1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
When you arm yourself with a weapon, you are providing protection against unexpected events. Jack Wood used to preach a great message called, “Arm Yourselves.” When you arm yourself, you are preparing for something you don’t want to happen – an unexpected visit with a would-be felon. The theme of I Peter is suffering properly in the Christian life. If we are going to go through the circumstances of life and come out with a right attitude, we are going to have to arm our minds, with the right kind of protection, against bitter spirits, bad attitudes, and other works of the flesh. When we suffer in the flesh and have a right attitude about it, we can then glorify God, and cease from sin.
Do Right Rather Than Be Right
Christ was often reviled and had things said about him that were not true. Instead of trying to justify himself, even when he was right, he just let it go. He reviled not again. “It is better to do right than to be right”, as Pastor Hank Thompson used to say. You do not always need to justify yourself or stand up for yourself. It takes the Spirit of God to just keep your mouth shut, at times, and suffer the default. That is how your Lord operated day after day. It is not your job to correct every wrong on the face of the earth. The world was around for 6000 years before you showed up, and God was doing just fine running it by himself. He does not need you to fix everything, especially every wrong that comes your way.
Marksmanship Takes Practice
We need to always be checking our weapon; that is, our mind, to make sure it is ready to use. That takes practice. You are not going to be a good marksman unless you practice. We need to constantly be putting good ammunition in our mind and cycling it through. The best ammunition is the Word of God. We need to constantly fight to overcome evil thoughts so that we do not revile back, to try to “be right”. That requires a meek and quiet spirit. A humble spirit takes work. That is not natural for the flesh. The flesh wants to justify itself for every decision. Instead, we need to suffer in the flesh and take it. Let the Lord take up your position rather than trying to defend yourself. That is only going to happen when we suffer in the flesh and we are reviled, like our Lord. It is not going to happen on the smooth, calm waters, but rather on the rough seas of life. Arm your mind today with the overcoming power of the Word of God. It can help you to do right even when the world is against you.