Girding Up the Mind (1 Peter 1:13-16)

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; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:” (1 Peter 1:13–14, AV)

One of the things we always tried to do as a family was to take an annual vacation. Most of these were road trips. Yet, often we would go by air travel. One trip we all took was to San Antonio to see the Alamo. One of the things my wife always did was to get her and the children’s suitcases packed up the night before we left. I kind of hated doing this since, after serving in the United States Army and then holding a job where I traveled about 80% of the time, packing up reminded me of leaving home in a tense situation. Nevertheless, my wife did something very important. She got the family ready to take a journey.

Here, following Peter’s words regarding the believers calling to a glorious journey in life and destination, he tells them to “gird up the loins” of their mind. This is kind of a strange term for us. The term come from the practice of men who would hike up their robes and tuck them into their belts so they could move about quickly and freely. Thus, girding up the loins is an expression of preparedness for activity. It might be used in the context of preparing for a journey, or physical activity, or even bring prepared for military battle.

Here, Peter presented a thought that his readers would readily understand from the Passover. That evening in Egypt, the Israelites were to eat the meal dressed and prepared to leave (Ex 12:7-13). There were to be no hindrances to participating in the deliverance that God provided from their bondage in Egypt.

Yet, this expression seems even stranger when we consider that Peter tells them to gird up their minds. In other words, he is telling them to get their minds prepared for action. From a spiritual standpoint, our minds were dead regarding God and His purposes. We were kind of spiritual zombies. Now that He has made us alive in Christ, our minds have been made alive. Yet, there is still much preparation needed.

The issue of the mind of man is that it is connected to his will. The writer of Proverbs indicates regarding man, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7, KJV). How we think is connected to our will and thus, our actions. Therefore, we must prepare our minds for action so that we might fulfill the will of God in our lives.

How do we then prepare our minds for action? Peter gives us these clues. We must be endeavor to be sober minded, cool, calm and collected. We must set our hope on the things above rather than on the earthly and temporal. Moreover, we must avoid being controlled by our fleshly sinful passions and conformity to the world system.

Paul gives us a good summary on this thought of the mind. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2, AV). Basically, to prepare our minds, we must make sure that what goes into our heads is good. We must avoid allowing the profane things to enter and control our thoughts and think on that which is just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praise worthy. How do we do this? It is by spending time in God’s word, the Bible. In doing so, the Holy Spirit will renew us with correct thinking so that our minds will be prepared for action.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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