Have you ever found yourself in somewhat of a mental fog, not thinking clearly? Sure, we’ve all had that experience. Nothing in life is more important than thinking clearly. In Proverbs 4:23 we hear the exhortation to “keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it flow all the issues of life.” When looking into the original language of this text we find it is a clear reference to the deep thoughts of our minds. These deep thoughts are what constitute important decision-making which affects our actions in the living of everyday life. In essence, we can be sure, spiritual decisions happen in the heart.
I find there is some degree of humor in the colloquialism often used when speaking about understanding or applying a truth. Sometimes it is said that we believe something with our minds but not with our hearts. It is safe to say that I have never thought anything with that beating organ in my chest, nor have you! Certainly the organ in our chest reacts to the things that we are thinking at times, but not due to the fact that the organ orchestrated the thought. The heart produces not one single thought, nor is it capable of accepting one fact as true or false.
Throughout Scripture it becomes clear that when speaking of the heart seeing or hearing it is a reference to the mind. Scripture leaves no doubt as to whether there is a difference between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. These Scripture truths set the stage for revealing the conditions that precede a spiritually fatal heart condition that has eternal consequences. This is the reason we are to gird up our hearts/minds as instructed in 1 Peter 1:13.
A Closer Look at the word “Loins”
There has been some good teaching along the lines of girding up your loins that has to do with pulling your garment up so that it did not interfere with the movement of your legs thereby preventing your clothing from tripping you. This applied to a time when robe-like garments were worn in the Olympic races. But I want to consider another aspect, pertaining to the word loins.
Consider for a moment the rudimentary function of the loins. As a basis for the following thoughts concerning the loins we view Hebrews 7:10. We see these words, “for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.” This text becomes the springboard for the admonition in the following verse of 1 Peter 1:13: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The idea that stands out clearly in first Peter 1:13 is clear reference to the reproductive concept of thought. What we learn, and what we believe, is what we reproduce as we live out life and speak to others. If we learn the wrong things, believe the wrong things, the natural progression therefore is we speak the wrong things. If these wrong things that we have learned are the things that we are telling others about God, we are practicing idolatry. Now I realize that is a strong statement, but if we believe and teach others wrongly about God we have created an idol in our own mind which is not representative of the true God Jehovah. It cannot be over-emphasized regarding this fact – the Almighty God does not take kindly to being misrepresented as is so often seen and heard.
Study the Truth – God’s Word
Gird up the loins of your mind! Support your mind with truth! The spiritual-minded person is girded up by faith. Faith comes by hearing. But faith, real faith does not come from hearing just anything. We are told to study the word of God so that we will be workmen who can rightly divide the word of truth! Let me repeat that, rightly divide the word of truth. We are constantly warned throughout the New Testament to beware of people who have a Bible tucked under their arm but do not rightly divide the word of truth. We are further told to avoid those who promise liberty while they themselves are obviously caught up in the love of the world and the stuff of the world. These truths are not optional truths, they are fact. Living in the age we live in with such ready access to the Bible there is no excuse for not studying the Scripture apart from some sort of special circumstances.
A true salvation experience creates an unimaginable hunger for Scripture, to know truth. I was reminded of this as I spoke to my son yesterday as he recounted to me that he has read the entire New Testament and has been going back and forth through it along with other Scriptures of the Old Testament. He is in his mid-30s and resisted God and truth until a month ago, but through God’s grace he is being overwhelmed by the Spirit of God as he sits with his Bible open, listening to what the Lord is telling him through it. This is the grace that is available to all who name the name of Christ as their salvation. He is not a special case or example, but rather my son exemplifies someone studying to show themselves approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. This is the type of action that is expected of us, every one of us who have tasted of the grace of God. Gird up the loins of your mind, fortify your mind with truth! Reading the word is not the same as studying. The word of God says meditate on these things!