“Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His purpose.” Phil. 2:12-13 CSB
I do not miss the fact that yesterday I sat in church and listened to an entire sermon on these two verses. Today, when I reached in my “Fear Not Challenge” bag for a verse, this was the verse I pulled out of it. According to these verses, God is in control and we are to obey Him. The “fear and trembling” part refers back to what we talked about in yesterday’s devotional, our natural sin nature which wars with what God wants for us. People within the church debate these verses from a lot of different perspectives, but there is one thing they all agree on, Jesus’s death and resurrection. When we focus on what Jesus has done for us, we can all meet together at the foot of the cross in gratitude. Consistency in our walk with God is how we work it out. Consistently, day after day, seeking Him, spending time with Him, getting to know Him a little better will allow Him to do His work in us.
Consistently working out at the gym gives people buff muscles. Weightlifters who are buff didn’t start out that way. They all started somewhere. They lifted their first weight, ran their first mile, did their first push-up. What makes them buff is their consistency. They consistently go to the gym and lift more weights, run more miles and do more push ups. As a result they have defined muscles and six pack abs. Consistency is key to becoming buff physically AND spiritually. Consistently choosing Jesus every morning is the start. Consistently reading the Bible, spending time with others, and praying will work out spiritual muscles. When we work out our spiritual muscles each day, God will do His part and we will find the life He intended for us. What God did not intend for us is to live a life of fear. He tells us over and over again in scripture, “Do not Fear, I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV). Yet we continue to live lives filled with fears.
We can apply consistency to our fears as well. Each day, when we choose Jesus, we can give them to Him. Whatever fear we’re facing, whatever giant we’re trying to overcome, we can give it to Jesus. We can let Him take care of it for us so fear won’t steal another moment of our joy. We can consistently say, “Jesus, I trust you to overcome my fears” (Phil. 4:6 NIV).