In the NIV, very interestingly the Apostle Peter repeats the same phrase in Chapter 4 and 5 of 1 Peter, be alert and of sober mind (4:7 and 5:8).
In chapter 4, this phrase follows behind… “The end of all things is near. Therefore…” Wouldn’t you love to sit at Peter’s feet as he gives instructions? It feels this way in chapter 4. And, he has a very serious tone. “Kids, the end is near. So, listen to what I have to say, Be alert and of sober mind.” Why? “So that you can pray.” “Be alert” is a powerful exhortation. In today’s world, everyone is nervous about security… Security for your home, security while driving, security for your kids and family, security to protect any online devices from internet predators and personal security. We live in a world of insecurity and have to be alert. Likewise, in the spiritual world, being prepared for spiritual warfare. Then Peter says to be “of sober mind.” I believe the Apostle Paul nails this in Colossians 3:2&3, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Let’s look at Hebrew 12:1 and 2, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes (mind) on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” When you mind is “set on the things above” and “fixed on Jesus” you have the mindset Peter is talking about. Peter says to “be alert and of sober mind…so that you can pray.” We all know the importance of prayer. Prayer is breathing to Christians.
In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter stated for us “Be alert and of sober mind” again. Why? “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” We must “be alert and of sober mind (set and fixed on Jesus)” to be effective in our battle against the ever-present spiritual battle going on daily.
Guys, we cannot be lazy spiritually. At all times, we must “be alert and of sober mind.” Oh, by the way, “the peace that passes understanding” is a by-product of this. Ain’t a bad gig!