“Therefore, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
You can’t change yourself. Yet without your cooperation God cannot change you either.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a human being trying to change his life for the better without the power of God. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. We human beings can do a lot on our own. Well, in reality the very fact we are alive, can take our next breath or have the strength to do anything is because of God’s goodness. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. Great is (His) faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 24).
It is an amazing thought to me that I am completely dependent on God for everything yet He chooses to include me in working out His plan for my life. He wants me to choose cooperating with Him in humility. He wants me to submit to Him and do what He instructs me to do.
Paul made it clear that, “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13) That is, it is God that works in you to fulfill His purposes. Yet Paul also said that you are to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (vs. 12). That is, work it from the inside out; or as the New Living translates, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”
Someone has said, “Work as if it all depends on you and trust as if it all depends on God.”
Think of your Christian life as a plane that needs two wings to fly and those two wings are trust and obey. To do either one without the other means your plane will never fly!
As God’s Spirit works in your life respond to Him with faith and obedience. In faith you believe all He says and in obedience you prove that you believe all that He says. It is as James said, “Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18).
Guard against idle faith and faithless activity. Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.