Self-Interest in Knowing the Hidden Will of God

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 24

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

–Philippians 2:19-21 (ESV)

Abandoned souls believe, with an unshakeable confidence and faith, that what the holy will does in each moment of time is what is best. They do not look for other, better moments. They do not compare moments, or try to figure out the logical connections between the various parts of the order of God. For what is this but the sheer striving of self-love?

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

Trust that God has his own will, manifested and fulfilled in Christ, still being worked out on the earth, and that he has taken you up into that will, so that it floods your life, reaching to the smallest detail. Your role is submission and obedience. Your role is not to figure out what God is up to behind the scenes. This would be impossible; the matter is too complex for you to try to understand how one event might lead to another. There are too many moving parts, too many interconnected causes and effects.

Besides, you will inevitably end up trying to figure out how events lead to what you want, and not just to the accomplishment of God’s hidden plan. This is the “sheer striving of self-love” that Jean Pierre de Caussade warned about. This tendency is so widespread and insidious that simply avoiding it will make you stand out from the crowd, as Timothy stood out among Paul’s students and coworkers.

You may object that the accusation is too severe, that you simply want to understand God’s ways, and to know what he is up to for the benefit of others. But there is wisdom in the severity. It is in your self-interest to understand how things will work out for the benefit of others, and this self-interest will find a way to guide you when given the chance.


The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.

Daily Guidance and Encouragement for Living in the Presence of God
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