Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16
To be completely honest, and having been a Christian for many years, I still struggle with self-control and especially with hoping in grace.
When I am going through a verse, it seems important to think about what order the exhortations come in. In the case of 1 Peter 1:13-16, it seems that we are to do these things in the following order:
- prepare our minds
- use self-control
- don’t conform to the world’s evil desires (or our past ones)
- be holy
I’ve also been reading about the Armor of God this week, from Galatians 6, and I think that they overlap in some of the pieces of armor we are called to put on:
- Belt of truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- feet fitted with readiness of gospel of peace
- shield of faith-to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one
- helmet of salvation
- sword of the Spirit-the word of God
- And prayer in the spirit-all kinds of requests and prayers
How can I prepare my mind for each day? I think the most important way we can do this is to put on our spiritual armor, review all our memory verses, and pray daily (more on that and the armor of God later in the week). Sometimes these habits are hard to implement on a daily basis, but the word habit here is very important. I find that when I am not taking time daily to prepare my mind for the day, I am more likely to experience spiritual warfare.
Think about all of the bad habits you do on a daily basis. I have a major sweet tooth, and one of my habits has been giving in to a craving for chocolate after lunch. This habit started with just one lunchtime splurge, followed by another and then another.
We can form good habits in the same way: starting one day at a time and continuing day after day. I can also rid myself of bad habits in much the same way, by making a conscious effort each day to choose to create the habit of resisting my cravings. And when I fail and give in? Well, I have two choices when that happens. I can totally give up and go back to my bad habit (forgetting to prepare my mind for action and my craving for chocolate) or I can choose to start again, today, and not worry about what happened, even five minutes ago.
I can do this because of God’s grace. No matter how many times I fail, I can have hope in God’s grace because He will offer it to me as many times as I repent to Him. Isn’t that so cool!
This summer I am going to work on memorizing Romans 12-15. I have never memorized this many chapters at a time, but I’m going to try to do it.
Want to join me? If you decide to, leave me a comment and be sure to let me know how you are doing as the summer progresses. My pastors are preaching on these topics for the next few months, so I may share what they inspire me to consider as we make our way through these verses.