Quit Being Passive!

By on May 5, 2013

Did you know that lions spend a lot of their time passively watching what’s going on around them but doing nothing?  It’s only when they need something badly enough that they rouse themselves and act.

In 1 Samuel 3:18, I was struck by Eli’s reaction to the revelation spoken by Samuel. He told Eli that God was going to judge him and his family because he ignored sin he knew about and failed to deal with.

A Sad Story

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In this sad story, we see a once powerful man of God passively watching his sons despise their duties as priests before God. They took whatever they wanted by force.  Whether it was the best pieces of meat or the best looking women serving in the temple, they contemptuously disobeyed God’s law and brought shame on their holy calling.

And Eli did nothing. Oh, he did speak to them, but that was all. They ignored their father’s rebuke and Eli gave up. He passively let life go on as it was without exercising his authority under God. And God judged him because of his lack of obedience and faith, his lack of standing up for what was right, and his choice to not get involved.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Eli followed his pattern of passivity even when receiving God’s judgment through Samuel. He said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

Are You Passive or Active?

What could Eli have said instead?  How else could he have responded to God’s message?

And what can you and I learn from this story that is in Scripture for our spiritual growth?

  • Passivity is not calmly waiting for God to work.  Passivity is ignoring what God wants addressed
  • When the Holy Spirit convicts of passively accepting or ignoring what He wants acted on, listen.

Eli could have:

  • Repented: He could have confessed his sins of indulgence and greed and peace at any price.
  • Renewed his heart: He could have cried out for a fresh anointing, a fresh passion for God
  • Received God’s power: To stand boldly against evil and to change what he could.
  • Restored the respect of the Israelites for God by doing what was honoring to Him.

This is strong stuff! But… Is there something you are passively accepting that calls for action in your life? Listen to God—and know that He honors those who honor Him.


Originally posted on: Inspiring Women to Thrive

About Poppy Smith

Born in England to a non-believing family, Poppy grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Kenya. She met her American husband in Nairobi and they soon moved to the United States. The adjustment to her new marriage and new country, combined with loneliness and the loss of all that was familiar, brought Poppy to a defining moment with God. The resulting change, from anger to acceptance, from fighting God to seeking Him, led her into a life-long love of Scripture and the One it reveals. Her website: http://www.poppysmith.com/.

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Quit Being Passive!