Thursday, May 29, 2014

By faith and a secret

Just after I began my walk with the Lord years ago, the life of George Muller captured me when I first read about it. Muller embarked on a journey to provide for orphans in nineteenth century Bristol England on faith and faith alone. He never made his requests known to others, but only to God in prayer.

Basil Miller, a biographer, wrote about him, “He realized that God alone was able, and in that realization the puny supplies of man dwarfed beside the reservoirs of God’s grace which he tapped by faith. He learned not to bind God by the limits of his own faith. He asked, knowing that God, Who heard, was able.”

Over the course of his lifetime, Muller was given over 3,000,000 pounds, and never made one solicitation for money. That’s an astronomical amount of money for that time. It’s reported according to this source that the number of orphans he cared for numbered over 10,000. Additionally he built schools and provided education for more than 120,000 more.

It’s true that God gives some a gift of faith, but even with the supernatural gift, how did Muller’s faith stay strong throughout such a large and enduring challenge?

I came across these words by Muller this week under a heading, “George Muller’s Secret.”: “It has pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, the benefit of which I have not lost for more than fourteen years. The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord.”

With hungry children about to sit down at the breakfast table every morning, he saw his first aim every day as not to serve, but to have his soul nourished in the Lord.

How did his soul become “happy in the Lord”? He found that by meditating on the word first, this would most often lead to prayer. He did this with no aim toward ministry or preaching but as spiritual food.

Muller’s words are worth pondering. How often in ministry, do we allow the need to overcome our own spiritual encouragement and growth? How often do we let ministry determine how we spend our time?

Probably none of us faces the kind of challenge Muller did, and yet he saw the first order of business to “be happy in the Lord.”

As someone has said, this enables one to minister out of the overflow, not the undertow.

I read in Streams inthe Desert, “Christ becomes more real to the one who persists in the cultivation of His presence.”

The reality of God’s presence and the joy we experience in it are linked to the time we spend meditating on God’s word and communing with Him according to Muller.

My friends, that is a wonderful secret to know.
“The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy” (Psalm 19:7 The Message).

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