Build on Your Own Foundation
Some people are really into exercise. They love to work up a sweat, go on a run, or lift weights. I hate all of it. And I know I’m not alone in that. But the fact of the matter is that we really need to exercise. We can’t hire someone to work out for us. It’s something we have to do for ourselves.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12–13). Paul was in prison when he wrote this epistle. He was writing it from Rome and was experiencing anxiety over the fact that he was separated from these believers.
Effectively Paul was saying, "Look, guys, I can’t be with you right now. I wish I were there to offer you guidance and to be a good example for you, but I can’t do it. But check it out. It is God who works in you, not Paul."
They may have thought, We can’t live the Christian life without Paul around. Well, actually they could. And if pastors and spiritual leaders are doing their jobs properly, they will get you up on your own feet spiritually so that you are not dependent on them.
Paul was saying, "Guys, keep things in perspective. It is God who is doing the work. Maybe He worked through me, but it’s still God who did the work."
We can put people on pedestals and think they can do no wrong. And sometimes people will base their relationship with God on someone else’s relationship with God. That isn’t good. We need to get our own faith. We need to build on our own foundation.