“…..work out the salvation of yourself with fear and trembling, for God is the One working in you both to wish and also to effect for the sake of approval” (Philippians 2:12-13). The plan of salvation, of restoring man to the status that he once enjoyed before God, was conceived by the Father; it was implemented by the Son; and it is being activated in me by the Spirit!
We must be careful to work out what God is working in. The Spirit of God is given to help us work out our salvation, if we will listen. It begins with a resolution to believe and obey the Word of God, wherever it may start for you and wherever it may lead you.
But the notion that you can sit back and enjoy a free ride at Jesus’ expense, leaving all to Him, is a lawless interpretation of the Word of God. “Take up you cross”; “take every thought obedient to the captivity of Christ”; “be anxious for nothing”; “be holy”; “be perfect”; these are all imperative verbs; they are things that we must do, because only we can do them. Jesus has done everything else!
God’s gifts are out there for all of His people to avail themselves of; but we have to avail ourselves of them, they are not forced upon us; they are received by a believer according to his condition, not according to God’s condition. The life of a man must expand to receive that which God desires to put into it; He cannot put a great gift into a small receptacle.
Unfortunately, feelings have come to play a wrongful place in modern Christianity; in many instances “feelings” assume more importance than the Word of God. Feelings have been elevated above their proper place in some gatherings of Christians; but we should never follow our feelings; that is a sure way to deception.
Yet there is a place in which feelings are appropriate; true worship is to feel in the heart.