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 in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
If you were on the row of treadmills at 02 Fitness the other day, I want to take this moment to personally apologize for my huffing and puffing. Yes, that person plodding along gasping for air was yours truly. Like many individuals, I'm trying to get back in shape by eating better and exercising more.
To my surprise, when I swiped my key tag, alarm bells didn't start ringing, and a confetti cannon didn't go off. Neither did the loud speaker announce for all to hear that I was back from my long hiatus of working out. For years, I have owned stock in that gym, meaning I paid my dues but never stepped foot in it. I failed to reap its rewards and utilize what was at my disposal.
In today's passage, the Apostle Paul urges us to work "out" our salvation with fear and trembling. A point of clarification is needed. We work OUT our salvation not work FOR our salvation. Having accepted Christ's sacrifice, our salvation is signed, sealed, and delivered. No amount of self-effort can make us earn our spot. We're now members of the body of Christ. Similarly, no amount of slacking on our part can separate us from His love.
What hangs in the balance is the impact an encounter with Christ has on our lives. When don't work out our salvation, we settle for a life of comfort and convenience. We become couch potatoes of His grace. We get weighed down by the status quo. We rarely break a sweat by going out of our comfort zone. We feed ourselves empty calories of amusement and distraction rather than being satisfied with the full life Christ offers us. We're members, but not participators.
Gym rats live, breathe, and eat exercise. It's all they think about. They can't wait to throw some weights around. They live in the gym. The same should be true for us when it comes to our faith. By digging into His Word and stretching ourselves, we build endurance that allows us to stay strong and withstand any circumstance. True transformation occurs when we renew our mind.
Working out our salvation isn't about building our religious physique so we will impress those around us. We don't want people to make much of us. As Christ chisels His character into our bodies, our prayer should be that people would see Him. We work out what Christ means to us for the sake of others. We flex our spiritual muscle when we love boldly, speak up for injustice, and pursue peace and mercy. Today, break a sweat and get a work out in.
Where do you need to work out your salvation? How can you flex your spiritual muscle today?
God, thank You for allowing me to experience Your love and grace. I want this encounter to do a mighty work within me. I will pour all my energy into reflecting Your heart so that when people look at me, they see You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.