In the area I live, it seems there are always new workout gyms and fitness centers opening. Some are quite small and in shopping centers, and others are huge and expensive. The thing about fitness centers and gyms is they don’t do much good if we don’t visit them. We can sign up for a membership at any number of workout locations, but if we never visit them to workout, they don’t do much good.
Many times over the years, I have joined more than one fitness club with the intention of finally getting into shape. What usually happens though, is I go there pretty regularly for a couple of weeks, but then I get busy or something happens, and I stop going. Now, I could blame the fact that I’m not in shape on the fitness clubs. I could say “They just don’t work!” However, when you ask me “How often do you go?” and I reply “almost never!”, we would quickly find the reason for my not being in shape! It would be entirely MY fault for not putting forth the effort to work out!
The same thing can be said about the Christian life. Many people become a Christian, and think it is like just joining a club, they are now a member of the Christian club, and they can just go on with their lives. But, it doesn’t work that way. We must put forth the effort to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God and His Word, and to discipline ourselves in whatever way we need so that we increase our faith and learn how to better walk with God.
Paul wrote in Philippians 2:12-13, “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, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Notice he said “Work out your own salvation”. Now, obviously he wasn’t talking about salvation by works, because salvation is by faith alone. He was talking about AFTER we become a Christian. Then, we are to grow in our faith, pursue righteousness and godliness, and learn how to walk as true believers. It takes effort. It’s a daily task we must set about to accomplish. God works in us, giving us the strength we need, but we must put it into practice and learn to discipline ourselves and say no to the flesh. And notice he said “with fear and trembling”! This is very important to a successful Christian life!
How’s your daily workout? Do you spend time reading God’s Word, focusing on Him, and seeking to obey His commandments? That’s how you get the results you as a Christian should desire. Workout your salvation! Grow your faith! Seek to become more and more like Jesus Christ!