So let’s get this straight...
God the Father is always at work, drawing people toward His Son so that they will experience eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. We do not earn this relationship with Christ by our human efforts, but we do experience the blessings of fellowship with God by partnering with Him in the good works He prepares that express His loving and holy character.
But how do we enjoy this partnership?!?!?!?
There is a passage in Paul’s thank you letter to the Philippians with a nugget of spiritual insight that addresses this question. It follows the penetrating description of Jesus’ humility and obedience even to death on the Cross and the powerful declaration of His exaltation as Lord before Whom each person will ultimately bow in submission (Phil. 2:5-11).
The next verses exhort believers to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” We do not work for our salvation, but we do work out the blessings of this relationship as we rely on God’s power within us through His Spirit (Eph. 1:19; 5:18).
We enter our relationship with God by FAITH…and we enjoy our fellowship with God by FAITH. We are told to walk by the Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16), depending on God’s strength step-by-step, as we partner with God in His purposes. Such faith pleases God (Heb. 11:6) and unleashes His power within our lives as we serve Him.
Such a life is not easy, for opposition is promised (Jn. 15:19).
But it is a life that reveals God’s power, especially through our weakness (2 Cor. 4:7; 12:9-11). Embrace this path with fear and trembling, knowing that only God’s power is sufficient for such a life.
~ Ken Horton