We have been given a wonderful privilege in the revelation of Jesus Christ and the dispensation of grace. 1 Peter 1: 10-12 says that the prophets and even the angels longed to look into these things that we now possess. That is amazing!
When Peter says in the following verses,
"Therefore, buckling the belts of your minds for action, keeping level-headed, set your hope entirely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As children who are under obedience, don't shape your lives by the desires that you used to follow in your ignorance. Instead, as the One Who calls you is holy, you yourselves must be holy in all your beahvior." 1 Peter 1: 13-15 Christian Counselors New Testament.
Peter's words are predicated on what I have been writing about the past few blogs. He is encouraging us to endure suffering for God's glory and to obey in spite of personal cost. He tells us we are able to do so because of the presence of the Holy Spirit and His sanctifying work in our lives. He then goes into what I said in the opening paragraph.
A few more instructions from our friend and teacher Peter; set your hope entirely on the grace you will receive one day. What? Don't we already have grace? Yes, we have grace now unto the future time when we will be spared the act of damnation, that crucial moment when the Books are opened and the names are read.
Grace, grace, marvelous grace! I am seeing that His grace is what enables me to bear up under the strain of current life circumstances. Grace is that settled and confident presence within me that brings me though each trying moment. Grace is the gentle reminder I sense when I know I have blown it. Whatever would I do without His grace?
What I would like to focus on though, is the part about buckling the belt of your mind for action and keeping level headed. These are both actions of a person who is confident in what they possess.
The one prepared for action is one who has learned the offensive and defensive moves so well they are a part of his or her nature. This person knows how they will respond without even thinking to do it. An example of such a reflex would be how fast you put your hands up to protect your face when something comes flying at you. You don't stop and think, "OH! I better put my hands up to protect my face!" you just do it. Such is the mind prepared for action in the spiritual sense. This mindset reacts righteously and biblically when presented with the opportunity to sin. It is the result of a mind that has been renewed (Rom 12:2) and the natural outflow of someone who practices Ephesians 4:22-24.
Putting off the old man (flesh) is crucial to living this way. Not just putting off, but putting on the likeness of Christ.
The other aspect is being level- headed and ladies, here is where many of us just fall over and die. The one who is level-headed is not living in Emotional Land subject to the whims of the all important feeeeelings we tote around all the time. I can poke at this bees nest because I have fallen prey to this very thing recently, so I am speaking to myself as well as you!
When we stop thinking biblically, and start acting emotionally we are sunk. Emotions want to run away with us, take over all reason and they simply defy biblical truth. They can lead us away from practicing holiness and bringing God glory!
Emotions demand their own way, demand satisfaction, demand to be heard, demand to be acknowledged, and can demand to rule. Emotions can become idols that are served and worshiped. I see it threaten in my own life these days!
When the hospice chaplain asked me yesterday how he could pray for me, I asked him to pray that I would be strong enough to place theology over emotions, that I would bring glory to God in spite of these terribly wrenching circumstances. I must remain level-headed through this...for my desire is to bring glory to God.