Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 1 Peter 1:13-14

On September 11, 2001 the world was shocked into attention by the terrorist attacks leveled against the United States in and around New York City and Washington D. C. The attacks that day served as a wake-up call to the United States of America as well as the rest of the world. The world would never again be the same and security would always be in jeopardy.

In order to try to offer some sort of warning the Department of Homeland Security came up a system to alert us to the possibility of terrorist attacks and/or activity. Threat levels range from Green (low risk of terrorist attack) to Red (high risk of terrorist attack). To authorities it is no longer a question of ‘if’ we are attacked, but ‘when’ we are attacked, and ‘how’?

When the Apostle Peter wrote to the early Christian church his world was equally dangerous. The threat wasn’t nuclear attack or blowing up airplanes or shopping malls of course. In his day Christians were more likely to be used as lion food or as torches to light Nero’s gardens at night. A Christian, or ‘little Christ’s’, as they were mockingly referred to, lived under constant threat of attack.

It’s under these circumstances the Peter pens the warning. “Prepare for action…don’t conform!” The warning still holds true for us today as Christ followers. We are under a ‘threat level of Red’ because our enemy is standing at the door waiting to attack when we least expect it. His attacks aren’t physical but mental and emotional. That’s why Peter tells us to prepare our minds for action. That’s where the battle is fought. We need to live with the knowledge that the enemy is at our door. It isn’t a question of ‘if’ he will attack, but ‘when’ and ‘how’?

The enemies attack on our minds is often a subtle one, telling us that this sin or that sin isn’t so bad. We start to believe the lies we hear about ourselves, about God, about Christianity. We lose sight of who we are and what it really means to be a Christ follower. We take God for granted and take advantage of the fact that we are forgiven. We harbor hatred and unforgiving attitudes towards those who reject us.

Peter tells us to stop thinking as the world thinks. Don’t allow your mind to guide you into a life of negative thoughts about yourself or others. Don’t allow your bodies to become subject to the actions you know are displeasing to Jesus. Focus on making your thoughts and actions take the form of Jesus. Each day, before you even get out of bed ask Jesus to help keep your mind and actions focused on Him. Even though our enemy is powerful, “greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.”

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I confess that I’ve been lulled into being complacent. My thoughts and actions too often take on the form of the world and I find myself succumbing to the attacks and losing the battle. Help me to seek your help and power each day to live with a mind ready for action and a body that refuses to be conformed to the sinful actions of the world. Amen.