Bible Studies & Devotionals

From Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

Get all the Soul Foods online @: http://www.olivebranchministries.us

Being Sober Minded

-- New Revised Standard with Apocrypha

1 Peter 1:13: "Therefore prepare your minds for action; {Gk [gird up the loins of your mind]} discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed."

-- New King James

1 Peter 1:13: "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

Godís Word is very specific in itís instruction to us on how we are to think and act.

It is very specific in how we are to view things. The "bottom line" is, we are to think and act like God thinks and acts. One of the ways we are to think is soberly or right minded.

In the above Scripture the Apostle Peter tell us to prepare our mind, to think soberly, to discipline ourselves or to prepare our mind for action.

We have talked many times in previous lessons about the importance of walking in faith and being obedient to Godís Word. Walking in faith and obedience is vital to your success as a child of God and to reaping the blessings of God.

We have talked about how to get faith. (Soul Food Ė "Walking in True Obedience," also "Believe That You Receive"). All of this is important, but if you are not thinking right, if you have not prepared your mind to think in line with Godís Word, then no matter how hard you try to walk in obedience or faith, it will be difficult, because your mind is not in line with Godís Word.

-- New Jerusalem with Apocrypha

Romans 12:1-2: I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and mature.

Paul is telling us here, not to act like the contemporary world, or even think like the contemporary world but to renew our minds so that we can know for ourselves what is good and acceptable and mature to God.

We have been so deceived by the enemy that we have come to accept less than the perfect things of God in our lives. We accept the worldís attitude and beliefs, not really understanding that these attitudes and beliefs are totally opposite of Godís ways. We are so ingrained with the worldís beliefs that it blinds us to Godís ways. Even when we begin to see the light and understand how God wants us to live, we have a hard time with it, because our mind is so untrained and undisciplined. We look at things in the natural, not in the spiritual. We see the problem, and the rational, natural way to solve the problem, not Godís way or solution. We see the bill due, not that Godís words says "He will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory." We hear the doctorís diagnosis, see the symptoms, not that Godís Word says "By His stripes ye were healed." We see our children stumbling around grasping for acceptance, mixed up in gangs and drugs, not that "you and your house shall be saved."

Why is it this way? Because we have not trained our minds, to think in line with Godís Word! We were created in the image of God the Father, that means we are a three part being, as God is a three part being. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

We are man the body, man the spirit and man the mind. It is the spirit that is the real you.

When you are born again, and accept Christ as your Savior, you are a new Creature, all things are new. (2 Cor. 5:17). It is this new spirit that is housed in your body that is the real you.

Your spirit communes with God, your body and mind with the natural things of the world.

If you do not fill your spirit with the things of God, and renew your mind with the things of God, than you will be ruled by your mind and body and not your spirit. When you need to rely on the things of God you wonít be able to, because your mind is not "sober", it is not lined up with the things of God, it is not prepared for action. You will not be willing to act on Godís Word and be obedient and therefore you will not "eat the good of the land."

Isaiah 1:19: "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;"

1 Corinthians 1:19-21: "For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'' Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

1 Corinthians 2:14: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

The Apostle Paul is telling us here, that we cannot understand the ways of God, through our natural thought process. It is foolishness to us, because we are trying to understand by logic and reason something that defies logic and reason. God is neither logical or reasonable in the natural sense.

It was not natural to feed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes.(Matthew 14:17-21). It is not natural to raise the dead daughter of Jairus or heal the lady with the issue of blood. (Mark 5: 22-42). No, God does not do things in the natural way we are used to. God is a God of the miraculous.

Donít limit yourself to thinking on a one dimensional level of natural thinking, get your spirit and mind lined up with the Word of God and think on a supernatural level. Think like God thinks, speak the things of God, faith not doubt, life not death.

It takes dedication, training and time. You cannot read the Word fifteen minutes a day, and expect to renew your mind into the image of God. You have to study the Word, listen to it, read it, meditate on it, speak it and act on it.

Joshua 1:8. "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."

Psalm 119:11, 15-16: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against YouÖ I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word."

- Living Bible

John 14:21 "The one who obeys me is the one who loves me; and because he loves me, my Father will love him; and I will too, and I will reveal myself to him.''

Titus 2:11-13: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,"

All of these Scriptures teach us that Godís ways are foolish to the wise of the world. They also show us that we must mediate and contemplate Godís Word and ways daily to understand them and walk in them.

Becoming grounded in Godís Word and thinking soberly, leads us to a willing mind and a mind that is willing to be obedient and act on Godís Word. What we do with our mind is very important.

Letís look at what the Apostle Peter tells us again.

- New American Standard

1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

"Gird your mind for action", in other words, get ready, be prepared, donít wait for the problem to arise, the crisis to come before you start training your mind for action. If you have not prepared your mind beforehand, than when God does communicate with your spirit, when God does keep His promises, you wonít be able to act on them, because your mind is not willing and ready. It will be functioning on a rational, natural level not on a supernatural, heavenly level.

A willing mind is a mind that is ready to act, a Word filled spirit and mind is where your strength will come from. Get you heart and mind ready.

Ephesians 6:11,14: "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devilÖ Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,"

The Amplified Bible says it this way, "Therefore put on Godís complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day (of danger), and having done all (the crisis demands), to stand (firmly in your place). Stand therefore Ė hold your ground Ėhaving tightened the belt of truth around your loins."

If you have not tightened the belt of truth around you and prepared your mind, you will not be able to stand in the crisis. Donít let the enemy catch you unprepared, resolve now, to "tighten the lions of your mind," and be sober minded. Amen!

If you truly want to know for sure that you are a child of God, then I would like to invite you to earnestly pray this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),

So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.