Like Jesus: Fear and Tremblin’

“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.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

What this passage is NOT saying: In order to keep your salvation — your place in heaven with God forever — you’d better do everything right. You’d better earn it with lots of good works. Be very afraid, because if you don’t keep working out your salvation God won’t let you in.

steps_350Why it is NOT saying that: Paul had written this to these same people one chapter ago: “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 1:6). Paul was confident every person in Christ would be made perfect. No need to worry that you won’t make it.

What I think this passage IS saying: You are saved people! Saved people obey God! Don’t stop obeying Him. Be afraid. Be awestruck. Why? Because the all-powerful God of the universe is going to use your obedient life to accomplish His plan for the universe. It might be hard, but what an amazing and meaningful (and thrilling and sometimes terrifying) way to live!

Think: Does the idea of the God of all using your little life to accomplish His forever plan scare you a little? Does the idea of disobeying Him scare you? Why or why not?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be afraid of all the right things and fearless of everything else.

Do: Read Philippians 2:5-11 again and notice how the Father used Jesus’ obedient life to accomplish His plan.