“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now 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 do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me. (Philippians 2:12-18, NKJV)
One thing to keep in mind about this encouraging passage from Paul to the church at Philippi is that obedience is the evidence of faith in God. Salvation, once it is freely received, must be put into practice through obedience. Throughout this process, our fear and trembling is transformed into reverence and awe of the object of our faith–the living God (v. 12).
In addition, obedience to God brings us into a constant state of joy, thus leaving no complimentary soil for the weeds of complaining and disputing to grow forth. At this point, what we earnestly desire is the rich soil that grows the fruit of an obedient life.
In order to cultivate these conditions, we must hold fast to the Word of life. In fact, coupled with prayer, the Word of life functions as both the fertilizer and weed killer that keeps the soil in a conducive state to grow gladness and joy instead (vv. 14-18).
So what are you growing in your life: the fruits of an obedient life, or the weeds of complaining and disputes?