Some of the most defining “growing up” years of my life came in those early days of motherhood.

All of a sudden there was this dramatic shift in focus.

Before kids I worked, played, ate, and slept according to my own schedule. After kids, I quickly learned that much of parenting – especially in those early years – is about dying to self. Schedules and everyday conveniences would now take on a new look. This beautiful, noble calling would not be without its sacrifices; but oh the deep joy of pursuing something other than my personal gain.

It wasn’t about me. It was hard, and it was freeing.

There was a better me developing, but I would definitely have to fight hard against the selfish ways of my former life.

In many ways the Christian life is much like this. When Jesus transforms us, there is this dramatic shift:

Priorities and every day life take on a whole new look.

Surrender becomes a calling instead of a dreaded sentence.

The old must die to make room for the new…

LoveGodGreatly

Okay, so practically, how do we do it? How do we get good at dying to ourselves so that God is consistently glorified in our lives?

Peter says that we arm ourselves. 

Think of it as preparation for battle. Just as soldiers enter the battlefield with strategic training and discipline, we too must ready ourselves in the fight against sin and our former way of thinking so that we’ll be prepared for suffering as Christ’s return draws near.

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” ~ 1 Peter 4:1-2


{If you’re unable to see this video, you can view it here.}

1 Peter 4 says that we arm ourselves…

1. By right thinking. Time in God’s Word reminds us of our human frailty and points us to our Savior, who willingly suffered in our place. When we’re consistently spending time in our Bibles, our minds are transformed by this amazing truth, resulting in an attitude that’s ready for battle (1 Peter 1:13).

2. By fleeing from sin. When we arm ourselves with the attitude of Christ, we are done with sin. For the believer, fleeing the daily temptation of sin doesn’t just stop with recognition and repentance – it’s actively fought by turning the opposite direction and running hard after righteousness (2 Tim. 2:22).

3. By living for God. And now it’s time to grow up in Christ by surrendering our lives to him. Paul Tripp encourages us with this: Your life doesn’t belong to you anymore, but you need to know that the One who now owns it is a willing giver of faithful, patient grace.” The great news is that with Jesus residing in us, God’s power can equip us with everything good to do his will (Hebrews 13:21).

Here’s the thing: we can’t hold onto our old selves while trying to live in the new.

In our flesh we’ll fight it. Ooooh, how we fight it. But because we were made to bring glory to the One who made us, discipline in godly living yields a joy and peace that can never be found while we’re stubbornly still on the throne.

Living for God…

It’s hard. It’s freeing. And it’s far better than anything this world has to offer.

Go ahead and step down, once and for all.

Let’s arm ourselves for godly living this week… because He’s worthy.

At His feet,

*Let’s talk: Do you struggle most with right thinking, sin-fleeing, or life-surrendering? Our team would be honored to pray for you this week…

{Week 4} Challenge: Read Colossians 3:1-17. On one side of a notecard, list all of the things this passage says to “put to death.” On the other side of your notecard, list all of the things this passage says to “clothe yourselves” with. When you are confronted with temptation this week, use your notecard to remind you of ways that you can live for God by replacing sin with righteousness.

Weekly-Challenge-4

{Week 4} Reading Plan:

Week4

{Week 4} Memory Verse:

Peter MVWK4

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