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.
Training to become a pilot involves hours and hours of intense preparation. Some of this training takes place in simulators where the intensity is high enough to induce sweating and stress. Why are pilots subjected to such rigorous training? So they can learn to make the right decisions when it really matters!
When it comes to purity, it is often the case that people fall into sin because they try to make vital decisions in the heat of the moment. That just won’t cut it. If we are going to maintain purity, we need to make choices in advance and on the basis of God’s word.
This is why Peter tells us to prepare our “minds for action … being sober-minded.” The King James Version translates this verse, “Gird up the loins of your mind.” In other words, we are to keep control of our minds—to get a grip of our thought processes—so that we’re able to run after what is good and flee from what is evil.
If we do not prepare our minds for action, then we will be easily seducible and prone to tragedy. We will tend to make difficult, life-altering decisions in the heat of the moment when our emotions are engaged and our desires are shouting at us. But a life of purity does not happen by accident; it is an act of absolute determination prompted by God’s Spirit, guided by His word, and enabled by His power.
We need to make a commitment to purity, as the psalmist did when he said, “I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules” (Psalm 119:106). Make your commitment before it’s too late.
And here’s a suggestion for the kind of commitment to make: determine to live in the center of the narrow way, not on the edge. The young man in Proverbs 7 who fell prey to the temptation of a “forbidden woman” was living on the edge; he was “passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight” (Proverbs 7:5, 8-9). The Bible’s lesson is clear: don’t get yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
There is nothing to be gained from living on the edge when it comes to purity. Make your commitment before the temptation confronts you, so that when the evil day comes, you will be ready to say, “No, I already made that decision.” Keep your life in the center of the narrow way and determine to stay there. On the day when Christ Jesus returns and by grace His people stand around His throne, none of us will say that the pursuit of holiness was not worth the effort.