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No More Teeny Tiny Boxes!

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!

photo credit www.wikipedia.com
photo credit www.wikipedia.com

GEORGE MUELLER:

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.
George Mueller's orphan houses. Photo credit www.georgemuller.org
George Mueller’s orphan houses. Photo credit www.georgemuller.org

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.”

PRAYER:

Lord,

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!

Amen!

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):

  1. 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.
  2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
  3. 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.
  4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
  5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.
  6. 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.

SHARE:

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.

RELATED:

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.

29 thoughts on “No More Teeny Tiny Boxes!

  1. Amazing article. I guess what stands out to me is the difference between saying you have faith and living it. Trusting Him more than my circumstances or others opinion brings peace that is so worthwhile when I choose to relax in Gods sovereignty.

    1. Peggy,

      Yes, there is a BIG difference between the two! May we each learn to always rest and relax in God’s arms and hear His voice clearly. He can and will direct us if only we will be still and listen. 🙂

  2. This post is INCREDIBLY ENCOURAGING and CHALLENGING! I’ve been personally working on my faith and trust in God for my family, marriage and personal struggles. I’ve been often reminded of George Mueller’s example along with Brother Andrew’s (God’s Smuggler) and have often dismissed these stories as “exceptional”. But here again, your post challenges me to believe it is for me too. Thanks for your post.

    Michele

    1. Michelle Thiessen,
      Yes, this post is exciting and challenging for me, too. I hope to get to read Brother Andrew’s material this year, too. I have heard so many incredible things about his faith and testimony for Christ.

      Imagine if we all really “get” that this kind of faith and this kind of life is for each of us, too!?!?! How different would our lives, our marriages, our families, our churches, our communities, and this world be!?!?!

      I can’t wait to find out!

  3. Thank you April for this encouraging article! I love reading about the faith of George Mueller and his wife. What a Godly example of how we are to live, something we rarely see in the times we live in. I pray I could have faith like his and keep my eyes on Jesus! It’s when I take my eyes off Him and back onto the world that I stumble and fall back into sin. This testimony of faith encourages me to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of Christ Jesus.”

    1. Emily,
      So thankful this was an encouragement. I know it sure is to me! May we continue to depend on Christ and not ourselves more and more. I can’t wait to see what God has in store. 🙂

  4. April,

    This story is a true example of how the LORD does HIS WILL in and through His servants! Praise God for these real life examples of our MIGHTY GOD!

    I just wanted to emphasize one thing—- George Mueller was a man who did not come up with the idea HIMSELF to make an orphanage, and then ask God to bless it. George Mueller was a crucified man who saw and knew that in himself, he could produce nothing for the Lord out of his own resources. He knew that he could not organize something for God, and then ask the Lord to provide for it.

    In his case, and in any true work of God, man himself was ruled out all together, and it was the LORD’S will made known to the servant, and then the servant came into line with His will about the thing, and from there on relied on the Lord in faith, and through prayer to provide for the thing the Lord wanted done!

    I just want to share that because a lot of times we come up with things we want to do for God, and then we expect God to bless that thing, and He doesn’t, and we end up defeated in unbelief!

    As in his way of finding the will of God you mentioned above, the first thing he says is that before praying he has come to the position that he has NO WILL of HIS OWN, and it is only by this position that the Lord is able to reveal His will to him, and lead him in the way that God would have him go for God’s will to be done! That is the most essential thing and as you already know, it is a position that we come to only by having truly seen the Cross of Christ, and what is means to us in our sin and our selves naturally. Once that is accepted and truly understood, we are in the position to receive the Lord’s mind about things and His will and leading in that will to be accomplished by His power and by His resources alone! 🙂

    In the case of marriage, our God is extremely concerned because marriage is a vessel of His Testimony, and when it is being assaulted and destroyed left and right, the Lord’s Name and honor is certainly involved! And the Lord would have us lay down every idea we have of fixing our marriages, and all our own ideas and ways and desires, in order for Him to be able to reveal His will, His way, His purposes, and His means of meeting His demands by His own Life and resources in and through us when we are fighting for our marriages for His Glory and Honor! 🙂

    Our God is the God of HOPE—and He is able to carry out His own work through those who are truly surrendered to Him and His purposes—no matter the personal cost!

    Lots of love!

    Amanda

    1. Amanda,

      These are great points! I added a bit in the post to be sure it is more clear that Mueller didn’t run ahead of God or come up with ideas on his own. He waited on God and did what he knew to be God’s will.

      Hope to get to share more with everyone a bit later!
      Much love!
      April

    2. Amanda,

      I love everything you shared! Thank you so much for these wonderful insights! 🙂 I pray God will help us be able to give up our will completely as Mueller did and seek His will, His provision, and His leading. May we hear His voice clearly and be completely devoted to Him and to obey Him.

      Yes!!!!! Marriage is to display the gospel of Christ to the world! God definitely is very concerned about it. Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful picture of the love of Christ for His church and her love for Him. May He empower us to become the people He calls us to be and may He heal our marriages that His Name might be greatly glorified. And that many would be drawn to Jesus in our lives.

      Much love!
      April

      1. April,

        Amen! I believe the Lord will put on our hearts a burden for His purposes, and in that burden, we will be drawn out to prayer unto Him to fulfill His purposes in and through His willing vessels all for HIS glory!

        God is faithful where all is wholly and utterly devoted to Him and His glory! 🙂

        Love,
        Amanda

        1. Amanda,

          The analogy of a vessel is so powerful, because it is exactly like it… we must empty ourselves completely ( our thinking, our expectations, our way, our _____) in order for Him to fill us up with so much bigger, more glorious things he has predestined for us, if only we would completely surrender to His will, instead of our own…George Mueller got that, and his faith was incredible…he had NO doubt, that his prayers would be answered and the Lord would provide needs that he had. His story is such an inspiration!
          Love, A Lifetime Learner

  5. Perfect timing, as usual. As another level of control needs to be eradicated in my life, you remind me in such a beautiful, poignant way that God’s “got this” and that God wants marriages to work. Thank you for the inspiring message!

    1. Trying,
      You are most welcome. I am getting to apply this concept to a small challenge in my life that I would normally try to fix myself right now. Interested to see what God will do!

      Yes, God’s hands are so much more capable than our own. He can do so much with our lives, infinitely more than we could ever imagine or even think to ask.

      Much love!

  6. Hi April
    I`m eager to read this book but when I attempted the download it took me to a sermon central site that said the page was not there. I love George Mueller and today`s post on faith is exactly what I need to focus on.

  7. I did it, it worked. If any of your readers don`t have a kindle device, it has a free kindle app offered too, so you can read it on your PC. I downloaded that as well. What happened is that when I placed the order for the free book by Mueller, it said that it had sent the order to the kindle cloud, which left me going `Now what do I do“ for a few seconds lol. I suspect the Kindle Cloud is where those with actual Kindle devices can retrieve stuff from. However, there`s a link called manage your devices that is connected to your order; if you click on that you can tell it to send it to the free kindle for PC app. Then it will show up for you and you can read it. So now I am happily reading it. Thank you 🙂

  8. Wow! I am encouraged by this post like almost never before! I too have been putting God in little boxes of my own meager expectations. Now I can’t wait to go and pray a prayer so different from my current daily prayers! It just shed so much light on my petty marriage issues. God can change everything in an instant!
    I love what he says : above all make sure your spirit is happy in the Lord! God first!
    I am literally bubbling over of excitement right now! 😂

    1. Ellie,
      Me, too! It is INCREDIBLE to see all that God has for those who trust Him. Not for our will to be done, but for His glory. We live like we are such spiritual paupers, but we are daughters of the King! May God stretch and grow our faith that we might completely depend on Him like Mueller did and like so many other strong believers have throughout history. God is willing to give all of Himself to those who fully yield themselves in submission to His Lordship.

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for each of us and to celebrate His goodness together. 🙂

      Woohoo!

  9. Now all i have to do is contol the controlling side of myself. Such a surprisingly difficult thing to do. Lord! I need so much growth!

    1. happily gave up,

      Well, in our own strength, it is impossible, for sure, to do this. BUT – with the power of the Holy Spirit, we CAN have self-control! SO thankful or there would be no hope for any of us!

      Much love!

  10. This post gives real encouragement. I can also testify to the power of God.

    My father lived in defiant and unrepentant adultery for 20 years. He was incredibly cruel, selfish and heartless towards my mother and me and always put that other woman and the child they had together above us. We kept praying for him….then it turned out that he he did a construction project at a local church and on the Saturday that the project was completed, he asked the pastor what time the Sunday service was. The next day, he went to the Sunday service and he gave his life to Christ. He left go of the other woman and refocused on his family. After living in darkness for 20 years, he is now walking with Christ.

    God truly is sovereign. He can change any situation. He may take decades to turn things around because he works in his own timing. No situation is hopeless. Always keep praying.

    I’m not necessarily recommending that wives continue living with a husband who is living in unrepentant adultery. I actually would not do it. I think living with it gives the message that you are condoning it or accepting it in some way. It may be better to live apart until he gives up his sin. I’m just giving this example to show an example of God’s power even over the most stubborn and defiant person.

  11. Dear Sister April,

    Thank you!

    I was reading Psalm 118 earlier now I am reading this timely article:

    Psalm 118

    “16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.

    17 I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.”

    “26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.

    27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

    28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.

    29 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

    I am learning day by day, to leave my anxiety behind and let God fill me with purpose, I am finding that when I have to do a hard thing, God stands by me and I gain courage and it seems no longer hard.

    God bless you friend,
    Jesuscentreoflife

Thanks for commenting! Let's be respectful toward God, our husbands, and one another.

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