More than anything in this life, I want to be a George Mueller before I die. George Mueller has proved to the world the truth of Philippians 4:19 and he will always be remembered as the man who got things from God. His testimony is an inspiration to Christians everywhere. Three weeks after his marriage, he and his wife decided to depend on God alone to supply their needs–never again to approach people about them. Now he felt led to relinquish his small salary as a preacher completely. Wishing that all support be spontaneous, he put a box in the chapel for his needs; determining never to run into debt, and to get his needs supplied only by requests to God Himself.
Among the greatest monuments of what can be accomplished through simple faith in God are the great orphanages covering thirteen acres of ground on Ashley Downs, Bristol, England. When God put it into the heart of George Muller to build these orphanages, he had only two shillings (50 cents) in his pocket. Without making his wants known to any man, but to God alone, over a million, four hundred thousand pounds ($7,000,000) were sent to him for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes.
The reason he is so adamant about this is that his whole lifeâ€”especially in the way he supported the orphans by faith and prayer without asking anyone but God for moneyâ€”was consciously planned to encourage Christians that God could really be trusted to meet their needs. We will never understand George Mueller’s passion for the orphan ministry if we don’t see that the good of the orphans was second to this.
The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are: 1. That God may be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus the faith of His children may be strengthened. 2. The spiritual welfare of fatherless and motherless children. 3. Their temporal welfare.
And make no mistake about it: the order of those three goals is intentional. He makes that explicit over and over in his Narrative. The orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take him at his word. This was a deep sense of calling with Mueller. He said that God had given him the mercy in â€œbeing able to take God by His word and to rely upon it.â€ He was grieved that â€œso many believers . . . were harassed and distressed in mind, or brought guilt on their consciences, on account of not trusting in the Lord.â€ This grace that he had to trust God’s promises, and this grief that so many believers didn’t trust his promises, shaped Mueller’s entire life. This was his supreme passion: to display with open proofs that God could be trusted with the practical affairs of life. This was the higher aim of building the orphan houses and supporting them by asking God, not people, for money.
Listen to George Muellerâ€™s own words, â€œWe have had a vivid vision of the divine Potter sitting at His wheel, taking the clay in His hands, softening its hardness, subduing it to His own will; then gradually and skillfully shaping from it the earthen vessel; then baking it in His oven of discipline till it attained the requisite solidity and firmness, then filling it with the rich treasures of His word and Spirit, and finally setting it down where He would have it serve His special uses in conveying to others the excellency of His power!â€
To lose sight of this sovereign shaping Hand is to miss one of the main lessons God means to teach us by George Mueller’s whole career. He himself saw and felt that he was only an earthen vessel; that God had both chosen and filled him for the work he was to do; and, while this conviction made him happy in his work, it made him humble, and the older he grew the humbler he became. He felt more and more his own utter insufficiency. It grieved him that human eyes should ever turn away from the Master to the servant, and he perpetually sought to avert their gaze from himself to God alone. â€œFor of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.â€
Mueller believed in prayer. The following are his key prayer principles: â€œFive grand conditions of prevailing prayer were ever before his mind:
1. Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only ground of any claim for blessing. (See John xiv.13,14; xv.16, etc.)
2. Separation from all known sin. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us, for it would be sanctioning sin. (Psalm Ixvi.18.)
3. Faith in God’s word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him both a liar and a perjurer. (Hebrews xi.6; vi.13-20.)
4. Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be godly: we must not seek any gift of God to consume it upon our own lusts. (1 John v.13; James iv.3.)
5. Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman has long patience to wait for the harvest. (James v.7; Luke xviii.1-10.)
The importance of firmly fixing in mind principles such as these cannot be overstated.
- The first lays the basis of all prayer, in our oneness with the great High Priest.
- The second states a condition of prayer, found in abandonment of sin.
- The third reminds us of the need honouring God by faith that He is, and is the Rewarder of the diligent seeker.
- The fourth reveals the sympathy with God that helps us to ask what is for our good and His glory.
- The last teaches us that, having laid hold of God in prayer, we are to keep hold until His arm is outstretched in blessing.â€
The Church of Jesus Christ needs some George Muellerâ€™s now more than ever. Dare to be a Mueller!
God bless you.