1 Peter 5:8 commands us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” What does it mean to be sober? The Greek word translated sober here and in other passages means, among other things, to abstain from wine (and this would include other strong drink) and most of us agree that to do so is what God would have us do, but what else can it mean. Being sober involves more than not drinking or being drunk. It involves a state of mind that we should all strive to accomplish in our walk with God.
We must also not be drunk with concerns for the affairs of this life, for this is a way that the devil may find to devour us as he is always seeking to do. Instead, we should set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2) and fill our hearts and minds with the things of God, meditating day and night on His word and considering our home in heaven, that is, the life to come and what it will mean.
What does it mean to be sober and diligent? It means to make the ways of God our point of view and to consider all things from His perspective. In doing so we leave little room for the devil to make inroads into our life causing us to sin and to be led away from the path of righteousness and service to God that we are to follow.
We are not to cloud our judgment with philosophies and concerns of this life, but to soberly consider the things of God and to “meditate on them day and night”(Psalm 1:2). If we keep the things of God always in our minds we can be said to be spiritually minded as Paul tells us to be in Romans 8:5,6:
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” If we are have life (as we are meant to have in this life and eternal life to come) and peace (that can only come from God) we are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit as revealed in the scriptures.
Titus 2:12 says: “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” These things are inter-related with living “soberly , righteously and godly” all dependent on one another. If we learn to live soberly by abstaining from ungodliness and worldly lusts, we will learn to live righteously and godly, filling ourselves spiritually with the precepts of God and living them in our lives instead of the alternative.
This is the transformation that Paul talks about in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” If we continue to renew our minds on the things of God and practice them in our lives, we will be transformed into someone who proves what is the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God” for all.
Writing this blog has been good for me personally, even if no one else is interested in reading it, because it has kept my head where it should be: meditating on the things of God. It has helped me grow spiritually stronger even if it is of no use to any other. Still, my hope is that others, or even just one other, may find the truths of the scriptures as compelling as I do and turn to God while life still lasts. It is a sobering thought to consider such a possibility and keeps me writing.
May God bless and keep you until next time.