Philippians 2:12b-13 "...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure"
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word the goes out from My mouth. It will not return to me empty."
IN KEEPING WITH THIS, LET US LOOK AT ANOTHER SCRIPTURE:
…"...work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" …Phil 2:12
"To work out your own salvation" to many Christians has taken on the idea of service to God and to man. Works has meant being on a Board of Elders, teaching Sunday School, cleaning the church, tithing, and volunteering time, as a way of "working out their salvation with fear and trembling", that otherwise their salvation may be in jeopardy. This is merely man's way, but this scripture refers to a "higher way and of higher thinking."
To work out your own salvation is to solve by means of going to the very source of our salvation, going into the Word to renew our hearts and minds and to come into His presence with "fear and trembling." The fear spoken here in NOT a fear of running from God, but a different type of fear, a "reverence". A fear of not knowing that causes us to seek God and His presence. "Trembling" refers to a shaking due to weakness, but this is also a weakness of higher purpose-a weakness that brings us to depend on God.
In our "fear and trembling" we come into His presence to know and understand His ways and thoughts. We come to know our Savior and in doing so we become like Him, bringing us peace and harmony.
The second part of this verse is "for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work according to His good pleasure." Going back to the words of Isaiah "as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish.." so does God's Word and presence work and operate in us. As naturally as the growth of the earthly crops, we too grow and become changed and transformed.
Once the seed of "salvation" has been sown we must merely seek the nourishment of God's Word and presence. There are no human works involved, yet as certain as the yielding of the earthly crop, we too will bring forth…seed for the sower and bread for the eater…..and it remains that God's Word will not return to Him empty.