Recently I was pounding hard on this text, searching hard to understand it's meaning:
Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV) 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
My thinking and writing about the text reminded me of a story I heard Bill Hybels tell years ago about being asked to visit with Billy Graham and then being asked by Graham after having visited for a while to "feed" him, to speak to him from scripture. Billy Graham is perhaps the most well known Christian ever outside of the apostles, having ministered all over the world in his long career. Yet he longed for a man 30 years his junior to minister the word to him.
You will never outgrow the need for hearing the word of God preached, for being in fellowship with other believers, to worship and to submit to the life of a church body. However, that does not mean that we are to stay dependent on a high powered spiritual leader to keep us moving in the right direction.
I'm still working on the greater implications of this text and looking forward to preaching on it this week.
What are your thoughts about the need to intentionally submit yourself to the leadership and teaching ministry of a strong church?