What does it mean to work out your own salvation? Would you like to look over someone’s shoulder as they work out their salvation in action? Here’s a case study for you. From the 40 Days of Daily Bread Series.
Join me as we look over Sally’s shoulder and get a glimpse into her life. She’s in the den alone now…
“I’m sick of this! It seems like the more I try to go forward with God I still do the same stupid things. I try to obey God, but the devil keeps putting things in my path. I expend so much energy just trying to be obedient that there isn’t much left to fight him off. How do I stop failing, Lord?”
The Holy Spirit puts an idea into Sally’s head to write down her problems. She remembered she’d heard about working out your salvation. She thought she’d give it a try.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12 ESV
She pulls out her journal and starts writing:
Work Out Your Own Salvation: Problems in My Life
- Lately it seems like many things in God are complicated to understand and do.
- Telling things to people when I shouldn’t have.
- I feel inadequate to do what I’ve been told to do as a Christian.
Sally looks at the problems and tries very hard to figure them out:
“Well, this is hard, but maybe if I didn’t sin so much I would be thinking more on spiritual things…ugghh! It’s just too hard!”
God puts it in her heart to ask for His wisdom.
“I feel like all my efforts have only made me to land back at square one. God, I want Your wisdom! Show me your truth!”
Then He starts to help her see the root of each problem to get to the solution. She keeps writing:
Work Out Your Own Salvation: Solutions to My Problems
1. Problem #1 is a lie of the devil—opposite of lie is truth
Verse for truth and understanding:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.… John 16:13a ESV
*The devil got me with my MIND; I need to renew my mind (Ephesians 4:23).
2. Problem #2 is a lack of wisdom—need to repent
Verse on staying quiet:
And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV
*I failed because of my MOUTH; God says we’re snared by our mouth (Proverbs 6:2).
3. Problem #3 I’ve been relying on feelings instead of trusting Christ—problem is contrary to the Word
Verse on confidence: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV
*My HEART did not trust Him, but God promises to help me know the way I should go (Psalm 143:8).
Sally’s Prayer to Work Out Her Own Salvation
Sally looked at what she had just written in her journal and began to feel a fight rising from inside her. She sensed the Lord was with her and she started praying:
The enemy is constantly lying to me. One thing he tries to get me to believe is that many things in God are complicated. I must rebuke that lie. I bind every lying Spirit in Jesus’ name, and I loose the Spirit of truth and understanding right now. It is written in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit will guide me into all truth.
Another problem is my mouth. Lord, I repent right now for speaking when I shouldn’t have been. I will study to be quiet, even if it is my business that I want to talk about, so that I will not be snared.
Another problem is many times I feel inadequate to do what I’ve been told to do as a Christian. That is contrary to the Word of God. I repent for relying on my feelings. I will no longer go by my feelings, but I will trust in You. In Jesus’ name, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Thank You for giving me wisdom. Father God, thank You for guiding me. Thank You for Your grace to help me do what I’m supposed to do. Amen.
Apply the Word
This section is to help us respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 ESV
- The above is based on a true story, because Sally was me. I remember this day. I was at the end of my rope, and channeled my frustration into a determination to overcome. Jesus fought Satan and won by using the Word (Matthew 4:1-10), and so can you!
- You may need to grab your journal, work through your problems, and taste victory, too! Sometimes you just need to write down your problems and not be intimidated by seeing them. Attack them head on. Work it out. Find the scriptures that are the solutions to your problems.
RELATED: A Process for Overcoming Weaknesses
Are you ready to grab your journal and start working out your own salvation? It’s time to taste victory!Here's a case study for working out your own salvation. #DailyBread #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet