Summary: Maintain the internal until God changes the external...
Enjoying your Salvation
In the previous verses the Apostle Peter focused primarily on the finished works of Christ. He focused on what the Lord had provided and acquired for the believer, thus giving us all that’s needed in order to live as successful believers. Simply said, He taught us what the Lord had done! He tells us that God has provided an eternal hope; God has provided an eternal inheritance; God has provided eternal salvation; God has provided eternal protection; and God has provided us with the ability to praise Him in the midst of our troubles. God has done all of this for you, now Peter tells us its time for you to do something not just for God, but for yourselves. So Peter shifts the direction of his discourse to tell us what we ought to be doing.
In our lesson today Peter reminds us that being saved is the work of God, but enjoying our salvation involves some work from our parts. It requires some spiritual tenacity. It requires some holding on and not letting go. To many saints treat God like a microwave. You think you can put in a promise, hit the button and out comes your blessing. But Peter tells us that the time will come when you won’t get an instant answer, you won’t get a quick fix, you won’t get immediate deliverance, but you’ve got to know how to operate internally until God changes things externally.
Peter says in verse number one “gird your minds for action.” During this time the men wore long robes, and whenever they got ready to move swiftly, they had to lift the bottom of their robes in order to run.
Peter is saying if you’re going to run this race of faith:
I. You need to train your mind.
A. Whenever you face a storm, you’ve got to pick up a promise and run. You’ve got to focus on what God is going to do, and not what you’re going through.
B. Many of us haven’t trained our minds to think righteously when we’re in a storm. So when we get in a storm instead of saying God is with me, we ask God questions like; God where were you when I needed you; why did you allow this? You begin to doubt the goodness of God, instead of doubting your doubt.
C. Gird your minds for action, train your minds to think in the realm of faith and holiness.
1. Paul said “cast down those imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” In other words “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.”
2. Another word for train is discipline. We’ve got to learn how to discipline our minds so that it can work for us and not against us. Paul also said, “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
II. Not only must you train your mind on how to think in a storm but you must also Guard Your Spirit.
A. Peter said in verse 13, keep sober in spirit. Keep means to guard. Guard your spirit like the Secret Service guards the president. The Spirit protects the heart!
B. Notice the order of importance: First he said train your mind, then he said guard. Why? Because the mind and the spirit operate just like your garden. Whatever you put in will definitely come out. If you keep the weeds of negative thoughts out your mind, the spirit can produce fruit like peace and joy, irregardless of the weather outside.
1. Jesus said “the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”
If your spirit isn’t right, your words won’t be right, and if your thinking isn’t right then your walk with God isn’t going to be right. We guard our spirits by guarding our minds!
C. Peter tells us how to guard or keep our spirits. He says in verse 13, “be sober.”
1. Sober means self controlled. Peter isn’t saying control yourself in the flesh, because the flesh is weak, no he’s saying be controlled in your spirit by the Spirit.
2. Sober also means to be free from the control of intoxicants.
A. To much alcohol will control a person. Narcotics will control a person. But whenever a person wants to get free, they have to go through a program of detoxification. The have to purge their minds and spirits of all the impurities that controlled their lives.
B. Some of us are the same way. We’ve been in the kingdom for a long time, but we haven’t had any spiritual anti-toxins to purge our hearts and minds, and so when we get in a storm, we break down because we can’t handle the pressure, and like the drug, we feel the need to rebel against God.