Living in Awe


Working out our salvation with fear and trembling means being aware of how majestic God's gift of eternal life is and using it as a cause for the perpetual worship of God.

Imagine standing before a tightrope that stretches across Niagara Falls. You’ve been given a guarantee by God Himself that you’ll make it across safely. The life He intends for you is on the other side, so remaining where you are is not an option. You have to go. Still, even with His rock-solid promise, you’re shaking. A nervous wreck. Every step of the way, every downward glance, you’re both exhilarated and terrified. Finally on the other side, you collapse in joy and nervous exhaustion. You made it. Just as He said.

That’s a taste of what scripture means when it says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). It has nothing to do with earning it, and everything to do with being aware of how unfathomable it is — how utterly scary your situation was without its promise. You don’t question the outcome of your journey; like tight-roping across the falls, you walk it out with acute awareness of the magnitude. You live your salvation with awe.

Aim to live with that sense of sacredness, that exhilaration of the treachery of the journey, on one hand, and the certainty of the promise on the other. Without God’s guarantee, fear and trembling are only terrifying. With it, they are a cause for worship and gratitude every moment of the day.

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