Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2
I know I have read this before. Why didn’t I ever see these words “arm yourself?” So what the Apostle Peter is telling me is that I am to prepare for battle (arm myself) by taking on the same thought process that Jesus had . . . no longer living in this body going after the things the world has to offer, but going after the plan of God! Well, this makes sense, and certainly I agree with it, but I have never considered that to let this mind be in me that was also in Christ Jesus would be arming myself for battle. I know I am in a spiritual battle, and it makes sense that I would prepare for it. I had always prepared by putting on the armor of God and using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. However, what if we actually had the mentality that Jesus had. For sure the battle starts in our minds, so if we took on the thoughts that Jesus thought, surly we would be more successful at winning the battles of life.
Philippians 2:5-8 says, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. This passage lays out some of the thinking that Jesus has and clearly it starts with being determined to accomplish God’s plan for your life.
The passage in Philippians says, Number one, He didn’t try to make a name for Himself. Two, He determined to live a life dedicated to serving others. Three, He humbled Himself to be obedient to the plan of God for His life. Imagine if Jesus had come into the world and said “I know God has a plan for my life, but I just want to do what I feel like doing and doing it my way.” Yikes! Yet how many of us live life that very way. We know God has a plan, but somehow we think it will just happen and I only have to do the things that I feel like doing to accomplish all God has for my life. I don’t think so. To take on the thinking of Jesus is to recognize that our life is not our own. If we approach every battle with that mindset, we recognize that in following the plan of God for our lives, God will get us through every obstacle that the enemy tries to throw at us. If we listen to all God has for us to do, we don’t have to worry about dying early or failing financially or any of life’s greatest concerns and fears. We know that we are on the path God has called us to and He is going to accomplish all that we are called to because we have determined in our heart to fulfill that plan, no matter what.
Today I want to encourage you to “arm yourself” for battle by thinking like Jesus. It is possible and if you are going to follow the plan of God for your life, it is required! It starts with laying down your efforts to be somebody in the world’s eyes, serving others and submitting to the plan God has for your life each day. I will repeat what I said before about looking back on this life from eternity, we will never regret the things we did to complete the plan of God, in fact we will probably wish we had followed more closely!
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Peter 4:1-6