Hello! Not long ago I was listening to an online sermon podcast from Elevation Church in North Carolina when something the pastor said hit me. The theme of the message was forgiveness and the pastor was speaking about how it’s crucial to not focus on being forgiven, or loved, or wanted, but rather to focus on forgiving and loving and wanting. This made me think the active and passive voice in the academic world. I pondered more on how the pastor’s words and active and passive voice intertwine and then wrote down my thoughts. I want to share them with you with hopes and prayers that you will be encouraged. ❤ Anne
I need to quit the passive and start living in the active. Just as the passive voice is despised in the academic world, so it should be in my life. The Lord has not called to live in this world waiting for people’s actions to affect my movements. He has called me to live audaciously, fully, and set apart. He has called me to live according to his great design for my life. He has called me to care not about the world around me but instead set my gaze steadfastly on Him. He has called me to shed my flesh and pick up my cross. I have been called to live an active life.
When I placed my trust in Jesus, I gave Him more than my heart. I gave Jesus my entire everything. I gave Him complete jurisdiction over my life. I surrendered my comforts, my friendships, my happiness, my desires, my talents, and my passions; Jesus received everything ever to do with my existence on this earth. In yielding everything to Jesus, I stopped nursing the world. I no longer found sustenance in the offerings of the world. I no longer needed validation in hopeless approval or recognition. The power of Jesus vested inside me gave me strength over temptations. The world’s transient pleasures no longer had power over me, for in my soul I possessed One who was stronger than it all. The power inside of me was the same power that molded the mountains, breathed death into life, and broke the curse that plagued the earth. The power inside of me told me that I could live a life worth living.
Living actively means forgetting who I am. It means forgetting that I- as in the narcissistic, pleasure-seeking human that I am- ever existed. It means not caring about what is being done for me, but instead of what I am doing for others. It means not noticing whether I am being liked or esteemed or accepted by others, but rather busying myself liking and esteeming and accepting others, so much so that I don’t even have time to reflect upon my own status. I need to focus on my active position in this life- the position that the Lord has called me to. Cowering in a passive stance will never allow me to fulfill my mission. Living actively means calling me outside of humanness and letting my old self die away.
Jesus never promised that living actively would be easy. A passive life is far more appealing and easy to live than an active one. It does not require the daily slaughter of self. It does not demand the comforts and pleasures of the world. A passive life is much easier, but it is not filled with strength nor beauty. An active life is a life completely surrendered to Jesus and when Jesus is sovereign, life is given a new meaning. The love and satisfaction that Jesus brings to life transcends anything that this world has to offer. His power gives strength- the strength that propels the active life.
I have been given a mission to live not focused on this world, but instead on what is beyond. This world is passing away day by day, but that doesn’t matter to me. I no longer belong to this world. It doesn’t matter what it gives to me. It can never give me anything greater than what I already have. I can only give it what I have, and the treasure that I possess is far richer and fairer than any of earth’s wealth. Jesus has called me to pick up my cross and live an active life. It is not an easy task, for it forces me to forsake all that I know, but it is worth it. An active life set apart for Jesus is a life worth living.