Need To Know Basis

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 (HCSB)


Lately I’ve been getting pretty frustrated with TV shows and movies that feature characters who are being left in the dark about what’s going on around them. “I can’t tell you that now,” their fellow characters say. “You’re on a need-to-know basis.” Or, “I can’t explain now, we don’t have time. We’ve got to go!”

As my husband will attest, I often look up from my crochet project and yell, “Just tell them already!”

Talk while you walk, people. Stop giving mysterious snippets of information. Just say, “Hey, you were put in suspended animation and it’s actually 50 years in the future.” Or, “Hey, we’re in the middle of a big fat maze and we’re trying to get out.”

Why would you make someone figure this out on their own? Don’t you want them to make informed decisions, especially since their decisions will affect you? This kind of plot line makes no sense to me. (My husband replies, “It makes sense to the producers who want us to keep watching the show.” True.)

I think this drives me up a wall so badly because I sometimes struggle against being on uninformed about so many big-picture things in my own life. Doubt and worry about the future, and even our present circumstances, clutter up all of our hearts. Because we’re all being kept on a need-to-know basis, aren’t we? By the Director of our unfolding stories, our Heavenly Father.


What choices should I be making now to follow God’s plan for this ministry? I’m not certain.

How many extra-curricular activities are good for our kids? How should we be preparing them for the future? We’re not sure.

How should we be allocating our financial resources? Which relationships should we pour into, and which should we let go? What should we plan for next year, or next month, or next week? We can’t know.


We’ll never fully know or understand these things this side of Heaven, which can be humbling (which is good) and yet frustrating (which is bad).

So, what a balm to our soul Philippians 2:13 can be!

“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”


God is working in us. He’s working in us, helping us to desire His good purpose, plan, and will. And He’s helping us to discover—to work out— His good purpose, plan, and will.

He’s not keeping us in the dark, He’s shedding light. Illuminating the next step and the next and the next.

He’s working in us to give us what we need to know.

As long as God’s in charge (and we know He is), I’m OK with being on a need-to-know basis.  Are you?


Lies to Fight: God’s left me down here alone to figure this out. I don’t know what to do next. Maybe He doesn’t care.

Thought Shot: God is working in me to help me work it out.


We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

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