In the book of Jeremiah, God poses a question with a terrifying answer: “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people.” But he also makes a promise: “Wherever you go I will let you escape with your life” (Jeremiah 45:5). This is all God promises his children—that wherever he sends us, he will guard our lives. Our personal possessions are a matter of indifference to him; we have to hold them loosely. If we don’t, there will be panic and heartbreak and distress.

God is equally indifferent to our sense of what we deserve. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus suggests that when we are on his errands, there is no time to stand up for ourselves or to worry about whether people are treating us justly: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). To look for justice for ourselves is to be distracted from devotion to our Lord. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it.

If we are devoted to Jesus Christ, we know that we have no control over what we encounter. Our Lord’s message for us is this: “Keep working steadily at what I’ve told you to do, and I will guard your life. If you try to guard it yourself, you will remove yourself from my deliverance.” The most devout among us become atheistic in this regard. Rather than believing in God, we enthrone common sense and tack God’s name onto it. We lean on our own understanding, instead of trusting him with all our heart.

Wisdom from Oswald

We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” My Utmost for His Highest, April 23, 773 L