Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 (NASB)
In my last mail, I wrote about the destructive nature of passivity. This often results in a manipulative spirit taking control that is commonly referred to as Jezebel.
When we study Scripture to see the result of passive-aggressive behaviour, we see that the authority of a leader is often given over to evil forces due to the sin of omission (not doing the right thing). When this kind of manipulation is tolerated and Jezebel gets a foothold in your life, work or ministry, the result that follows is often much worse. We can see this in the “offspring” from Jezebel. She was called Athalia.
Athaliah was the generational seed of Jezebel and Ahab (see 2 Kings 8:18, 26). Some theologians believe she was their biological child and Omri's granddaughter. Others believe she was the daughter of Omri, and therefore the sister to Ahab, and that Ahab took her and became her father. The Hebrew word daughter used in 2 Kings 18:26 means "a daughter in the wide sense, and in terms of relationships, a branch, or company."1
Athaliah was far more wicked than her mother Jezebel. Unlike Jezebel who used the king's authority to get what she wanted, Athaliah killed all of the male heirs to the throne in order to position herself as the final authority.
The main difference between Jezebel and Athaliah is simply that Jezebel used the king’s power to get what she wanted, while Athaliah wanted the power for herself. The story portrays how one kind of evil progressed into an even worse kind of evil, from one generation to the following. This is often the same in leadership. Once you tolerate the evil that comes against you in one situation, it will escalate in a later season. Unfortunately, sin does not go away by turning a blind eye to it.
When you do not live in holiness as the Bible instructs us to do, you will create a breeding ground for parasites. Where something has died, you will find flies. You cannot just leave the dead thing there and expect the flies to go away. Eventually, the flies will have larvae and diseases will start to spread. You have to remove the corpse in order to deal with the flies.
When you tolerate Jezebel, you will not only be manipulated and controlled by evil but ‘she’ will eventually steal your authority from you. Where you see great men and women of God fall into sin, it is often linked back to a time where manipulation was tolerated and that then resulted in a compromise in behaviour in that leader. When giving in to this in the beginning it might look as though all is well on the surface with no imminent threat. But eventually, it will have “offspring” and the sin will increase to the point of causing total destruction.
If you are serious about living a life that is Christlike, it is important for you to be sanctified in your spirit, soul, and body. As it is stated in the opening verse, we need to “pursue” sanctification. It does not come by itself but we need to be intentional and seek after it. Only when you are proactive in your pursuit of holiness will you be able to live in the authority you have as a child of God.
God wants us to live in the fullness of His grace. His Holy Spirit is a gift to us. Therefore we should “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”, Ephesians 4:30 (NASB). In everything you do in word, action or thought, live for the glory of God and seek to please Him.
Remember, you were made to serve many and please One. Do not live to serve One and please many.