Steps Leading to Holiness (Part II)

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

Peter exhorted the church that in the light of Jesus’ work on the cross they are to live holy lives. As I shared in the last devotional, he began by telling them to gird up the loins of their minds. This would ensure that their minds would not give life to evil but good.

Peter also told them to live sober lives. There are physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects to being sober. The below definition helps us to understand sobriety.

Definition of sober (according to Strong’s Concordance: G 3525): to be sober, to be calm and collected in spirit, to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect, to abstain from wine (keep sober), be discreet:—be sober, watch.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and physically we are called to stay alert and abstain from becoming intoxicated with alcohol. We have a culture that drinking alcohol is its favorite pastime. Much harm is committed in the name of having fun when people lose their alertness and get into foolishness. It is a known fact that college campuses have a high rates of drinking and rape, but unfortunately, it is not deterring people from this harmful activity.  When people are intoxicated, they can’t think clearly and act responsibly, which leads to much evil.

At the emotional level, we need to remain sober because it is very easy to get offended and emotional about little things. We have to have remain alert and understand that the enemy is after derailing every child of God, and he will use family, friends, coworkers, and strangers to offend us. When we are offended, we become intoxicated with our hurt feelings! All we can think about is how we have been treated unjustly. We are not focused on glorifying God, but our focus is how to relieve ourselves from anger and injustice. Being sober allows us to take a step back and not allow to get intoxicated with our own emotions. Instead, we allow God to speak into our hearts and we let Him have His way in the situation.

We also need mental alertness. There is much false teaching and fake information around us. We cannot continually partake of these things and expect to remain focused on holiness and the purpose of God in our lives. The mental alertness points back to Peter exhorting the church to gird the loins of their minds.

Finally, at the spiritual level, we need to be sober about the fact that the world around us is not setup to encourage believers in their process of holiness and sanctification. It has to be our conviction along with the grace of God that allows us to navigate this process of holiness for years to come without feeling like we are missing out on something. Sometimes other people’s lives seem more fun and interesting because they have chosen to live in denial of the truth and just live it up for the day. However, as children of God, we are called to live sober lives, which means we are continually watching and praying. We can’t let our guards down in this world because we can’t be passive about choices in life. We live our lives with the knowledge that Jesus gave up everything for us, so we can have a life that is free from bondage and the guilt of sin. We no longer serve the master of this earth but we are His children and His priesthood looking for those who are drunk with the choices in this world and inviting them to the freedom and sobriety that the Lord provides for us all.

Take time to allow the Lord to speak to your heart about the areas where you have been under the influence of your emotions, the culture, or people around you. I will continue with this subject in the next devotional. 

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