Is nonresistance passive?
In looking at nonresistance, I want to clarify a question that could arise. Is nonresistance passive? Absolutely not! Nonresistance is anything but passive. It’s some of the hardest work you’ll ever have to do. It would be so much easier to simply go on autopilot and perform, which looks like purpose and direction. Or maybe pull a Custer’s last stand. Who doesn’t like a good ol’ fashioned scrap?
What is nonresistance?
It is the work to bow. And it’s not about bowing to a circumstance or situation or even to a person. Nonresistance is bowing to the God who is over ALL our situations, circumstances, and every problematic person we know. For the born-again believer, at its core, nonresistance is facing a sovereign God on bended knee.
I could easily see how nonresistance could be perverted into passivity and resignation. Just throwing up your hands to the cold, cruel world. But Christ was never a martyr to His circumstance; Jesus surrendered control into the hands of His Sovereign Father. The Master of the universe held His life and destiny.
Sure, you can say, “But He was God, of course He could bow.” But here is the reality: He wants to be the bowing of your life as well. You may have heard the saying, “I’ll never ask you to do something I myself am not willing to do.” I want to expand that into the realm of union life. Christ says in our circumstances, “I want to be the bowing that I myself require.” All it takes is a YES. That’s the work of surrender and bowing. And it’s my only responsibility and power, a power my Creator gave me—to exercise my free will. “Yes Father, You’re my sovereign God, I yield to this situation.” Verbally it sounds easy. Reality, on the other hand, reveals it as hard work. It takes every ounce of energy to bow to God in a circumstance, especially when it’s out of our control.
Gethsemane shows us the work that I am describing here. Look at Christ’s body as He bows. He sweated blood! Nonresistance is just sheer work. It will call from me every drop of will power.
Acquiescence only makes me a perpetual victim to my circumstance, while nonresistance is my death so that Christ’s own resurrected life can rise. This is the reason why we would choose nonresistance over acquiescence or fighting. It’s the difference between life and death, Light and darkness, resurrection and simple burial.
Nonresistance is an act of worship. It’s a proclamation to the three worlds listening that as for me and my house, I WILL serve the Lord. It’s violence against my willfulness and an exalting of my enthroned King. “No one is God but YOU! No one rules my life but YOU. Jesus Christ is Lord over, in, through, and about my life.” Nonresistance is the door to the resurrected Life of Christ, seen in your life as your life. He takes up your bowing to surrender and then blasts forth as the Living God.
Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God’s will must do right and commit their souls to the One Who created them and will never fail them.
1 Peter 4:19
My last post looks into the blessing of nonresistance and the fruit of resistance.
I also recommend “For the Sake of the Light” as a teaching by Martha that really complements what this post discusses.