We can learn to think like Jesus. He didn’t expect to get His own way. Now that is radical. Who doesn’t want to get their own way? Seriously.
But that misses God’s goal for our lives. God has a goal for us. He wants us to love Him completely. That is all.
We can be free. Free to pursue what God wants. Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing.
- No more, no less.
- No more being tyrannized by what I want.
- No more being a selfish child.
We can be free from being tyrannized by what we want. We can be obedient to what God wants. He is in charge of His World. We need to obey.
Since therefore the Messiah 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.
English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Peter 4:1–2). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Jesus had to suffer because of sin. How can we enjoy that which made Jesus suffer and die on the cross? If a vicious criminal stabbed your child to death, would you preserve that knife in a glass case on your mantle? I doubt it. You would never want to see that knife again.
Our Master Jesus came to earth to deal with sin and to conquer it forever. He dealt with the ignorance of sin by teaching the truth and by living it before men’s eyes. He dealt with the consequences of sin by healing and forgiving; and, on the cross, He dealt the final deathblow to sin itself. He was armed, as it were, with a militant attitude toward sin, even though He had great compassion for lost sinners.
Our goal in life is to “cease from sin.” We will not reach this goal until we die, or are called home when the Messiah returns; but this should not keep us from striving. Peter did not say that suffering of itself would cause a person to stop sinning. Pharaoh in Egypt went through great suffering in the plagues, and yet he sinned even more!
The Greek word for cease is παύω; καταπαύωc pauō, pŏw: to cause something or someone to cease from some activity or state—‘to cause to cease, to make stop.’ παύω: παυσάτω τὴν γλῶσσαν ἀπὸ κακοῦ ‘make the tongue cease (speaking) evil – 1 Peter 3:10.The best translation may be finished. See this from Luke 5:4. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
The contrast is between the desires of men and the will of God. Our longtime friends cannot understand the change in our lives, and they want us to return to the same “excess of rot” that we used to enjoy.
- But the will of God is so much better!
- If we do the will of God, then we will invest “the rest of our time” in that which is lasting and satisfying.
- But if we give in to the world around us, we will waste “the rest of our time” and regret it when we stand before Jesus.
The will of God is not a burden that the Father places on us. Rather it is the divine enjoyment and enablement that makes all burdens light. The will of God comes from the heart of God and therefore is an expression of the love of God. We may not always understand what He is doing, but we know that He is doing what is best for us.
We do not live on explanations; we live on promises.