“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
I’m guessing that when you read the title of this article, “Are you drunk?” You thought, Of course I’m not drunk!
If you’re not drunk, you’re sober. Consider these statements from the New Testament (NKJV) about being sober:
- “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
- “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. . . . But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 8).
- “That the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love in patience; . . . Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded” (Titus 2:2, 6).
- “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12).
- “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).
- “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
John Piper explains sober this way:
“It’s . . . not being drunk when it comes to spiritual things. It implies alertness, and evaluating things correctly, because you see clearly, and your mind isn’t numb with intoxicating influences. . . . Don’t let your mind drink in things that numb the mind (and heart) to the value of God’s grace. The great problem with drunkenness is that it distorts reality by making the mind insensitive to what is true and real and valuable.” (“Girding the Mind to Guard Your Hope,” Desiring God, accessed March 4, 2014.)
I have been praying for an opportunity to witness to a friend, especially in light of recent challenges for us to pray for such opportunities. I met with my friend the other day, and the Lord answered. I knew that what my friend said was my door of opportunity. But I sat there with a blank mind. The truth is, I was drunk. Oh, I wasn’t physically inebriated, but spiritually I was. My mind was “numb with intoxicating influences” because I’d been drinking in things that numbed it instead of meditating on God Himself and His Word. So there I sat, letting the opportunity pass because I couldn’t think of what to say.
Now I am praying that when God provides my next opportunity—and because He is gracious, I know He will—I am praying that I will be sober and that “the loins of [my] mind” will be girded (that I will be mentally prepared for action).
What about you? Are you drunk or sober?