to find outward expression. The word “holiness” seems
to strike a note of condemnation in the minds of many. That generally stems from the way in which it is taught. To many, guilt and condemnation go
hand-in-hand with holiness.
The rationale of some ministers is, “If I can make people feel real bad, then I have ministered on holiness.” It seems that when they read the commission
that Jesus gave Peter, they read it this way: “Peter, do you love me? Then beat my sheep.” They have forgotten John 3:17 which says, “For God did not
send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This is just as important to the Gospel as John 3:16.
Don’t allow negative thoughts and defeat to dominate your mind. You can live holy and pleasing to God today if you will “gird up the loins of your mind!”