Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate His rule with trembling. Psalm 2:11
Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.
We should be concerned with our own salvation, not with the salvation of another. Jesus Christ came to confront our consciences, not to give us answers. The narrow path, is the path of selflessness (self denial), and carrying our crosses (devoted servant hood), meaning that salvation takes effort on our part. When the bibles tells us to work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling… The Lord is saying:
- Be preoccupied with your individual salvation
- Work out your calling
- Walk in the fear of God
- Tremble before me
In the Greek, “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to completion or fruition.” As I always remind believers, we were saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved… God is the save yesterday, today and for the ages to come. Salvation, sanctification, and justification are all being worked out as we partner with God!
Even Paul himself, reminded us that at the end of his life, he had not achieved it! He says in Philippians 3:14, I press on toward the calling! We are to have and walk in the FEAR OF GOD, aka a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience and have utmost respect for His All powerful ways and holiness. Serving God with fear and trembling involves humility and dependency on God, by which we carry out good works (by faith). This trembling refers to trust in God with joy, despite of outcomes which highlights submission to God’s leadership. Additionally, we must remember that God is a father, and He is perfect. This is not to say that we are to beat ourselves for coming up short, because salvation was not obtained by works. But the Lord will discipline us when we misbehave: will you not have some sense of fear for the one who can damn your soul to hell?
I thought it was interesting to read the Syriac version which says “do the work”, or “business of your lives” of your salvation. God has called each of us, He has placed gifts and talents and work into our hands, He has assigned us to be our brother and sisters keepers, and he has called us to be perfect as He is perfect. We have work to do for such a time as this: it’s not a coincidence, that you have been called into the kingdom for such a time as this!
Father God, I pray for a revival of your Spirit in us which causes awareness of, and respect for, your presence, I pray that we will all receive a double portion of revelation as to what it is to work out our own salvation, and to serve you with fear and trembling. I ask this all in Jesus name, Amen.