Mind Control (1 Peter 1:13). I just completed an article for the Gospel Gleaner on suffering and Buddhism. Buddhism attempts to help people overcome suffering and misery by encouraging and training a person to exercise control of the mind. Sounds commendable, but their solution is very inadequate and only sufficient for a short time. The apostle Peter, on the other hand, offers a God-ordained solution in contrast to that which philosophical materialism offers, and that solution is the Lord Jesus Christ. “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” (KJV). The idea of girding up the “loins of your mind” simply means to prepare yourself with understanding what it is you are facing, and then face it squarely with a source that is not of your own making. What source then? In the previous section of his letter, Peter speaks of the source of revelation, that is, the revelation of God to those of His choosing wherein we today can understand and apply God’s solution to our problem. To do this we must let the Lord control the mind. More than that, however, we must also let the Lord control our behavior.
Body Control (1 Peter 1:14-16). When the Lord controls one’s mind, then that mind (controlled by the Lord) controls the behavior. Think about this for a moment. There are two influences in this world: there is the Creator God, and then there exists the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4); the latter, however, is evil from “head-to-toe.” Society does not look at evil the way the Lord does and, consequently, society does not judge particular behaviors as evil (even though the Lord does). We are reminded by the Lord that He thinks differently and on a higher-plane than man. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55-8-9, KJV). In order for us to not be controlled by the “god-of-this-world,” let us then be controlled by God so He can control our behavior. To do this, we must give Him our time.
Time Control (1 Peter 1:17). Peter wrote, “And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear” (ASV). Do you call on the Almighty as Father in your prayers? If you have any wisdom you do. on the other hand, if you have given Him little of your time, then why should you be allowed to think that He will give you anything but the same amount of time (if that!) as you have given Him? Note what it is Peter is saying. First, the Christian calls God “Father.” This term expresses relationship. Second, God is not partial in His rendering of justice and judgment. The standard He gave you and me (as one can read in the New Testament) is the standard by which He measure us in both categories (justice and judgment). Third, while here on this earth we measure our life, in many ways, but not the least of which is time. We call it “birthdays.” How are you using your time? Fourth, if you are not using your time wisely, then the fear of which Peter speaks is surely going to be a person’s dread. It has been said that “Time is a precious commodity; each person needs to use it well, for when it is gone it is no longer possessed.” This brings us to the fourth point.
Possession Control (1 Peter 1:18-21). It was the precious blood of Jesus Christ, something that belonged to Him, that was shed for you and me. “Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28, ASV). Paul gave his final exhortation to the elders of the congregation meeting in Ephesus. He reminded them that they are no longer their own, but they belong to another, to One who purchased them with His very life. While we are pleased with that which we possess, that which the Lord possesses is of much greater value than any material thing we have. Let us be reminded that the Lord is in control…that is, He is in control of me, and it is to Him that I owe everything, so I will give Him my life (cf. Galatians 2:20).