Steps Leading to Holiness (Part I)

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.” 1Peter 1:13-15

Definition of Loins (according to Strong’s Concordance: G 3751): the hip (loin), the place where the generative power resided.

Definition of gird up: (according to Strong’s Concordance: G 328): a metaphor derived from the practice of the Orientals [and possibly Middle Eastern people], who in order to be unimpeded in their movements were accustomed, when starting a journey or engaging in any work, to bind their long flowing garments closely around their bodies and fastened them with a leather belt.

In the book of 1Peter, the Apostle Peter began by explaining the revelation of the work of Jesus on the cross that God revealed by the Holy Spirit. He elaborated that many prophets had spoken about the work of the Messiah who was going to come, but in his era, they found that truth revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. In the light of this amazing revelation and what Jesus had done for us, Peter instructed and exhorted all believers to live a life of holiness.

The first thing that Peter addressed in becoming holy is to gird up the loins of our minds. “The loins of your mind,” is an unusual phrase considering the mind does not have loins! Peter was telling the believers that their minds has the capacity to give life to something. The mind is the incubator of good or evil depending on how we use it.

We can produce much sin by how we think of ourselves or others. Our minds become the incubator of either Godly thoughts or evil thoughts. Just because others don’t see what we are thinking, it doesn’t mean that it is not producing sin and death. Looking at all the negativity that is spewed in the news, music, and social media, it is no wonder that people’s hateful reactions is so out of proportion to what occurs in various circumstances. They are the result of people exposing themselves to negativity for a long time, which in turn feeds them destructive thoughts and produce evil actions. 

Our thoughts can produce anger, hatred, and division. We can be distrusting of a group of people because we disagree with them on certain topics. We add to this problem when we gossip about them and cause others to develop a wrong perception of the person/people. Then there are those who continually have dark and hopeless thoughts about themselves, which brings about depression in their lives. Feeding on those thoughts can only produce hopelessness and evil. Some go on antidepressant drugs for years others become suicidal. All the while their needs are met and there is nothing significant wrong with their lives. It all began with incubating negative thoughts that produced bad fruit. 

Paying attention to what we are conceiving in our minds is an important part of our spiritual battle. If we allow ungodly and dark thoughts to take over our lives, we are not on the road to holiness.  Jesus told the Pharisees that they washed the outside of the cup but inside they were full of all forms of evil and wickedness (See Luke 11:39).

We can save our spiritual face before others, but our internal world will continue to become emptier and darker if we do not gird up the loins of our minds.  We will begin going through the motion of spirituality but getting frustrated because we will not see progress in our lives. What we give life to in our minds begins to take over our perception, attitude, and drive, and we will either move forward in faith, hope, love, and unity, or we will move in fear, doubt, distrust, and division. One will lead us to holiness and victory, and the other to carnality and despair.

What are you feeding your mind today? Examine your thoughts and determine if you gird up the loins of your mind! I will continue with this subject in the next devotional. 

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