Set Your Face Like Flint

1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”

How do we prepare our minds for action? What kind of action?

Well, our minds have to do with our thinking and believing. We take things into our minds every day – the things we read or watch or listen to or hear or see subconsciously or consciously. And, we can let our minds go all sorts of directions based upon what we have taken into them and based on what we have entertained or contemplated in our minds.

So, if we prepare our minds for action, then we are directing our minds toward something specific, and we are guarding our minds against wanderings that may take us in different directions where we don’t want to go. So, this has to do with disciplining our minds to only go certain ways and to not go certain other ways.

And, going along with this is being sober-minded, which is serious-minded. We can’t be people who don’t take God and his word and our lives seriously. We can’t be people who are just playing games, having fun and frivolity, seemingly without a care in the world. Life is not to be just one big party.

So, if we are going to prepare our minds for action, we must first take that task (assignment) seriously, because this is serious business. So, what kind of action are we preparing our minds for?

We are to set our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. But, didn’t we already receive his grace? Yes! And, what was that grace? By grace we are saved, through faith. But we are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns (at the revelation of Christ).

So, this is to set our hope fully on the completion of our salvation when our Lord returns. But this isn’t just about believing that heaven is guaranteed you, especially if you think you have heaven guaranteed regardless of how you live on the earth. This is about continuing in our faith to the end, persevering, remaining steadfast in faith, in purpose, and in obedience.

The Action

Oh, so now we are getting to the action. We are to be obedient children. And, to be obedient children of God, we need to prepare our minds for this obedience. We must discipline and direct our minds towards obedience and away from disobedience – away from giving in to the flesh and to sensual desires. So, we don’t entertain what is sinful in our minds. We can’t!

We don’t entertain fear (worry), revenge, hate, unforgiveness, spite, adultery, sexual immorality, lies, and vulgarity, etc. in our minds. We cut these off at the pass. As soon as they begin to creep into our minds, we stop them cold, we reject them, and we replace these thoughts with what is true, holy, pure, and righteous.

But if we are feeding our minds with these things via TV, movies, videos, music, games, wrong friendships, wrong hangouts, etc., then it is going to be a whole lot harder to cut them off at the pass. So, we must go back a step further. And, we must cut them out of our lives by not even listening to or watching anything that might put the wrong thinking in our minds.

For me, to keep my mind morally pure, I had to cut out TV, movies, secular music, certain types of videos, and guard my mind even against advertising that might be sensual in nature. I have “set my face like flint” against all evil and against anything Satan would try to introduce into my mind that might not be godly. I am not perfect, but I am living a pure life. All glory to God!

So, not only are we to not be conformed to the sinful passions of our former lives of slavery to sin, but we are now to be holy – set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are now being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of God, as we yield the control of our lives over to the Lord Jesus.

So, this means we don’t do the same things we did before we believed in Jesus. It doesn’t mean we will never sin, but what it means is that we are no longer enslaved to sin. Sin is no longer our master. We are not ruled by it. We are not under its control. It is not our habit, our practice. It should be the exception, not the acceptable rule for our lives.

And, we are to be holy in all our conduct. In everything we do, say, or think, we are to be set apart from what is from this sinful world, and we are to be set apart to God and for his righteousness, living godly, holy and obedient lives to him. We should see ourselves as belonging to him, and he should be the one to direct our paths, not ourselves.

1 Peter 1:17-19 ESV

“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord, which means that we honor, glory, and magnify God by our actions, by our conduct, by the things we think and say, too. And, this is not saying we will always do this perfectly or that we will not ever have to repent sometimes of wrong thinking, speaking or behaviors.

But, again, sinful practices are not to be our norm. They are not to be part of our every day lives as a matter of practice because we failed in self-discipline, and because we failed to prepare our minds for action, and because we failed to take God and his word seriously and to do what his word teaches us we must do.

You have probably heard this saying: “If you don’t plan to succeed, you plan to fail.” There is a lot of truth in that saying.

For, if we do not prepare our minds for action, and if we do not take God and his word seriously, and if we do not live holy lives, because we are still mixing with the world, and if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord, and if we remain conformed to our fleshly passions, even partially, we are going to fail.

1 Peter 1:20-21 ESV

“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

Many people claim weakness as their excuse for continuing to live in sin. They claim that they try to not sin, but they just can’t pull it off. Or, they claim they are “not perfect,” as though that is an excuse for continued, willful and habitual sin. But the reason most people don’t get victory over sin is because they don’t want to and because they don’t fear God.

But here is hope! We can’t stop sinning and we can’t live righteously in our own flesh by us trying to do something or not do something. But that doesn’t mean that victory is impossible.

We just must yield control of our lives to the Lord Jesus, leave our lives of sin behind us, and walk in his holiness in obedience to his commands in his power and in his strength. He can do through us what we can’t do ourselves, but we must cooperate with him in doing what he says to do, or we will fail.

The Battle Belongs to The Lord

Songwriters: Collins Jamie (Sue)

The power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He’s raised up a standard, the power of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord
When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
Take courage my friend, your redemption is near
We sing glory and honor
Power in strength to the lord

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One thought on “Set Your Face Like Flint

  1. Isaiah 50:7: “But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.”

    Like

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