I always find it fascinating that when I need to write a Weekly Word, “God smacks me in the head and says, “Write this!” Okay, okay, He doesn’t really “smack” me, but He gives me the inspiration I need to write.
I was trying to come up with a subject as I usually do and nothing that I came up with, “tripped” my “creative genius.”
Well, I decided to wait for a bit and see if He would give me a subject. That left me some time, so I began cleaning my desk drawer. I know, I know, “Why would you do that, Ed?” I didn’t know why either. However, in my drawer was a key fob that I was given at a seminar series I attended in the early 1990’s.
The series was called “The Men’s Fraternity*”. It was a 24 week session that took us through a multitude of lessons on:
- 1. how to deal with past issues in our life,
- 2. how to become a good Christian man, and
- 3. how to pass that on to others.
*Dr. Robert Lewis founded the original Men’s Fraternity and developed the Men’s Fraternity curriculum in 1990 while serving as Teaching Pastor and Directional Leader at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The fob had four steps that we learned to help us get on the right track. They were in the form of an Acrostic so we could remember them easily.
The acrostic was “R A L E”. It was exciting that when I pulled the fob out and read “Men’s Fraternity,” I could remember each of the steps after all these years. The steps are:
- R: Reject Passivity,
- A: Accept Responsibility,
- L: Lead Courageously, and
- E: Expect God’s Rewards.
Beginning with “Resist Passivity”:
What does that mean? How do we do that? Let’s define Passivity: acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.
We are where we are today because of “PASSIVITY”.
Genesis 3 began our fall. Adam was in the garden with Eve (not out somewhere doing manly things) when Satan tempted her. Adam accepted what happened, without active response or resistance. OOPS!
Now, passivity is appropriate when we are being submissive to the will of God. Those times when Jesus is passive in His actions are the times when He accepts God’s plan and complies with His Father’s wishes. IE: The night he was betrayed He would not let his disciples fight His captors, because it was not part of God’s plan. When He appeared before the Sanhedrin and then when He appeared before Pilate, he remained silent. Examples of following His Fathers plan.
But He was not passive when He threw the moneychangers out of the Temple, or passive when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
Our instructions throughout Scripture rarely require passivity. They call us to take action. We are commanded to put away passivity and do these things:
• pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
• preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2)
• encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13)
• love one another (1 Peter 1:22)
• flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18)
• honor parents (Ephesians 6:2)
• “put to death . . . the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5)
Paul was one of the most active proponents of the gospel, yet while in prison, he asked the Ephesian church to pray for him. (Ephesians 6:19-20). Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Boldness is the opposite of passivity. Boldness moves forward while passivity holds back. Boldness takes action while passivity refuses to engage. (Got Questions Ministry)
Will you Resist Passivity?