Three Words That Reveal the Divine Order

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 40

For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.

–Deuteronomy 30:11 (ESV)

Holiness comes down to one thing: faithfulness to the divine order. This is not out of anybody’s reach.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

In Deuteronomy 30:11, Moses defended himself and his ministry against an accusation that must have been leveled against him, for it is leveled against God’s messengers in every age. That is that their teaching is extreme, inaccessible to the common man, helpful only to the spiritual elite. Most people, according to this misconception, need something simpler, and easier to put into practice. Not so, said Moses, for he had commanded the people in clear language; it was the same law for everyone, and within everyone’s reach.

A similar defense needs to be made when Jean Pierre de Caussade tells us that holiness is found in faithfulness to the divine order. This statement has the potential to demystify holiness for us, and this is its intent. Instead, we tend to mystify the divine order, considering it to be as obscure and out of reach as we think holiness is.

But the divine order is not a difficult concept to understand. It is simply the way things are right now plus your responsibility in the face of such things. To put it as a question: What is happening and what are you supposed to do about it? To put it into two words: circumstances and duty. These things are not mysterious or out of reach. On the contrary, they often scream in your face.

The order of the moment is present and unavoidable. The problem is that we do not like it and do not see anything divine about it. But there is no lack of divinity, only a lack of faith. Perhaps, then, three words are needed to define the divine order: faith, circumstances, and duty. With this simple definition you will begin to see God, and his holiness, everywhere.

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.