Tightening the Belt
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; ~1 Peter 1:13
During Peter’s days, everyone wore long, flowing garments. When they needed to go on an extended journey or needed to run, they would pull up their garment and tighten it very snugly at the waist level so that they would not be impeded by it. It prevented falling and being slowed down. Using this imagery, Peter exhorts us to tighten the belt around our thoughts.
We see the prohibited.
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance….” The first thing we must do in girding up the loins of our mind is to not conform ourselves to our past life in the flesh. We must avoid living a life of rebellion and, instead, live in obedience to the Word and will of God. We fight with the old nature every day, and we must be in submission to the Holy Spirit to be victorious.
We see the practices.
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We are called to be a holy people. This requires that we live a life separated from worldly amusements, worldly accomplices, worldly ambition, and worldly attitudes. Holiness is attained through time in the presence of God. We must see God’s holiness as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6. His holiness must overwhelm us in seeing how sinfully vile we are and our great need for purging and cleansing. Holiness is becoming more like our Lord.
We see the praying.
“And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work.” The girding of our minds and holiness are developed through a life of prayer. Every man’s work is judged and evaluated, including our praying. What does God have to say about your praying: the frequency of your praying? The fervency of your praying? The faith in your praying? The fellowship in your praying? The fruitfulness of your praying? The greater work of the Christian life is a life of prayer.
We see the preparation.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ….” Girding up the loins of our mind is necessary to prepare us for the soon coming of our Lord. We must be sober minded, not indulging or occupying our thoughts with things that are confusing, corrupting, critical, covetous, or crushing. Our preparation for the Lord’s coming must be with anticipation and focus on the hope that it gives to us. His coming is the “blessed hope” of every believer.
We see the pilgrimage.
“Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear….” Finally, in girding up the loins of our mind, we must make our journey through this life in fear. This means the fear of being caught off guard or in a shameful situation. It is keeping our conscience void of offense before God and man. It is redeeming the time, because the days are evil. It is winning souls to Christ, "pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Girding up the loins of our mind is disciplining our thoughts and living our life so that we do not fall or allow the wrong things to impede our progress. If you are at a place in life where you feel things have slowed down or you are slipping, it might mean you need to tighten your belt.
Have a focused God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Joshua 1-4