♣ Mindset that Hinders or Furthers
“Therefore, girding up the loins of your mind 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.
WHAT MAKES ANY man or woman great in the kingdom of God is not their own strengths but the realisation (experience) of being strong in the power of God’s might. Many often wonder as to how the likes of James Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone and the C.T. Studd’s of the world lived heroically for their Lord and Saviour in the face of evil. Books are even published and widely circulated as to reveal their spiritual ‘secret’ for the successful Christian walk. When all is said and done, we will come to discover that there are no secret formulas or methods to bringing down the ‘fire of heaven’; these were men who literally took God at His Word and who staked their all for His honour and glory. They took God seriously and God took them seriously.
There is ample amount of exhortation in the New Testament for believers to set their minds on the things of God. The brain is one of the greatest gifts given to humanity and it is also one of the enemy’s greatest aspirations to twist and ruin it. What we feed our minds inevitably affects our conduct. The world states that Christians are victims of brainwashing, but in actuality we all encounter brain-conditioning, just how and with what we condition our minds is the matter of great difference, negative or positive, destructive or constructive.
To gird up the loins of our mind, as John Calvin explains, “…is a similitude taken from an ancient custom; for when they had long garments, they could not make a journey, nor conveniently do any work, without being girded up. Hence these expressions, to gird up one’s-self for a work or an undertaking. He then bids them to remove all impediments [hindrances], that being set at liberty they might go on to God.” Peter uses such language for us to gather or rein in the thoughts of our minds. Our minds need daily washing with the healthy Truth of God’s Word. Always differentiate that God never conditions our mind against our will or consciousness as some cults do; He takes us through stages in life whereby our eyes are gloriously opened to Truth. The realisation of Truth is a full-orbed consciousness and assent on our part; it is the embracing of it with our whole personality.
Girding up the loins of our mind does require discipline – and each one of us are more than capable of exerting it. Oswald Chambers said, “Undisciplined imagination is the greatest disturber not only of growth in grace, but of spiritual sanity.” We need to keep watch over our thoughts and ensure our minds are being steered in the right direction. How much time is wasted over wandering and aimless thoughts? It is this kind of thinking that causes the mind to stagnate, especially in a day and age where computer technology does much of our thinking for us.
To set our minds on things that are above, where Christ is seated, is part and parcel of girding up the loins of our mind. This kind setting is what is to be predominant. It doesn’t mean we don’t think about things of this life – that would be unrealistic; that our minds are governed by heaven is the emphasis laid down here.
The wonderful aspect of seeing things from God’s perspective is that our thinking is broadened, dullness of mind dissipates – indeed, we begin to think more soberly than ever that results in a sober, self-controlled way of living. We can know calmness under stress because we are able to rightly interpret the chaos around us in the light of God’s Word, Who works all things according to the counsel of His perfect will.
No Christian should settle any hope in this world whatsoever. Part of Christian sober-mindedness is to realise this world, with all of its ideologies, is absolutely nothing without God and without God it will soon pass away to absolutely nothing. Is the Christian then not to enjoy anything in this world; is their any point in the Christian having any comforts or enjoyment in this life? That question can be answered by stating we are here for God’s glory; we are Christ’s ambassadors first and foremost; holiness comes before happiness. God will bless us in ways that will spread His glory and the honour of His name. Yes, God does give us material things to enjoy – how frequent, though, is for God in His wisdom to determine. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and He will give us from it what He deems best for us.
We are called to set our hope fully on the grace that will be revealed at the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is the spring of our hope and everything flows from that. This is what garrisoned the heart of persecuted believers; this is what made them not love their lives even unto death because a great reward awaited them – not some self-centred or sexually perverse fulfilment, that some cults repugnantly propagate today, but God Himself and being fashioned according to the image of Jesus Christ, where no sin or lust exists that defies God, to see Him as He is and worship Him with unspoiled adoration. That is the seed of our hope. That is what we are living for and when the world asks us as to why we can hold our heads up in the midst of a sick world, we will give them the reason as for the hope we hold dear and possess.
This is what made simple men and women of the faith great. We are in good company and we are not exempt from living greatly for God. The question is: do we really want to?
Posted on October 1, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 1 Peter 1:13, devotional, girding up the loins of your mind, Mark Anthony Williams, Mindset that Hinders or Furthers. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.