Working Out Our Most Important Relationship

When I read that part where the Apostle Paul told the Philippians to “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12), I didn’t really understand then what it entailed. I didn’t know how to do it in a deep sense, in a very personal level. I heard a preacher in our Church exhort about it in general terms, likening our salvation with that of a precious gift, and doing our very best to hold on to it, to not let it be snatched away by the enemy. I understood that we should not be complacent but always be watchful.

Then I read what Ms. Darlene Zschech had briefly written (I think on the back of one of her CDs?), “Just work out your relationship with Jesus.” It stuck with me. For that was at a time when I was struggling to understand what was happening with my life, straining to see the light amidst the fiery trials. When you’re tested to the uttermost, you want to have at least an understanding of what is happening, where your life is leading to, if God is even with you.

Working out our own salvation as Apostle Paul implores us means as much as working out our relationship with our Redeemer. It is synonymous. When we received our salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, we entered into a relationship with Him. Our salvation then can never be apart from our relationship with Him. When we work out our relationship with our Savior King, we are working out our own salvation. (Even the quality of our other relationships is determined by how healthy or poor our relationship with the Lord Jesus is).

Why is there a need? I believe all of us who received the Lord Jesus and His salvation have experienced the struggle to maintain a fervent, faithful, and trusting relationship with Him in varying degrees. This struggle is most felt during a hard and prolonged trial. In my case, it was a combination of physical, mental and emotional suffering compounded with problems and challenges in our company and household, spelling out a F-I-E-R-Y | T-R-I-A-L no less.

During that long chilly season, my relationship with my Savior was one which ebbed and flowed, now and then marred with doubts and fears, and threatened by feelings of sullenness, discontent, disheartenment, bitterness, and a few times, even silent rebellion. It was like you want to confront the One who has control of it all and know why. Why? You just want to know why.

It was during this time that I got so intimately acquainted with Job. Talk about being kindred spirits by going through physical suffering and the mental and emotional anguish it brought. Oh friends, I know how it was to live between life and death everyday. Job wanted a confrontation with God so much; He longed to understand the meaning behind all his suffering. Oh, how I had echoed Job’s laments!

There were times that I wanted to go far away from Him just to let Him know that I was hurt by His seeming indifference. Yes, I had struggled with my relationship with my Redeemer King: sulking and having a pity party one minute, then running to His arms the next. There was battle of wills: His and mine. Why doesn’t the Lord just heal me so I can continue to manage our company seeing my husband grapples with the intricacies of a chemicals company? That was just one of my questions in the early years.

There is a struggle because our own will and wants, motivated by our own limited understanding, clash with God’s will, His thoughts and ways. Although we were called to a personal relationship with Jesus our Savior, calling Him our best friend, He is still God and there is a need for us to surrender to Him – completely. To yield ourselves to Him in total abandon.

I have learned that during trials, our relationship with our Lord Jesus is tested and threatened. Faith, trust, hope, steadfast love – all these that weave the threads of the tapestry of our relationship with Him become most vulnerable. It is during these times then that we really get to work. Work out our relationship with Him. How?

One of the keys is to know Him more. In the early part of my fiery trial and my relationship with the Lord Jesus was precariously tested (well, that was as far as I knew with my limited view of the bigger thing, but it definitely wasn’t the same with Him; He was holding me steadfastly all the time and never letting go, but I didn’t know that), my constant prayer was to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

We can know Him more by spending much of our time reading and meditating on His Word.

Another way is to draw ever nearer to Him; seek His powerful presence through worship. My favorite worship song during this time was Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

Do you struggle in your faith walk? Continue to work out your relationship with the Lord Jesus. This is one relationship that has utmost importance to us. He is our Bridegroom, we are His Bride. We look forward to His coming when we’ll be forever with Him.

Additional reading: First Love

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My gratitude list ~ the gifts I received from the hand of the Lord:

  • One whole week without maids; it was like a holiday for our family and the peace, joy and intimacy it brought were priceless.
  • Singing praises with heart full of faith and fervent love for the Lord bringing a gush of hot tears as Tim struggled to breathe due to asthma-like cough.
  • A fruit gift basket with a beautiful card.
  • Eating bunches of lanzones with family.
  • My vegetable garden coming to life now.
  • Pretty boxed cards, good pens collection, new friends, and lovely written words
I’m linking up with other blogs, please check the list at the side bar.

Journey with Jesus,

 

Comments

  1. Joanie says:

    Dear Rina,
    Yes. So true. So necessary. I identify in various ways, no need to mention. Your prayers and His Presence and my trusting and obedience,is my focus “in the midst of”. It is beautiful to KNOW HIM and HIS love and Presence is ALWAYS with us, no matter how I “feel” at tthe time. How I thank and praise JESUS MY SAVOR always, (including right now!). Love you, my dear Rina, and you are in my believing prayers. Thankful for you and your precious messages!! Hugs. Your sister in Jesus Christ’s wonderful love, forgiveness and holiness for now and for eternity. Joanie ..

    • RinaPeru says:

      I feel the warmth of your love, Joanie, no matter how many thousand miles our worlds are apart. I share with my beloved husband your loving messages; it’s like you’re a part of our household :). Praising and trusting God with you, my kindred sister! Blessings!

  2. Wilfredo Notario says:

    Hi Rina, I do believe that you’re heaven sent . Your words are full of hope, faith and very inspiring. I was shocked the way you were transformed from our high school days into a real Christian. Only a God-inspired person can write these messages and I’m so proud of you my classmate and my friend!! Keep up the good work. You will inspire millions of people. As for me, I continue to attend the Methodist church in the United States and I’m still growing in The Lord till now. You’re such a wonderful and talented person!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Will! You’ve lavished me with your encouraging words – praise God! I only have the Lord Jesus to be thankful for who had so great mercy upon me, raising me up physically (my sick body) and spiritually (my suffering soul) so I could carry out His purposes. I am forever grateful! You will be in my prayers!

  3. Ann says:

    Hi, Rina. Each of us has a unique path that God is leading us down. It seems like He is constantly working in me every day and my spiritual walk won’t be complete until His return. Thanks for sharing this beautiful and true post! My post this week talks about how there are so many things we can’t count on, but ONE we can always count on!
    In His Lo ♥e, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

  4. Tanya Marlow says:

    I like your perspective on working things out with God – v helpful. I’m a huge fan of Job! Coming to you via Beholding Glory.

  5. Sherly says:

    Hi, Ms. Rina :) Yes, this is what I need. I need to work out my relationship with Him. Lately, I think I haven’t been growing in my walk with God. I have been busy with work and though I am always present on Sundays at church, I still feel that there is something lacking in me. I am not focused on Him. I am not doing my part. I only care about myself. And yes, this reminds me of Job. I think I have to go through the verses again and engross myself more in them. Thank you so much for sharing and I praise God for your talent. God bless you more! :) P.S. That song really moved me. Was close to crying! Hahaha :)

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