Hey, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ…I just had one of those “ah-ha!” moments!
It was this verse that had me confounded. “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12).
Now I know what fear of the LORD is and what it isn’t. What it isn’t is our heavenly Papa wanting us to be afraid of Him. No. Fear of the LORD is a reverential awe and respect for Him that inspires us to love, obey, and want to please Him.
But “with trembling?” Now, that word does seem to say be afraid. Be very afraid. But that’s not what it means at all. “Trembling” is just literary hyperbole to show people the seriousness of what is being said. When used sinfully, it is called exaggeration—it’s like when God told Abraham his descendants would be as more than the sands of the seas. In this case, it is holy hyperbole…a limitlessness commandment from an equally infinite God.
Point is—We must work out the salvation that God has imparted to us. We must walk and talk like Jesus did. We must seek His will and obey Him. And we must be the love of Christ to this woeful world. We are only trembling at the gravity of being one of Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Anyway, I shouldn’t have blogged. But I thought this might help someone else struggling with this passage. Now I feel as free as the wind! Free to fear Him without fear!