Spiritual Sobriety

Do you, like me, find your antennae going up when you discover God revealing more of Himself through a book, song, sermon, or by whatever other creative means He chooses on a topic you’re passionate about?

One topic I have become passionate about over the last nine or so years is that of family, particularly family tradition and leaving/weaving a godly legacy.

Never did I expect, when I opened my Bible in church yesterday for a sermon in our Embracing Exile series at church, to receive a word on godly legacy.  The sermon series has been based on the book of I Peter, and the specific passage for yesterday was chapter 5.   Our pastor’s final point came from verses 8 and 9, “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”

Until yesterday, I had pretty much thought of “be sober-minded” as being thoughtful and careful, or not frivolous, in my attitudes and actions.  That was it!  But since yesterday, I am seeing it as much more than that.   I ‘m now understanding the importance of being sober-minded as it relates to my own godliness and to our family legacy.

Truth is I’m often tempted to be lazy and casual about spiritual matters.  Oh, I don’t WANT to be.  I even have a tag line on my email that reads, “Life is more than what you see with your eyes,” to help remind me that there is a spiritual realm and that it is the things in the spiritual realm that are vastly more important than much of what I am involved with in the earthly realm.  But more often than not, I get caught up in my day and completely lose sight of the spiritual realm.  Much of my life is lived there…in the unawareness!

But if weaving a godly legacy is truly important to me, I cannot allow most of my time to be spent in unawareness.  There is a spiritual realm, and I have an opponent.  It is essential that I know my enemy and his tactics.  I must also know myself well enough to know my weaknesses so that I can learn to use my spiritual weapons in the battle.  I cannot let Satan gain a foothold in my life or the lives of my family members.

One thing I know about my enemy is that he is an influencer.  To know this all I have to do is look at the culture around me.  It has been shaped by Satan’s influence in our systems – family, government, and economic to name a few.  And I am surrounded by this culture.  I live in this culture.  I am vulnerable…unless I am sober.

This is what being “sober-minded” really means.  To understand that I live in this Satan-influenced culture.   That I am a product of this culture.  That I am opposed.

I must have my antennae up at all times.  I must be alert.    I must intentionally live a life of spiritual sobriety.  Personally, for my own godliness, I must ask:  Where am I being impacted?  Have I had too much of the world to drink?  How am I living under the influence of the world?  As a mother and grandmother whose desire is to weave a godly legacy into her family, I must ask:  Where has that influence made its way down into my family line?  I then must identify the things that have influenced me and/or our family through our line and draw a line in the sand.  Whatever that thing is:  porn, abuse, alcoholism, rage, materialism, pride, selfishness…, I must declare that it will not move forward.  That from this day on our family will honor Christ.

As I sat in church talking to God about this passage and how it fits with the passion He has given me for family, I saw the command to “be sober-minded” in a much different light than ever before.  There is so much more to it than being thoughtful, careful, and not frivolous.  Am I alert?  Am I awake?  Do I know my enemy?  Where am I being impacted by the world?  Have I had too much of the world to drink?  Am I intentionally developing a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit?  Am I quiet long enough before God in a day to hear His voice throughout the rest of it?  Am I bringing our family legacy under the Lordship of Jesus Christ?  Am I being spiritually sober?