Be of Sober Mind

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1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (NIV)

What is you mind meditating on? Peter alludes to us that when our minds lack sobriety and alertness, the discipline of prayer dies. And if traces of prayer remain, they are often low-quality prayer practices; rash- having little to no time alloted to them; reactionary- responding to God as a fire alarm in need of urgent rescue (often from self-imposed troubles); burdensome- never out of enjoying God’s presence and communing with Him but often feeling like a bother; perfunctory- absent-minded religious rigmarole. And these low-quality prayer practices often easily graduate to dead flat prayerlessness.

Peter beckons us to have our minds sober and alert by remembering that the end is nigh. Meditating on the return of Christ fuels your prayer life and grants you the alertness and sobriety to pray. We are closer to this time than when Peter lived. The Apostle’s instruction is therefore like wine that ages; it is more valuable today than it was 2000 years ago. Is your mind focused on Christ, His Gospel and His return? If affirmative, then your mind will be strengthened and your prayer life will be rich and ready. Behold the prognosis- the believer’s mind should therefore be on a diet of constant (read daily) scriptural meditation and a media intake of healthy watching, healthy listening and healthy reading.

It goes without saying therefore that the way to kill your spiritual alertness and sobriety (and consequently to dull your prayer life) is to fix your mind on worldliness. If the things we watch, the content we listen to and the stuff we meditate on are filled with worldliness, we should expect spiritual dryness to be around the corner. The enemy douses our spiritual fire with mediums of everyday cares, pleasures and problems that seem so urgent, glorious and attention-worthy. Yet in the light of the truth, they are expendable, dim and dispensable. Their spiritual purpose is to divert the mind of the believer from the return of Christ and the beauty of salvation by magnifying this present world. Such a compromised mind views Christ’s return as a faded dream even though it professes Him as Lord. The sober and alert mind, on the other hand, views Christ’s return as imminent, genuinely urgent and beautiful to long for. As a result, such a mind often has an effective lifestyle here on earth both personally and ecclesiastically (for the sake of the Body of Christ).

When we are careless with what enters our minds, we often don’t feel the repercussions immediately. And that seemingly harmless imbibing phase may deceive us that what we are consuming is okay. But the spiritual laws never fail- what you sow you will always reap. Like a woollen sweater can be undone by a singular frayed thread that is tugged unceasingly, the enemy can undo your spiritual standing with a single seemingly-harmless indulgence or compromise; and the enemy does tug unceasingly, Beloved. Protect your mind. Grant the enemy no advantage over your soul.

1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (NIV)

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Ernest is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father. He has been married to Waturi since September 2012. They have two daughters: Thandiwe and Ivanna. He is also the author of four books. The Wamboyes are passionate to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly taught and understood in our post-modern world. They are champions of biblical discipleship and furthering the Kingdom of God by transforming one person at a time. They are the founders of The Relationship Centre Ltd (TRC), an organisation that aims to promote biblical family values in contemporary urban communities.

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