Only the loyal soul believes that God engineers circumstances. We take enormous liberties with our circumstances, treating the things that happen as if they’d been engineered by human beings. We say we believe God is in control, but we don’t really. If we did, we’d be faithful to him in every circumstance; we’d have just one loyalty, and that would be to our Lord.

Most of us tend to go about our lives thinking we’re in control. Then, suddenly, God comes in and breaks up our circumstances, and we have the shocking realization that he was in control all along and that we’ve been disloyal to him by not recognizing it. We didn’t see the special thing he was trying to create with our circumstances, and now the thing is gone, never to be repeated all the days of our life; the test of loyalty always comes in this way. We have to learn that if we will worship God in difficult times, he will show us that he can alter our circumstances in two seconds flat, whenever he chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is what we stumble over today. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything else; just don’t ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talk about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is turned into a machine for generating blessings, and Jesus into a worker among workers.

The idea we should have isn’t that we work for God but that we are so loyal to him that he can work through us. God wants to use us as he used his own Son. When Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), he meant “witnesses who satisfy me in any circumstance I put you in, witnesses I am counting on for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on mine.”

Wisdom from Oswald

It is an easy thing to argue from precedent because it makes everything simple, but it is a risky thing to do. Give God “elbow room”; let Him come into His universe as He pleases. If we confine God in His working to religious people or to certain ways, we place ourselves on an equality with God.  Baffled to Fight Better, 51 L