My Utmost for His Highest, reads : Take the Initiative
…add to your faith virtue… 2 PETER 1:5
Add means that we have to do something. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12). Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning— to instruct yourself in the way you must go.
Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. If you hesitate when God tells you to do something, you are being careless, spurning the grace in which you stand. Take the initiative yourself, make a decision of your will right now, and make it impossible to go back. Burn your bridges behind you, saying, “I will write that letter,” or “I will pay that debt”; and then do it! Make it irrevocable.
We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.
In my opinion therefore, it is wrong to “hide behind the Lord” when in fact we are being simply apathetic towards others; or when saying things like; it is wrong to love the world – instead of the Lord, when we are actually only loving ourselves! This is rather just a sanctimonious viewpoint of the soul, and ultimately the “grandest excuse” to be self-absorbed, apathetic, complacent, and dismissive of others!
With this type of narcissistic psychopathy (which can stem from a poor upbringing or parenting skills) one must “push in to overcome this emotional complacency” by moving outside one’s self in the service of others, rather than simply “ withdrawing in the Lord” (self-Sanctification) as an excuse from the idea of – actually engaging with others; which is oftentimes required to be effective to others, and our Lord when he direct us to be.
In short, our apathy towards others should never be painted as in simply following “Holiness”; when in fact Jesus never instructed anyone to become so socially withdrawn as to not engage with others. In fact, this type of behavior could be viewed as disobedience; when the Lord attempts to move in us – yet we will not be moved, and therefore is not in accordance with the scriptures, and is not how the Holy Spirit operates – but rather rooted in self instead.