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.
We often only examine our efforts in the sanctification process. A lot of Christians sincerely believe that only through their daily behaviour and efforts can sanctification be achieved, and we also forget that God has a great role in our sanctification. Paul says to the Philippians, “God works in you both to will (to cause you to desire) and to do (to cause you to act) for His good pleasure.”
In this God is revealed to be actively working in consistently steering you towards his good pleasure. Remember that without faith it is impossible to please Him, we cannot find the place of His good pleasure if we do not have the foundation of faith. God doesn’t just sanctify you and walk out on you, he is softly, gently and consistently pushing you towards his pleasure, but you also have a role. There are two people who must work in the sanctification process. Once I have received my salvation I must also work out my salvation jealously. I have to respond in faith and make a commitment to live for him by working out my own salvation.
My salvation is a personal process, it is not a collective process and it definitely isn’t a pastoral thing. I must jealously protect it from people, from places and things that can destroy it. Anything that can compromise it in any way should be removed. I also make a real effort to fill up on the word, pray, change my thinking, change my lifestyle into His desire. Alone, I cannot fulfil the righteous requirements of God, but through his work in me I can do it. So remember that in your efforts in living Holy, living a sanctified life, God is not sitting there to watch you fail. He is actively pushing you up so you can succeed!