Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, "arm yourselves" also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God." I Peter 4:1-2
Have you and I armed ourselves this way, this Greek word hoplizō, means with your mind make this mentality an instrument of war?
The flesh, the independent will lusts or wars against the Spirit or the will of God. When we are not willing to embrace having our flesh, our independent will, the desires and gratifications of our flesh contrary to the will of God endure NOT to be gratified, we yield to temptation and choose the road of least resistance, the broad easy way. Each time we choose this way our will becomes weaker and weaker and we normalize fulfilling our carnal gratifications.
God makes His will known to us by His Spirit, each time we obey the instruction given by His word, we are being transformed, more of the character qualities of Jesus Christ is molded into our souls. More of our predestination manifests itself(predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ Rom 8:29), and we are doers of the word, not hearers only.
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. James 1:22-24
I have recently observed a brother who was doing very well in his commitment to Christ. As his circumstances increased where he had more control over his liberty as he had been incarcerated, he began to seek out a relationship online from his workplace. This had been his pattern for most of his adult life, he would seek out relationships and when they didn't work out and fulfill his need, he becomes threatened and insecure and desperate. At which time he resorts back to alcohol and drugs leading to other criminal behavior and more incarceration.
All this generates from his own need and his unwillingness to be alone and not seek his self-esteem deficiency by pursuing women. If he would lean in with a mind armed with the instrumentality of a willingness to suffer through to the will of God he would cease from living his life with the same pursuits of futility. So I pray that God will help Him see, and press through to the other side.
Let me make the point here that this is not something we do like a cold calculated mental process of behavior modification. No, this is engendered from passion, passion to know him, passion to please Him, passion to make Him known. Our willingness to suffer in the flesh comes from our delight to do the Will of the One who saved our souls and washed our sins away.
Are we going to send roots down deep when problems arise,
when we don't get what we think we need, or when persecution arises, or when our flesh suffers because we have to be weaned? Will we let our pain become rain for someone else's gain, to let our scars become stars to guide someone home again?
Arise and shake yourselves from the dust of the Adamic lie, take your seat together with Christ forever and never die.
The Lord has need of you and the world is full of multitudes standing in the valley of decision, waiting for a trumpet to sound so they can rise to the call of the Holy. Awake you sleeper and Christ shall give you LIGHT, arise arm yourself for the FIGHT.