What does the Bible mean when it tells us to be sober-minded? Obviously the first thought to come to mind in terms of the word “sober” is abstaining from alcohol. But is that what the Bible is telling us? Is it telling us not to drink? I personally believe that the biblical definition of being sober-minded goes beyond abstaining from drunkenness. We are called to keep our minds alert and prepared for action. In fact, the Bible speaks of our “sober” mind most often in the case of warfare.

 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

 

We’re called to be alert because we have a very real enemy. And even though Jesus already defeated him on the cross, he is constantly trying to sabotage God’s plans and our call to advance the Kingdom. Keep in mind, the enemy cannot hurt you. He cannot steal your salvation or “pluck you out of the Father’s hand.” But he can try to inhibit your growth. He can try to deceive you and render you useless in the Kingdom. And he can certainly try to keep you from spreading the Good News to the world.

 

We are told to be sober-minded and alert because when we are constantly on guard, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance.

 

Sober-minded: Keeping Your Mind Alert | alyssajhoward.com

 

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV)

 

Be sober-minded as you prepare yourself for action… I absolutely love this call to be prepared. In this passage, Peter defines what it means to be sober in our thought life. We set our hope on God’s grace, and we refuse to be conformed by our old way of living.

 

All actions originate in the mind. I’ve heard it said that when you commit a sin, you actually commit the sin twice – once in your thought life and then again when you act on those thoughts. Remember it was Jesus who said that even looking at another person (who is not your spouse) with lust in your heart is adultery. When it comes to righteous living, your thoughts matter!

What if we seriously took control of our thought life? What if we took every negative thought captive and made them obey Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5) Our lives would never be the same.

 

When it comes to battle, we have to be alert. If you were a soldier on the front lines in the middle of intense warfare, would you for one second take your mind off of what you were doing? Of course not! (And if you did, you’d probably be a dead man.)

 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

 

Be alert. Pray always. Don’t let anything influence your thinking or distract you from your mission.

 

This is what it means to be sober-minded.

 

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. – 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (NIV)

 

Sober-minded: Keeping Your Mind Alert | alyssajhoward.com

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Sober-minded: Keeping Your Mind Alert”

  1. So much involved in the concept of “sober-minded” Alyssa. I love what you’ve drawn from this and the encouragement to be more intentional in an area that is the foundation for so much of our faith walk.

  2. Alyssa, this was so good. I don’t think I had ever thought too deeply about what it means to be sober-minded before. God must be wanting me to learn something about staying alert and sober-minded. He used your words to bless me. I’m reading a book called, Fervent, right now (which is about prayer) and it touches on some of these same things you’ve written about.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week. I’d love to feature this post tomorrow.

  3. Being alert–that state of readiness–is MORE than half the battle. That phrase, “ignorance is bliss” … is a lie! We set up ourselves up for defeat when we aren’t paying attention. Good words today, Alyssa! Visiting from G&T.

  4. Alyssa, I loved this post! What a great feature from over at Dawn’s Grace and Truth! It is so important to stay on guard. The enemy sneaks in and if we are not paying attention, he causes us to stumble and fall before we know it! I’d love to have you join me sometime at #MomentofHope on Mondays! Your posts are so beautiful and hope-filled!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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