Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sage & Godly Counsel

Many asked Mr. Muller how he sought to know the will of God, in that nothing was undertaken, not even the smallest expenditure, without feeling certain he was in God's will.

In the following words he gave his answer:

I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impressions. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.

Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.

Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters and transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective."

And did this plan work?--one asks.

Let Mr. Muller's testimony answer:

"I never remember," he wrote three years before his death, "in all my Christian course, a period now (in March 1895) of sixty-nine years and four months, that I EVER SINCERELY AND PATIENTLY sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Word of God, but I have been ALWAYS directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, of if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes." (Italics his.)

More Muller Musings

Here are a few more George Muller quotes to mull over:

"A servant of God has but one Master. It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honored in that world where his Lord was poor, and mean, and despised."

"I hope in God, I pray on, and look yet for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be."

"If honest of heart and uprightness before God were lacking or if I did not patiently wait on God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow-men to the declarations of the Word of God, I made great mistakes."

"It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer."

"The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray."

Note: The picture is of Bethesda Chapel in Bristol, England where Muller pastored and worshiped.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Spirit of Prayer

More powerful words from a man who trusted his God to meet every need:

I live in the spirit of prayer.
I pray as I walk, when I lie down, and when I rise.
And the answers are always coming.
Tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered.
When once I am persuaded that a thing is right,
I go on praying for it.
The great point is never to give up till the answer comes.
The great fault of the children of God is,
They do not continue in prayer;
They do not persevere.
If they desire anything for God's glory,
They should pray until they get it.

~ George Muller

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Conferring With the Giants

This afternoon I sat by the lake with two excellent books by my two heroes, men of faith whose lives have shaped mine since I was a young man. My companions were HUDSON TAYLOR'S CHOICE SAYINGS and SPIRITUAL SECRETS of GEORGE MULLER (by Roger Steer).

As I perused the pages, fretting about pressing issues, I sensed a refreshing relief...an assurance that I would be alright, that Jehovah-Jireh would provide. The breeze was brisk, the air cool, raindrops occasionally sprayed on the reader from the leaves of nearby trees. But my heart was warmed.

As I rested there I wrote:

Today I sat with friends of old,
Men of purpose, mighty, bold;
As I mused I was refreshed
Reminded that this present test
Will work for my eternal good
And glory bring to our great God.

I rose determined to press on
Regardless of the raging storm,
Knowing that He will provide
Every pressing need supply;
Today, I may the answer see
But, if not, He'll steady me.

Mighty God, I watch and wait
In Your hands I place my fate,
You alone can turn the tide
Setting fear and doubt aside.
I look to You, naught else will do
Lord, my help cometh from You.

- David Fisher, Elim Lodge, August 23/07

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Brief Biography

George Mueller 1805 - 1898

"At last I saw Christ as my Saviour. I believed in Him and gave myself to Him. The burden rolled from off me, and a great love for Christ filled my soul. That was more than fifty years ago. I loved Jesus Christ then, but I loved Him more the year after, and more the year after that, and more every year since."Born in Prussia in 1805, George Mueller began running from God early in life. By age ten he had devised a scheme to embezzle government money entrusted to his father. He spent his schooldays in drunken immorality. He even served time in jail at age sixteen for failing to pay his bills.

The university he attended had some 900 divinity students, but Mueller said there were not nine of them who truly feared God. He continued his sinful habits during his college days until finally at age 20 the burden of his sins overcame him and he trusted Christ as Saviour.

Soon he committed himself to a full-time gospel ministry. When Mueller was twenty-five, he went to Teignmouth, England, with his new wife, Mary, to pastor a small church. He gave up the small salary offered when he discovered it was paid through the rental of church pews. From that time on he resolved to live by faith.

Mueller moved in 1832 to Bristol, England, to be the pastor of another church. There his famous work with the orphans began when two young children were thrown upon the church's care. Mueller had only two shillings to his name when he began the orphanage work, but over the next sixty years God sent more than $7,500,000 to supply their needs. New buildings were built or purchased, staff was hired, and the hundreds of children never missed a meal. Many times prayers were said over empty plates only to have food arrive at the last moment.

Mueller resolved never to tell anyone what his needs were. He told them to God and confidently expected them to be met.

During his life, Mueller started 117 schools which educated over 120,000 young people and orphans. He became pastor of Bethesda Chapel in Bristol. The church had some 2,000 members at his death.

Spurgeon said, "Of flowers of speech he has none, and we hardly think he cares for them; but of the bread of Heaven he has abundance."