Prepare for Action!

Posted on January 7, 2021

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By David Ettinger

Not What He Meant
It could well be you’re thinking this headline references our politically charged climate. And this especially if you are a conservative Republican licking your wounds.

Actually, this post is based on the challenging command of 1 Peter 1:13: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

What stands out most to me about this verse is the phrase, “prepare yourself for action.” Does this mean that here in the States, Christians should be fighting to keep President Trump in office, or diving headlong into politics? Not at all.

If not, then what is Peter referring to when he commands believers to “prepare yourself for action”?

“Therefore …”
Note the word “therefore” which begins the verse. This tells that what is to follow is based on what has come before. And what has come before is Peter’s soothing words to believers “scattered” (v. 1) across the Roman world.

The Roman world was at that time being ruled over by Emperor Nero, who was attempting to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. This is why Peter writes: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials” (v. 6).

What believers were to “greatly rejoice” in was verses 3 to 5, which speak of the eternal “inheritance” all Christians possess, an inheritance which “is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (v. 4). It is Peter’s way of saying: Yes, Christian, we are being persecuted, but we have a glorious eternity awaiting us.

Assuring believers of this truth – and several others in the first 12 verses – Peter calls upon Christians to act appropriately in the light of it.

Roll Up Your Sleeves!
He does so with these words: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

One thing Peter is not doing is calling upon Christians to rise up against Nero. In fact, politics never even enters Peter’s mind. Rather, he calls on them to “prepare their minds for action.” A good modern-day interpretation would be, “Roll up your sleeves and get ready to do something!”

Okay, great, Christians should get ready to do something. But what is that “something”? The answer is provided in the remainder of the verse.

First, Christians – especially those living in difficult days ­– should “keep sober is spirit.” This is a call to holiness. It is Peter’s way of saying: Though we live in terribly immoral and unholy times, YOU, believer, are to live in holiness. You are not to rise up against your government; instead, focus on living a holy and righteous life that glorifies our Lord!

Second, Christians are to “set [their] hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Yes, believers are a part of this world and should be a light in it, but we should never set our hopes upon the leaders of this world.

Rather, the hope of all believers should be in what awaits us, which is “the grace brought to [us] at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And what will be revealed to us at the second coming of our Lord? Two towering blessings: The receiving of our eternal, immortal bodies; and beholding Him as our King in all His glory – as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5)!

And what a hope that is!

Same Applies Today
Despite the fact that the world is unraveling before our eyes, God does not want believers consuming themselves with the workings of the world, particularly politics.

Instead, we are to roll up our spiritual sleeves, devote ourselves as never before to holiness and righteousness, and do the work of the Lord Jesus here on Earth. This work includes telling as many unbelievers as possible that there is a Savior who came to rescue them from their sins, and that they are invited to confess His name and be saved (Acts 16:31; Romans 1:10)!

May God find us faithful in preparing our minds for such righteous action!