The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (I Peter 4:7)
A few verses later: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Yikes. Not to scare you, but we are in danger. Spiritually speaking, we have an enemy of our souls that wants more than anything to derail our life. He would love it if we got addicted, imprisoned for embezzlement, or showed up pregnant. He may like it even more, however, if we fell in less obvious ways if we allowed bitterness to take over our lives, worshipped money and the corporate ladder, or just plain forget God. Therefore, we need to pray. It says we must be clear minded, self-controlled, alert. So that we can pray.
What we need: Protection from the Evil One
How we get it: Through Prayer
How we Pray: Be clear minded, lucid
||characterized by clear perception or understanding; rational or sane: a lucid moment in his madness.
Synonyms: sound, reasonable.
We need to be razor sharp. Keen, alert. Aware. Our thinking needs to be at peak performance, if indeed, the end of the world is near and our enemy the devil is on the prowl. How will we advance, how will we survive spiritually if we are blinded, dulled, drunken and satiated by this world?
Another translation puts it this way: €œThe end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers.€ (I Peter 4:7, Revised Standard Version)
Keep sane and sober. Stay lucid, clear in thought and understanding. I dont think Peter is primarily referring to adult beverages in this passage. He speaks to any mind- or heart-dulling influence, and we have many.
We get drunk on fashion, music. We stay buzzed on food, nicotine, e-mail, television. Satiated and sedated. Who wants sharpness?, we ask. Life may hurt. Dull me with celebrity gossip and caffeine.
Clarity of mind is required if we are to pray. Prayer is required if we are to walk this dangerous road with Christ. We are in a war. And war isnt fought from the couch under the drone of the tube.
Once I remember driving across several states to spend a weekend in the town where I went to college. It seemed the longer I drove, the louder I played my music, and the more I had this nagging sense of €œturn it off, choose the quiet€. It grew and grew and I tried to push it away until I was literally turning on to the street of my friends house. Finally, with frustration, I threw off the music and shouted to God, €œWhat?!?! What do you want to say?€ And immediately a tiny voice spoke within my thoughts (where God speaks) and told me a persons name. It came as clear as daylight. I felt immediately warned to expect a unexpected reunion with this person.
Moments later inside my friends home, she proceeded to tell me that this same person was also in town for the weekend! The Lord had been begging to speak with me on the whole 6-hour drive, and why had I resisted it? I was not interested in clarity; I wanted the comfort and pleasure of my own thoughts, my own music, my own world. But He wanted to lovingly warn, prepare, and sharpen me for adventures ahead.
€œHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches€ (Revelation 2:11) The Spirit is speaking to the church, and He speaks to you, too.
An Argentinean pastor, Juan Carlos Ortiz, tells of how every Monday, he takes the day off of ministry and office work and goes to a special spot down by a river. He spends the day quietly, listening, asking. He speaks of miracles that are birthed in that quiet space with Jesus. He sees visions of heavenly places, and he also gets very detailed plans for dealing with his earthly problems. He inquires of the Lord about situations that need resolution, and with pen in hand, the Lord and he sort them out. He receives vision and a clear agenda he will need for his next 6 days. The weeks are infinitely more productive after a day €œwasted€ on a riverbed with the still small voice of God.
You may think, I have never seen visions. I have never even heard God speak to me. I challenge you, have you ever read the Word of God and had phrases leap from the page and enter your heart? Have you ever been cut to the root by the written or spoken Word of God? This, my friends, is the voice of God through the Spirit of God to you. Start here. Spend time with the Bible open in your lap. Sometimes the words themselves will guide you on your journey. Other times, just pondering the spiritual truths on the page will bring revelations to unrelated issues in your life. Just open it and sit there. Listening.
Choose stillness. Seek clarity.
You are going to need it.
Consider This for a Lucid Life: What do I allow to dull my mind or heart? Am I living in a state of clarity? Do I hear God speaking? What is He saying?
Soundtrack for a Lucid Life: “Word of God, Speak” by Mercy Me