Reminder – I am going to be doing a conference in Eaton, OH this Saturday, Feb 25th! And I am planning a conference in the Columbia, SC area for March 24th-25th. Check out this post with links if you are interested in getting tickets.
I am still learning and have much growing to do in my faith in Christ. I think I am pretty much a “toddler” spiritually when it comes to how much more maturity and growth still needs to happen in my soul. But how I long to grow big and strong in my faith!
How I want to let God out of any little “boxes” into which I may have tried to stuff Him. I don’t want to limit Him at all, but give Him free reign in my life to do absolutely anything and everything He desires to do in and through me! I want to live every moment of my life wide open to Him.
Father, I don’t want to miss out on one thing You have for me! Not one trial. Not one rebuke. Not one blessing. Not one answer to prayer.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10
If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18
One thing I love to do is read about the lives of those believers who have great faith. This past week, I have been reading a little book called “Answers to Prayer” which is a collection of some of the writings of George Mueller (the link is to a free Kindle version on Amazon). WOW! If you want to see what God can and will do in the lives of those who love Him wholeheartedly and live only for His glory and His will, check out George Mueller’s story!
George Mueller was a faithful believer in Christ in England in the 1800s. He saw how small so many Christians’ faith was. So he decided to open an orphan house – believing that He was following God’s calling on his life. His primary goal was to demonstrate the faithfulness and provision of God to those who seek Him and who are devoted to doing His will alone. He wanted his life to be an example of genuine faith in the Lord. His secondary goal was to care for orphans and raise them to know and love Christ.
Note – this was not his plan. It was Mueller seeking God’s will and God’s plan. He prayed and sought God. Then he waited patiently and expectantly for God to bring about provision so that he might accomplish God’s will.
Mueller never asked for funding for his orphan house. He never posted an advertisement for workers and helpers. He and his wife prayed together for each need and waited on God’s provision in simple faith. It is absolutely incredible to see what God did for and through this man.
- Mueller would pray when they had a need for funds. Sometimes, things got very tight, but always, always God provided for their true needs.
- Mueller prayed for the helpers they needed, rather than advertising for the positions. He trusted that at the right time, God would send whomever He wished to him. And He did! In His perfect timing.
- He prayed about opening a new orphan house and asked God to provide the funding, the land, and all of the materials he needed. And God did, in His perfect timing until he had 5 houses and over 1000 orphans at a time.
- Mueller prayed for God to bring the children to salvation in Christ. Shortly thereafter on one occasion, a smallpox epidemic went through the houses. God used that to bring 729 children to know Christ as Savior and Lord.
- When the boiler was broken and it was a very cold time in winter, Mueller prayed for God to bring a south wind so that the children might not be cold. It had been bitterly cold prior to that, but God did the very thing Mueller asked for. During the few days they had no heat in that house, the temperatures were warm enough from the south winds that the children were well cared for.
- When the older boys needed apprentice jobs, Mueller prayed for God to bring Christian men to the orphanage to inquire for apprentices. All of the boys who needed jobs were apprenticed out. Although Mueller never posted about it to the public or asked anyone to help.
- Mueller took care of 10,024 orphans in his lifetime. He handled $8 million but his own personal assets were only worth about $800 at the time of his death.
It is easy to think that those kinds of answers to prayer are something for Christians who are “super saints” but that the rest of us could not expect God to provide for us so abundantly. But Mueller said he had no special gift of faith. That the faith he had is the same faith that is available to every child of God.
PRAISE GOD for that amazing news! How I pray we will each learn to trust God as Mueller did!
How I limit God so many times! It’s so easy to put Him in a little box and assume He can’t lead me. He can’t provide for me. He can’t make a way for me. My circumstances are too difficult. My storm is too deadly. My husband is too sinful. My children are too far gone. My situation is beyond His reach.
My small faith keeps me from experiencing all that He really wants to do in my life. Can’t God do the same kinds of things and even more for each of us who trust Him fully and who seek His will far above anything else? ABSOLUTELY! God has not changed! He is my Good Shepherd who loves me more than I could ever fathom. He knows what is best and He delights in meeting the needs of His children who trust in Him.
- Our Lord can change our circumstances at any time to accomplish His will.
- He can change our hearts.
- He can change our husband’s hearts.
- He can change our children’s hearts.
- He has the power to heal disease, injury, soul, and spirit.
- He holds all power over everything in our lives, and His motives for us are good and loving.
- He holds every trial in His hands so that He may help our faith grow strong and vibrant.
- I don’t have to be afraid when I know that He is in charge and He is providing for me.
- I don’t have to have everything figured out, I just have to trust Him with simple, child-like faith.
- God is sovereign, not my husband and not me!
- God is sovereign, not my husband’s feelings, my feelings, or anyone’s feelings!
- God is sovereign, not my circumstances!
Some asked George Mueller at times what would he do if he had no food for the children and no supplies? He responded:
“Thus indeed it may be, for our hearts are desperately wicked. If ever we should be so left to ourselves, as that either we depend no more upon the living God, or that ‘we regard iniquity in our hearts,’ then such a state of things, we have reason to believe, would occur. But so long as we shall be enabled to trust in the living God, and so long as, though falling short in every way of what we might be, and ought to be, we are at least kept from living in sin, such a state of things cannot occur. Therefore, dear reader, if you yourself walk with God, and if, on that account, His glory is dear to you, I affectionately and earnestly entreat you to beseech Him to uphold us; for how awful would be the disgrace brought upon His holy name if we, who have so publicly made our boast in Him, and have spoken well of Him, should be left to disgrace Him, either by unbelief in the hour of trial, or by a life of sin in other respects.”
Cleanse us from any unbelief! Expand our capacity to receive Your Spirit into ourselves. Expand our capacity for faith. Help us to embrace trials as “the food of faith” as George Mueller calls them. Help us to have the same simple child-like dependence on You that Mueller had. Use this dear brother’s great faith to inspire each of us to the kind of relationship You desire us to have with You. I am convinced that You are more than able to provide for each of us just as abundantly as You provided for George Mueller and his ministry to orphans.
Let us break open the little boxes in which we try to keep You and set You free to do all that You desire to do in our lives as we trust You more and more each day. Open our eyes to the things You want to do in our lives, our marriages, our families, our careers, our churches, our neighborhoods, and our ministries. Give us eyes to see Your purposes and Your great desires that are so much higher than anything we have ever imagined. Accomplish Your amazing miracles and purposes through us. Change us. Empower us to be women (and men) of BIG TIME faith for Your greatest glory alone!
QUOTES FROM GEORGE MUELLER:
- “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
- “According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years. For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance, but now after much experience I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.”
- “Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord’s work. Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service.”
- “Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.”
- “After the Lord has tried our faith, He, in the love of His heart, gives us an abundance. For the glory of His name and for trial of our faith, He allows us to be poor and then graciously supplies our needs.”
- “When sight ceases, it is the time for faith to work. The greater the difficulties, the easier it is for faith. As long as human possibilities for success remain, faith does not accomplish things as easily as when all natural prospects fail.”
- “Would the believer, therefore, have his faith strengthened, he must especially, give time to God, who tries his faith in order to prove to His child, in the end, how willing He is to help and deliver him, the moment it is good for him.”
- “We will rather work a deliverance of our own somehow or other, than simply look to God and wait for His help. But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help, if we work a deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith it will be thus again, we shall be again inclined to deliver ourselves; and thus with every fresh instance of that kind, our faith will decrease; whilst on the contrary, were we to stand still, in order to see the salvation of God, to see His hand stretched out on our behalf, trusting in Him alone, then our faith would be increased.”
HOW TO DETERMINE GOD’S WILL by George Mueller (for someone who has dealt with any sin in his/her heart already and who belongs to Christ):
- 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 trouble with people generally is just here. 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 impression. 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. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
- Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often 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 in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
I’d love for you to share what happened when you totally trusted God and you saw His provision in your life. I know it will be such an encouragement to others.
If I am having trouble trusting God, it may be that I have believed lies about Him or myself that are keeping me in bondage and spiritual oppression.