Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (NIV)
I grew up with the impression that after God saved me, it was pretty much up to me to behave. I picked up a great deal of “fear and trembling” from the church I was raised in. That may or may not have been their intent, but it certainly stuck. I have found that if it’s all up to me, well, that’s just too much pressure. I’m not that good.
This passage gives me hope. God works in us to work out our salvation. No where does this verse imply that we work for our salvation or that we work to keep our salvation. God is at work in us. Those impossible tasks like “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19) become something that God does in us. All we need to do is let God do His work. Maybe that means pausing long enough to ask God what to say or what to do rather than just reacting. It takes supernatural power to live a godly life.
What does God need to work out in your life today? What issue keeps coming up in your relationships at work, at home and in other parts of your life? Ask God for His power to help. He will.
Copyright © 2009 Allen White
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.