Gird Up The Loins Of Your Mind
Years ago a preacher spoke on the physical example of horses. Horses that are to be worked are not left to run free on the open range. If they are left to run free, when you need them you can’t find them; if you do find them you can’t catch them; and if you catch them you can’t work them. They are out of the habit of being worked, and must be retrained or prepared again to be of much use. Please consider; where is your mind? Is it mismanaged and left to run free on the open range? How far have you strayed from the path, purpose, and plan of God for your life? Are the things of this world or your flesh occupying your mind? If they are, you will need retraining to be prepared when God calls you to spiritual warfare, or to a new purpose;
II Corinthians 10:3 – 6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Mind games such as Sudoku are often prescribed as an activity to keep people’s minds sharp. God had led me to give up these games as unproductive, and spend the time in the Word with Him. Recently my wife challenged me to try Sudoku again to see if I was faster than her. Not feeling conviction about it, an attempt was made. Since my mind was not prepared for that purpose it drew a total blank, and the puzzle took over twenty minutes for me to complete. The computer said that most people were faster than me; my mind was unprepared to the task. THIS IS NOT to advocate for playing mind games that do not matter, since there is no purpose to find. The purpose here is to exhort you to prepare your mind spiritually, by studying, praying and hearing God, and to prepare for the things, plan, and purpose of God, which spiritually also involve the heart! There is no doubt that God worked in this occurrence, to give this example for us to prepare to serve Him. Look at the preparation needed to keep you;
Proverbs 4:20 – 23 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Look at the actions listed in these scriptures that are needed to keep you in this life. If we do not walk in these ways the enemy can get a foothold and try to defeat you. There is a constant requirement on our part, and a diligence needed in doing so. Our very life may depend on it.
Girding up of the loins, as we see written in the Bible, was preparation needed to allow one to work or run. Garments were tied or belted up to prevent them from restricting movement or causing a fall. Today we would understand this physical example as wearing a belt or suspenders to keep from having to hold onto or pull up our pants frequently. We are exhorted in I Peter, with this metaphor, of the need to prepare our minds;
I 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: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
The spiritual purpose of girding up our minds in this scripture, the work or run if you will, is to be holy! There is a preparation, and obedience, and training needed to remove our former lusts and be holy. It is not something that can be turned on when it is needed or desired. In the physical the most successful athletes are not those with the most raw talent, but those who have diligently prepared and are the most competitive or driven to succeed. That is also the spiritual importance of pressing in. We cannot find holiness living in our former lusts. We must be diligent and prepared to receive the promises. Do you want peace? Be diligent in mind and faith;
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Proper, diligent, preparation is needed to bring the desired result. Jesus used the comparison of a yoke to encourage us in Matthew 11:29; Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Jesus did not just wait for chance to happen and react to it, but He prepared for it. Let us ... consider Him and the preparations He made. At twelve years old He already was preparing;
Luke 2:46 – 49 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
This was not a “sometimes” occurrence; as Jesus grew in stature, he also grew in wisdom and in favor, as noted in verse 52;
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Baptism was also on the path of preparation for Jesus, although John the Baptist forbad Him;
Matthew 3:13 – 15 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.
John, full of the Holy Ghost, noted his need to be baptized of Jesus. But Jesus told him (and us) that baptism was needed to fulfill all righteousness. It should be on your path to holiness. Having also made this preparation, Jesus was then filled with the Spirit;
Matthew 3:16, 17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
In Matthew 4:1 we then see Jesus led of the Spirit into the wilderness to fast forty days and be extremely tempted of the devil, again preparing for ministry. Please note how each of these things work meekness, humbleness, yieldedness, and obedience of mind.
Later, after coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus cast the devil out of a child, and was asked of his disciples why they could not cast him out. Besides their unbelief, Jesus noted the following preparation that had been necessary;
Matthew 17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Sadly those of you who use an NIV Bible will not be given this step of preparation: the scripture was removed in “translation”.
The further use and need for prayer in preparation is exemplified by Jesus prayer in the garden. While Luke’s account shows the depth of His passion, Hebrews notes the fleshly fears, the obedience His preparation brought, and the perfection;
Hebrews 5:7 – 10 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
While Jesus was the heir of all, this scripture tells us that He learned obedience. Jesus had a servant’s heart and mind because He always prepared for it; He was a constant worker for and seeker of God, so God was with Him;
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Jesus had a mind for God, and the fruit of the Spirit was always present with Him. We are exhorted to have the same mind;
Philippians 2:5 – 8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.