Theme : A Wandering, Wondering Mind
In the days when Peter wrote these words, men wore long, flowing robes that hindered fast progress or strenuous action. They wore broad belts (or girdles) about their waists, and when they wanted to move into action, they “girded up their loins,” that is, they shortened their robes by pulling them up inside their belts. That term is similar to what we mean when we say, “Roll up your sleeves.” Peter’s words here are a serious call to action—a reminder that when we lose our focus, it is time for us to do some serious thinking.
I’ve previously discussed about how staying too busy can result in an abnormal mind as opposed to a normal mind. Now I want to point out that another way the devil attacks your normal mind is by causing your thoughts to wander. It’s a mental attack. If you do not discipline your mind to remain focused on what is important, the devil will cause it to wander aimlessly to other things.
When this inability to concentrate goes on for a while, you may begin to wonder if there is something wrong with your mind. What you often fail to realize is that when you’ve allowed your mind to wander for so long, you’re hardly aware that it’s taking place.
In some cases, there may be physical causes for not being able to concentrate, such as anemia or certain B-vitamin deficiencies. You may not be eating properly. Or you may have become excessively fatigued. It’s a good idea to consider all the potential causes as you search for a solution. I’ve learned that when I’m excessively tired, Satan tries to attack my mind because he knows it’s more difficult for me to resist him during those times.
Sometimes a lack of concentration creates a lack of comprehension. Perhaps as you are reading the Bible, you find yourself hurrying to get through so you can do something else. Out of a sense of duty, you are determined to finish reading a chapter and you do. But when you are finished, you can’t recall anything you have read. Your eyes scanned the pages, but your mind was engaged somewhere else.
Perhaps you have even experienced this battle for your mind in church. You attend regularly—and the devil can’t always stop that—but he can cause your mind to start wandering during the sermon. Have you ever been fully engrossed in listening to a sermon, and then you suddenly realize that your mind has wandered, and you have no idea what was said?
If the devil can rob you of the benefits of reading the Bible and hearing God’s Word at church, he has won some major skirmishes in the battle for your mind. This is why Peter tells us to “gird up the loins of our minds.” You must take action by confronting your wandering mind and disciplining it to focus on what’s important.
In conversation, I used to fake it when I realized my mind had wandered. Now I deal with it honestly by asking, “Would you please back up and repeat that? I let my mind wander off, and I didn’t hear a thing you said.” This kind of behavior not only interrupts the plan of the enemy but also brings victory over the problem.
It’s not easy to discipline your mind when it has been allowed to wander aimlessly, but you can do it. When you discover that your thoughts have wandered, you must exercise discipline and make the necessary corrections. The devil would like to convince you that you can’t help yourself, but when you consistently come against his bid for your mind, he is defeated, and you have won another battle.
Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I realize how quickly Satan distracts me and then capitalizes on my wandering mind. Forgive me for allowing him to lead me astray. I thank You for giving me a good, clear mind, and in the name of Jesus, I ask You to help me overcome every temptation to lose my focus, amen.