12. Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed my suggestions, so now, not only with the enthusiasm you would show in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out — cultivate, carry out to the goal and fully complete — your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self distrust, that is, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation; timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the Name of Christ).
13. Not in your own strength for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you — energizing and creating in you the power and desire — both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. Amp.
Paul is telling the Philippians to be very cautious and serious in their walk with Christ. We must not take things for granted, being grateful for what we have been given, treating everyday with watchfulness, meaning being alert to danger keeping our spiritual eyes open.
We must be alert to the traps of the enemy, knowing when to step away from a situation. There is so much compromise and sin in this world. If we relax and take a break we can become empty and dry very quickly. We must honestly be thinking “What would Jesus do?”
Just think about the difference in our day and Paul’s day. He had no media to tend with. There were no fast food restaurants on every corner. There were no bill boards, no TV or computer screens with seducing pictures to entice the weak. There were no apps at his fingertips to lean on an arm of flesh. They did not have all the conveniences that we have today.
Life was simple and pure compared to today. Satan knows he has but a short time left and is throwing all he has at mankind. Is all this technology a blessing from God or a trap from the devil?
2 Timothy 2:21 Whoever cleanses himself from what is ignoble and unclean – who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corruptible influences – will then himself be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated for the Master fit and ready for any good work. Amp.
We must be very careful about what goes into our ears and what we see with our eyes. Phil. 4:8 says we are to fix our minds on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. The last time I saw any TV, I was shocked at all the 4 letter words that were now acceptable.
When my kids were small, we would not allow them to watch Cable TV because of the language. They only watched regular stations. Now that would not be acceptable to me. I would not want my kids subjected to what is on regular TV today. If the language and content is contaminating to the young, it should not be acceptable to the Christian. What would Jesus do?
He wants to perform all of His good pleasure in us and He will do it if we come out from among the unbelievers and their entertainment, etc.
Our worship is serious to the Lord. We must worship in Spirit and in Truth. If we are not careful and cautious our flesh will lead us away. He must have first place in our lives, then we will mean the words to the songs that we sing to Him. He is listening. Let us not offend our Beautiful Bridegroom.
POEM — CH SPURGEON
Then rise my soul! and soar away,
Above the thoughtless crowd;
Above the pleasures of the gay,
And the pleasures of the proud.
Up where eternal beauties bloom,
And pleasures all divine;
Where wealth, that never can consume,
And endless glories shine.