Here’s the passage:
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13)
I asked God, “They obeyed, not only in Paul’s presence, but even more in his absence. Does this mean they obeyed Paul?”
And this is what I believe God answered me:
They obeyed the things Paul said, not Paul himself. Inasmuch as Paul came as the messenger of God Most High; in that, the people obeyed him. But obeying one who claims to be My messenger and is not, but is plundering and consuming and troubling the sheep — that is but foolishness on the part of the sheep.
My sheep do hear My voice and I do call them to come out. If any have ears to hear, I will lead them out so they may be under My training rather than the training of the false shepherds.
Work out your OWN salvation — your own salvation. No one can do this for you. You all, as one people, one family, must seek Me for yourself. There is no one who can or should do more than set you on the right track. Now you are here with Me. I will guide you into all truth if you will follow Me. You must look to Me. You must come to Me. You and you (all) alone must come after Me.
Your salvation is achieved. The baby is born. You are not still-born, but alive. Now is when you work out that life — when Christ grows and matures within you all. That is the “working out.” It is not to attain or to obtain salvation — that is yours already. Rather “working out” is development as one develops his physical body by means of exercise. Even so, you must also train spiritually if you are to exceed the mediocre and become proficient in the ways of My kingdom.
You cannot expect to function with skill and competence if you do not have your spiritual senses exercised by means of use. Moving in the spiritual realms does not come naturally. This is not a demand nor a chastisement. If you want to be wise and to improve in spiritual discerning, you MUST practice. A person wishing to perform any activity well must perform it often. PRACTICE.
It is I who will bring this about, working in you. This is not a thing you can do by natural means, as you might practice your tuba or your tennis or your Biblical Greek. This is something completely other. Only God working in you can enable you to grow spiritually — but you still must show up for lessons. That is, you must be aware. Listen for My voice. Come to Me. Seek My face. Make it your highest priority to know Me and learn My ways FROM ME. Then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.