Have you ever seen something on the news–a natural disaster, a crime captured on video, some child’s stroller careening out of control–and thought ‘I wonder what I’d do in that situation’?
I have. Every time I hear about random shootings, etc. I think ‘I want to be prepared. I want to run toward danger and help eliminate the threat’.
Why is that important to me?
Because of the people I love…because I don’t want ‘evil’ to advance…because I don’t want to be one of those bystanders who watch, but don’t engage.
I want to be prepared.
In the Scriptures, we are told to ‘be prepared’ also…about something even more important.
Peter writes: “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” (1st Peter 1:13-14)
Peter was writing and encouraging his readers to ‘Prepare your minds for action’. Why?
Because of what he just wrote about–because we–in the Church era–have been given something that others (Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament) could only dream about! WE –today–have access to God, through Jesus, and we have been given New Life!
This is HUGE, and should not be taken for granted.
We need to realize the privileged position we are in…the unique blessing we have of an ongoing, secure relationship with God, through faith in Jesus. We need to ‘be prepared‘ to share that message and live that message out at all times.
Peter is saying, “Be Prepared for action…the actions of faith.
The action of sharing the good news.
The action of taking the message forward and telling others about it.
The action of ‘representing Jesus’ to this world.
One common denominator in all those things is the ability to overcome ‘self’ and demonstrate Self-Control.
Why does he single that out?
Because the message of Jesus is, among other things, about overcoming ‘Self’!
We have a real tendency to focus on ourselves–even in our relationship with God–so that even He becomes ‘all about us’, and what He can do for us!
Seriously?! That’s backward! And if we’re ever going to ‘be prepared’ for God’s call to us, then we need to get ‘self’ out of the way, and focus on worshiping and following Him.
Peter continues to share what this looks like:
1st Peter 1: 14-16: “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
The Lord wants His children to ‘be ready’ to represent Him–in word, deed, action and attitude–in this world. To do so, we MUST overcome ‘self’ and focus on worshiping Him in every way. Doing this will lead to a change in our hearts, our thoughts, our words and our actions.
In that way, we will ‘be holy’, because He–our source, our Life, our Hope–is Holy.
And when we allow Him to, He works within us. He makes us new. He enables us to overcome self…and then we’re ready!
We’re PREPARED to live for His glory in everything.
So…do you want to Be Prepared when God calls on you?
If so, worship Him in every way, and show Spirit-led Self-Control.
THAT will lead you to ‘Be holy’.