I Peter 1:13-14.
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:
There are actually four verses in this passage, all in one sentence. We’re going to look at them in two parts. The first concerns preparing for war.
In the Bible, words like therefore and wherefore refer back to what was just written. It’s always a good thing, when doing a verse-by-verse study, to go back and read again what has already been discussed, so that the thread of the message is not broken.
To gird up one’s loins was simply to take the length of the standard long robe worn by both men and women and to tie it up in such a way that one could run and fight unencumbered by fabric wrapping around one’s ankles or knees. The graphic above is a good illustration of this process, wrapping and tying the fabric to prepare for battle.
Peter used this well-known illustration to draw a picture for his readers of the importance of “girding up the loins of their minds” in preparation for spiritual battle. How did one go about that process? Prayer. Meditating on God’s Word. Knowing God’s word, filling up one’s mind with His promises and assurances of His presence in every circumstance. We are to hide God’s Word in our hearts in order to avoid sin. His Word is to be a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our way. It is to keep us from stumbling on the traps and pitfalls that Satan sets in our paths.
After the loins of our minds have been prepared, we are to be serious, not careless. We are to depend upon the surety of the hope of our salvation. I want to emphasize that the meaning of hope here is not that we say, “Oh, I really HOPE I’ll go to heaven.” Rather it is the absolute assurance that, because of our faith in God, we have that blessed hope already in our hearts and minds. It’s not a “maybe.” It’s an “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
Furthermore, we are to be obedient to Him in breaking off our former lusts and desires. Now that we are no longer ignorant of the grace and mercy of God toward us, we have no reason to rely on “former lusts” for our happiness.