Last time we looked at the first part of 1 Peter 1. I want to move on to the last part of 1Peter 1.
Verses 13-16 say this, “So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, ‘I am holy; you be holy.”
Don’t you just have those days you don’t feel like doing anything? Or you don’t want to make any heavy decisions? I have those days that I just want to sit and be a couch potato, turn on the TV and become a zombie. I want to be lazy; we all do at one time or another. For me being lazy is taking the camper out (I call it my condo on wheels) somewhere where I can just chill out.
In this passage God is telling us we can’t be lazy with our faith. Those days we don’t feel like doing anything, well, we all need those days once in a while, but we can’t let it happen too often. Even for me when I am in the mood to do nothing I still do my morning devotions. Now maybe I do them out of guilt, or maybe I do them so I can pat myself on the back and say, “well I did something” or maybe I think it will get me out of trouble with God, but at least I attempt to do them.
I have found out my faith is work. I have heard the expression “work your faith.” For me it doesn’t mean put your faith to work in duty form (although we all know we need to do that). For me it means to keep working on my faith. I need to engage my faith the minute I get up and I must be aware of my faith until I go to sleep at night. It would be much easier for me not to think about my faith when I get up or during the day. It would be much easier just to go do those things I feel like doing. When someone is rude to me it would be much easier to be rude back than to exercise my faith and be kind or considerate. We all know it is much easier to blurt things out than to think about our words and how they sound to others. Here God is saying don’t slip back into that lifestyle. God has changed us we aren’t the same folks. When we did those things maybe we didn’t have a good relationship with God, but now since we do we know better; just don’t those things.
God calls us obedient children. Wow! Are we obedient children? I know I am not always obedient I still want to do things my way and have my own life instead of being obedient to Him. If we allow Him to pull us toward Him we can be shaped by Him. Stop for a minute and think about being shaped by God. What kind of life would that look like?
When I am on the couch I often lose my energy and I am certainly not blazing with holiness. That’s why it’s so important for us to keep moving toward God, leaving the laziness behind and begin living a holy life. God is holy and that is what He wants from us; but it takes work and determination to keep moving forward.
The last thing I would like to share is found in verses 18-21 from The Message it reads, “Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.” To be in a deep consciousness means to be aware, to realize or to notice. So what this says to me is we are to be aware of God’s presence at all times. If I am a couch potato and I am being a zombie for the day I am not aware of God’s presence in my life. I have to be aware of God’s presence in my life from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. I have to be aware of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. There are times I have to be still and listen. When I want to respond negatively to someone who has hurt me, or spoken ill to me that tells me I am not aware of God’s presence at that particular time.
For me to have a consciousness that God is present in my life is a deliberate act. Deliberate means on purpose or planned, or premeditated. That means I have to plan on making sure I am aware of God’s presence in my life. How do I do that through prayer, Bible Study, church and spending time in God’s word every morning before my day begins. For me that may mean being deliberate when I get up of a morning and ask God to be with me during the day, to make His presence known to me and to help me be aware of His presence in my life.
1 Peter 1 has some really good stuff in it, but it is stuff that is hard. We have realized we can’t be lazy in our faith even when we’d like to, we can’t slip back to doing what we feel like doing, and we have to be aware of God’s presence in our lives everyday all day long. If we remain true to God and true to our faith He promised us a life full of energy, a life shaped by God and blazing holiness. We all know if an athlete wants to be good at something he practices daily and for long hours. Someone who wants to be good at playing the piano will practice for long hours during the day every day. We have heard about those who want to compete at the Olympics say they practiced for long hours every day until they got it right. Why should we be any different? Having the kind of faith Peter talks about is practincg daily, for long hours and getting it right so we may not receive a medal, but instead receive the crown of life and a future with God.
I hope you join me on this journey. I know its hard work and we have to do things we don’t like, but it will be worth it one day. When we see God face to face and when we hear Him say, “Well done my faithful servant” we will be glad we stuck it out.
Dear God thank you for Peter and the message he has for me. I know there are days I want to be lazy and not be deliberate in my thinking. I know I don’t always feel Your Presence in my life. Help me to be more aware of You in my life and be aware there is less of me. I can’t imagine being blazing with holiness, but that is what you have called me to be. Help me to grow towards that more and more every day. May I ever be conscious of you in my life. When I start to say something I shouldn’t remind me of Your presence in my life. Thank you for living through me. Help me to grow more into you every day. Amen.