by Tammy Phillips
May 1, 2023

 “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7 KJV)

When we think of the word sober, our minds usually conjure one meaning. Don’t get drunk.  Why do “we” get drunk?  “To lose our minds” from the bombardment of the day and to kill the pain.  However, pain has its purpose and can be numbed in a better way, sober prayer.
When we keep our mind sober from chaos and pain, we are able to stay aligned. We do not fret, worry, teeter totter, nor lose our minds.

In the original Greek “sober” appears twice in 1 Peter 4:7. Each word has a little different meaning.  Translated 1 Peter 4:7 could read, “Be sober(1) and sober(2)  unto prayer.”  A double encouragement to be sober.

  1. The first sober we see in the verse is the Greek word sophroneo.  It means be of sound mind; self-controlled; be in the right mind without excess of any kind;  moderate and discreet. Sophroneo is a derivative of the Greek word sophron (see above) meaning, of sound mind, sane, in one’s senses, curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate, calm, impassionate, exercise of cool reasoning.  The root words of sophron are sozo, meaning, saved, whole, healed  and phren meaning mind or understanding.  Hence, we can deduce being sober is having a saved mind, a whole mind, and a healed mind.

  2. The second time sober shows up in 1 Peter 4:7 is in the word watch.  The Greek word for watch is nepho.  It originally had a physical meaning, opposed to drunkenness and to be free from the influence of intoxicants. It further means to remain temperate, impassionate, calm, cool and collected. 

Think about it. Excess clouds the mind.  Excess divides the mind and our attention.  Excess distracts and diverts our focus. Excess of anything… the negative’s:  care, worry, fear, pain, chaos and  disaster causes us to become “drunk” and to lose our mind.  The good things in life like food, sugar, music, and sports can also lead us into  drunkenness of mind.  So, we have to watch out and remain sober. 

What does 1 Peter 4:7 mean to me?  I hear:

Be self-controlled.
Do not lose your mind.
Don’t get drunk.
Don’t get drunk on alcohol.
Don’t get drunk on drugs.
Don’t get drunk on sex.
Don’t get drunk on food.
Don’t get drunk on power.
Don’t get drunk on money.
Don’t get drunk on fame.
Don’t get drunk on anything but the spirit of God.
“Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18 CSB)
Stay calm, cool, and collected.
BE SOBER and always in the place of prayer.
Be filled with THE SPIRIT.  
Drink what Holy Spirit is pouring out,  not the other spirits.
His drink is the only thing  that will get us through every day life!

I enCOURAGE you (and me) to be sober.  We are blessed.  It is so easy to step or slip into excess and “lose our minds.”  We are called to be sound minded and self- controlled in all things. 

1 Peter 4:1 tells us to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ.   This is not possible if we are drunk with the things of the world.

“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, that he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.  For we [have spent] enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.” (1 Peter 4:3 NKJV)

Remember, as followers of Jesus, “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV). We don’t want to lose it!  Our desire should be to be filled by Him alone.

Viva Magenta:  Live. Breathe. Be…sober.



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