Men have the choice to serve God in faith or to disobey Him in sin, but not also to act neutrally. We are not born neutral but are sinful by nature and so, by defaulting our choice, choose sin. Put another way; we are not commanded to avoid sin and desired to pursue God – we are commanded to pursue God because all else is sin, “[…] whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23).
We were not left unwarned, nor were we left unprepared. Why would we be given armor if not for our need of protection, or a sword if not for our need in battle (Ephesians 6:11-17)? Why be instructed to produce spiritual fruit if not for our spiritual sustenance (Galatians 6:19-25)? Why be called to community in the body of Christ unless we were not made to stand alone (1 Corinthians 12:14-26)? Why would we be told to forgive, to honor, to pray, and to praise if these things were unnecessary? We were given divine commands, not righteous recommendations.
Yet, even for the professed Christian, passive temptation lurks. It is demanding to live for God and God alone, and to do so even when you don’t want to. And it’s difficult to trust that Grace will make up for our mistakes without pretending it also excuses the sins we ignore. Nothing is easy about a faithful life for a sinful being. Temptation to passiveness is an ever-active assault.
But we must choose to endure in faith. The war for your life has long since entered siege. And between passively submitting and purposefully surrendering to sin, there is no difference.