Isn’t it interesting that when the teacher is around, we pay attention to the lessons, but when they step away, the lessons seem to flee our minds, tossed aside to make room for the joy, mischief, or malaise of life?
Apostle Paul experienced that. It’s one reason why he wrote all these letters to the believers in different areas where he helped start church communities. While he was there, able to teach and help delve into the ways of Jesus, the people worked hard to achieve the goal of their higher calling, but when he was gone from them, following his instructions was less important to them.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul makes clear the importance of continuing to follow his instructions while he is away. He wants believers to stand on their own faith and live out their own relationship with Jesus.
He tells them to work hard to show the results of their salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
Some have misunderstood this verse to say that we’re to work out our own salvation—as though we can achieve salvation through our hard work. Not the case at all.
The Amplified Bible translates as: “…work out—cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete—your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).”
We’re to do so realizing that it is NOT us who is accomplishing any of it, but God in us and through us.
We are to recognize that we are fallible in our ideas and notions, and we cannot be trusted—we must always seek His will over our own.
We must always be careful that we are not bowing to fear and temptation, but always turning away from them to God.
What’s your purpose? What’s your God-given goal that you’re working toward? Your instructor isn’t in your physical space, but you have access to all the lessons, and you can follow those. What’s stopping you from moving forward in your faithwalk, revealing the results of your salvation to yourself and the watching world?
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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