Right now, today, at this moment are you sober-minded?
As a Christian are you sober-minded or are you Luke-warm?
Christ has called us to be sober minded as part and parcel of our maturing in our daily walk with our Lord. But do we even know what to be sober-minded means?
To be sober-minded as 1 Peter 1:13 presents is: 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
4:7 7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober minded for the sake of your prayers.
5:8 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Scripture says to be prepared for action, be aware of the grace of our Lord because the end is at hand. Be self-controlled and sober minded so your prayers will be mature and meaningful. Be watchful, don’t shrug off the supernatural and Satan as folklore. Satan and his demons are real, and they are out to knock the wind out of you and sabotage your life.
If we are indeed serious about our faith and relationship with Christ, we then are serious about our sin, about confessing it daily and repenting (changing our behavior), pursuing holiness while at the same time acknowledging our fallenness, our ability to be wrong, by being humble. We realize we can learn from the young and from people with other points of view. But the sober minded are not so serious that they cannot laugh and be lighthearted in all circumstances.
Sober-mindedness is not an end unto itself, it is the by product of a Christ-like life. When we focus on Christ daily, when we take seriously his Holy Word and read it and life it, when we talk to him in prayer, acknowledging his presence in our lives and not ignoring him.
The Apostle Peter speaks to us, in fact pleads with us not to get pulled into the shallow and weak part-time faith of our day. A Gospel Centered, Christ-like life is not one in which we approach Church (the Body of Christ) as just on more activity. We do not read the bible for ten minutes a week and expect to be bible-literate or understand in any way what Christ intends for our lives.
If you have fallen into the shallow faith of the American church today and need Christ more than ever start with the Cross. Look at it again. Don’t sanitize it but consider deeply how our Lord, a human like you and I was tortured, ridiculed and shamed and then murdered in the most evil and painful way possible, by choice! By Choice!!!
Isaiah 53:4-5 4 Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we …
The Deity of Christ could comprehensively see from beginning to end all human sins, and we mean ALL human sins, the vilest and the most trivial and as much as that pained his Holiness, he agreed to accept that pain, grief in our place in his incarnation. How significant was that and is that?
Christ was a baby, a boy, he grew up, he experienced all the bodily hurts, aches, pains, emotions that you and I have. And in that perishable human body he was tortured, murdered and died for us. Are we living and thinking in a way that reflects that reality?? Many of us are probably not.
If you live a sober-minded life you are subject to affliction, sickness and difficulty. Even though God has placed a hedge around you the world, the flesh and the devil make you a target. Life will not be easy. The prosperity gospel is a false gospel.
To be sober-minded means we know and understand that we could die today. We are prepared to die. We know life is short and often unfair.
Many Christians today have bought into the cultural narrative of hoping men can repair our sinful preferences through politics and policy. And these Christians allot most of their precious time to the things of this world instead of walking with Christ. Reflect on your life, your faith, who do you spend more time with, social media, the news, politics or Christ? Are you helping the widow, your neighbor, your community, your family or are you caught up in worry about things you have no impact over?
Beyond the realities of the powers and principalities we focus on God’s grace. God’s grace takes us past our cynical point of view and hopelessness, past the hardships to the reality of a future grace with Christ and all those we love.
Psalm 16:11 11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Later we see in 1 Peter 5:6-8 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking …
When sober minded expect to be disappointed, offended, and betrayed. Keep showing hospitality, even when it’s inconvenient or you receive no thanks (1 Peter 4:9). Keep speaking the truth in love, even when you would rather say nothing (1 Peter 4:11).
Being sober-minded means, we keep serving people even when it is costly in some way. (1 Peter 4:11).
1 Thessalonians 5:6 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
You see the spiritual reality is sobering in and of itself. When I was in basic training many years ago, they put me and several others on guard duty. It was all we could do to stay awake. In the meantime, someone had slipped past us. You see we were not sober minded we had given in to slumber. Just as Jesus said to his disciple’s when they could not stay awake.
Mark 14:37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
So, wake yourself up to the bloody victory of Christ on the Cross, to the all too real schemes of our enemy, to the coming judgment, to the challenges of loving others and the certainty of Adversity suffering. Be awake to the sovereign love of our Father and his never-ending mercy and grace.