Chapter 1:13-19 (ESV) - Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Question to consider: What does Peter mean by “conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile?”
What’s translated “preparing your minds for action” can be literally translated from the Greek, “girding up the loins of your mind.” When someone was called to gird up their loins, they were to prepare for a swift action like a battle or fleeing. It involved cinching up your tunic so it wouldn't hinder your leg movement. If you're really curious, here's a how to link: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-gird-up-your-loins-an-illustrated-guide/
Obviously, your brain doesn't have loins or a tunic that needs to be girded, but Peter is telling us to be alert and ready so we're not consumed by the temptations of the world, especially since the ones to whom he was writing were exiled from their homeland into gentile nations that worshipped their gods with acts of debauchery. Surviving the temptations of this world take a sober mind that is focused on Christ. As Paul said in Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Those who understand the freedom we have in Christ may ask themselves why Peter was calling them to live differently than the culture they were in. His response to them is simply that we are to be holy because God is holy. If we say that we love God, should we not love the things that God loves? You also may be asking why Peter says we should “conduct ourselves with fear”? Although Peter recognizes that our eternal salvation has been bought by the imperishable, precious blood of Christ, we still worship a heavenly Father who demands our respect and disciplines His children. God may receive us into salvation while in our sinful state, but he doesn’t keep us there. The sanctifying work of His Holy Spirit will carry us along a path of holiness and sometimes with a heavy hand.
Heavenly Father, please teach us to love your holiness and welcome your loving correction. Help us to stay alert to the devil’s temptations and evil schemes so that we can pursue holiness in the midst being exiled in a fallen world. We also ask for your quick return so that we can see the end of sin and death. Amen.