George Müller (German – born as : Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller) (27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898)
George Müller: Finding the Will of God
1. Get your own will out of the way
“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 that 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. Feelings are the sure path to delusions. Avoid walking that path.
“Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.”
3. Seek the will of the Spirit in connection with the Word
“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. Consider providential circumstances [a call for sanctified common sense]
“Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.”
5. Get on your knees in the throne room
“I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.”
6. Make a deliberate judgment, and then keep testing it with prayer
“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 the most important issues, I have found this method always effective.”
If honesty of heart and uprightness before GOD were lacking or did not patiently wait upon GOD for instructions I made great mistakes.
The careful reading of the word of God, combined with meditation on it. Through reading of the word of God, and especially through meditation on the word of God, the believer becomes more and more acquainted with the nature and character of God.
As with reference to the growth of the Spirit, it is of the utmost importance that we seek to maintain an upright heart and a good conscience.
If we, indeed, desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and, therefore, through the trial, be strengthened.
The last important point for the strengthening of our faith is that we let God work for us, when the hour of the trial of our faith comes, and do not work a deliverance of our own.
Would the believer, therefore, have his faith strengthened, he must especially, give time to God, to work.
muller man of faith
March 4. For the encouragement of believers who are tried by having unconverted relatives and friends, I will relate the following circumstance which I know is true. Baron von Kamp, who lived in Prussia, had been a disciple of the Lord Jesus for many years. In the year 1806, great financial distress came upon many thousands of weavers in the area. They had no employment because the whole continent was in an unsettled state from the war. The baron believed that it was the will of the Lord to use his wealth to furnish these poor weavers with work, in order to save them from complete ruin. There was not only no prospect of personal gain, but rather the certain prospect of immense loss. Nevertheless, he found employment for about six thousand weavers.
But the baron was not content with this. He also wanted to minister to the souls of these weavers.
He set believers as overseers over his immense weaving concern. The weavers were instructed in spiritual things, and he personally shared the truth of the gospel with them.
The work went on for a good while until at last, on account of the loss of most of his property, he was obliged to think about giving it up. But by this time, his precious act of mercy had proven its worth to the government. It was taken up by them and carried on until the times changed. Baron von-Kamp was appointed director of the whole concern as long as it existed.
This dear man of God was not content with this. He traveled through many countries to visit the prisons for the sake of improving the physical and spiritual condition of the prisoners. He also assisted poor students at the university of Berlin, especially those who studied theology, in order to win them for the Lord.
One day a talented young man heard of the aged baron’s kindness to students. He wrote to the baron, requesting his assistance because his own father could not afford to support him any longer.
A short time afterward, young Thomas received a kind reply from the baron, inviting him to come to Berlin. But before this letter arrived, the young student had heard that Baron von.Kamp was a “pietist” or “mystic,” as true believers were contemptuously called in Germany. Young Thomas was deeply involved in philosophy, reasoning about everything, questioning the truth of revelation, questioning even the existence of God. He disliked the prospect of going to the old baron for help. Still, he thought he could try, and if he did not like it, he was not obligated to remain in connection with him.
Thomas arrived in Berlin on a day when the baron was out of town on business. He began to speak about his philosophies to the steward of the baron. The steward, however, was a believer, and he turned the conversation to spiritual things.
At last the baron arrived. He received Thomas in the most affectionate and familiar manner. The baron offered him a room in his house and a place at his table while Thomas studied in Berlin. Thomas accepted the offer.
The baron now sought in every way to treat the young student in -the most kind and affectionate way, to serve him as much as possible, and to show him the power of the gospel in his own life. He did all this without arguing with him or even speaking to him directly about his soul. Thomas obviously had a skeptical mind, and the baron avoided getting into any argument with him. The student often said to himself, “I wish I could get into an argument with this old fool. I would show him how irrational his beliefs are.” But the baron avoided it.
When the baron heard the young student come home in the evening, he would go to meet him and serve him in any way he could, even helping him to take off his boots. Thus this lowly, aged disciple went on for some time. While Thomas still sought an opportunity for arguing with him, he wondered how the baron could continue to serve him.
One evening when Thomas returned to the baron’s house, the baron was making himself his servant as usual. The student could restrain himself no longer and burst out, “Baron, how can you do all this? You see I do not care about you. How are you able to continue to be so kind to me and serve me like this?”
The baron replied, “My dear young friend, I have learned it from the Lord Jesus. I wish you would read through the gospel of John. Good night.”
The student now for the first time in his life sat down and read the Word of God with an open heart and a willingness to learn. Up to that time, he had never read the Holy Scriptures unless he wanted to find out arguments against them. God blessed him. From that time he became a follower of the Lord Jesus and has continued in the faith ever since.
May 7. The primary business I must attend to every day is to fellowship with the Lord. The first concern is not how much I might serve the Lord, but how my inner man might be nourished. I may share the truth with the unconverted; I may try to encourage believers; I may relieve the distressed; or I may, in other ways, seek to behave as a child of God; yet, not being happy in the Lord and not being nourished and strengthened- in my inner man day by day, may—result in this work being done in a wrong spirit.
The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it. Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed.
Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible. But I often spent a quarter of an hour to an hour on my knees struggling to pray while my mind wandered. Now I rarely have this problem. As my heart is nourished by the truth of the Word, I am brought into true fellowship with God. I speak to my Father and to my Friend (although I am unworthy) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.
It often astonishes me that I did not see the importance of meditation upon Scripture earlier in my Christian life. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God-not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.
When we pray, we speak to God. This exercise of the soul can be best performed after the inner man has been nourished by meditation on the Word of God. Through His Word, our Father speaks to us, encourages us, comforts us, -instructs us, humbles us, and reproves us. We may profitably meditate, with God’s blessing, although we are spiritually weak. The weaker we are, the more meditation we need to strengthen our inner man. Meditation on God’s Word has given me the help and strength to pass peacefully through deep trials. What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning! Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.
The following guidelines will help a believer build his faith:. Carefully read the Word and meditate on it. Through reading the Word of God, and especially through meditation on it, the believer becomes acquainted with the nature and character of God. Besides God’s holiness and justice, he realizes what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful Father He is. Therefore, in poverty, affliction, death of loved ones, difficulty in service, or financial need, he will rest on the ability of God to help him. He has learned from the Word that God is almighty in power, infinite in wisdom, and ready to help and deliver His people. Reading the Word of God, together with meditation on it, is an excellent way to strengthen faith.
2. We must maintain an upright heart and a good conscience and not knowingly and habitually indulge in things which are contrary to the mind of God. How can I possibly continue to act in faith if I grieve the Lord and detract from His glory and honor? All my confidence in God and all my leaning on Him in the hour of trial will be gone if I have a guilty conscience and yet continue in sin. If I cannot trust in God because of a guilty conscience, my faith is weakened.
With every fresh trial, faith either increases by trusting God and getting help, or it decreases by not trusting Him. A habit of self-dependence is either defeated or encouraged. If we trust in God, we do not trust in ourselves, our fellowmen, circumstances, or in anything else. If we do trust in one or more of these, we do not trust in God.
If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried. The more I am in a position to be tried in faith, the more I will have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance. Every fresh instance in which He helps and delivers me will increase my faith. The believer should not shrink from situations, positions, or circumstances in which his faith may be tried, but he should cheerfully embrace them as opportunities to see the hand of God stretched out in help and deliverance. Thus his faith will be strengthened.
The last important point for the strengthening of our faith is that we let God work for us and do not work a deliverance of our own. When a trial of faith comes, we are naturally inclined to distrust God and to trust in ourselves, in our friends, or in circumstances. We would rather work a deliverance of our own than simply look to God and wait for His help. But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help or if we work a deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith we will have the same problem. We will again be inclined to try and deliver ourselves. With every fresh trial, our faith will decrease. On the contrary, if we stand firm in order to see the salvation of God, trusting in Him alone, our faith will be increased. Every time we see the hand of God stretched out on our behalf in the hour of trial, our faith would be increased even more. God will prove His willingness to help and deliver at the perfect time.
Scriptural principles may be used to overcome the difficulties in business or any earthly calling. The children of God, who are strangers and pilgrims on earth, should expect to have difficulty in the world, for they are not at home here. But the Lord has provided us with promises in His Word to cause us to triumph over circumstances. All difficulties may be overcome by acting according to the Word of God.
February 21. I began to form a plan to establish an institution for the spread of the gospel
at home and abroad. I trust this matter is of God
February 25. I was led again today to pray about forming a new
missionary institution and felt more certain that we should do so. Some people may ask why we formed a new institution for the spread of the gospel and why we did not unite with some of the religious
societies already in existence. I give, therefore, our reasons in order to show that nothing but the desire to maintain a good conscience
led us to act as we have.
of God is the only rule of action for the disciples of the Lord Jesus
. In comparing the existing religious societies with the Word of God, we found that they departed so far from it that we could not be united with them and maintain a good conscience.
The goal which these religious societies are working toward is that the whole world will eventually be converted. They refer to the passage
in Hab. 2:14
, “For the earth
shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory
of the Lord, as the waters cover thesea
;” or the one in Isa. 11:9
, “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
These passages have no reference to the present dispensation
but to the one which will begin when the Lord returns. In the present time
, things will not become spiritually better, but worse. Only people gathered out from among the Gentiles
for the Lord will be converted. This is clear from many passages in God’s Word. (SeeMatt. 13:24-30,36-43
; 2 Tim. 3:1-13
; Acts 15:14
.) A hearty desire and earnestprayer
for the conversion of sinners is quite scriptural. But it is unscriptural to expect the conversion of the whole world. We could not set such a goal for ourselves in the service of the Lord.
But even worse is the connection of those religious societies with the world
. In temporal things, the children
of God must make use of the world but the work to be done requires that those who attend to it should have spiritual life
(of which unbelievers are utterly destitute). The children of God are bound by their loyalty to their Lord to refrain from any association with the unregenerate.
The connection with the world is obvious in these religious societies, for everyone who donates a certain amount is considered to be a member. Although such an individual may live in sin
; although he may manifest to everyone that he does not know the Lord Jesus; if only the money
is paid, he is a member and has a right to vote. Moreover, whoever pays a larger sum can be a member for life, however openly sinful his life is. Surely such things ought not to be.
The methods used in these religious societies to obtain money for the work of the Lord are also unscriptural. It is common to ask the unconverted for money, which even Abraham
would not have done. (See Gen. 14:21-24
.) How much less should we do it! We are forbidden to have fellowship
with unbelievers in all such matters because we are in fellowship with the Father
and the Son
. We can, therefore, obtain everything from the Lord we can possibly need in His service without being obliged to go to the unconverted world. The first disciple
did this in 3 John 7
-“Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.”
The individuals who manage the affairs of the societies may be unconverted persons or even open enemies to the truth. This is permitted because they are rich or influential. I have never known a case of a poor
, but wise and experienced,servant
of Christ being invited to lead
such public meetings. Surely the Galilean fishermen or even our Lord Himself would not have been called to this office according to these principles. The disciples of the Lord Jesus should not judge a person’s fitness for service in the Church
by the position he fills in the world or by the wealth he possesses.
Almost all these societies contract debts so that it is rare to read a report of any of them without finding that they have expended more than they have received. This is contrary both to the spirit
and to the letter
of the New Testament
. “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Rom. 13:8
Brother Craik and I heartily agree that many true children of God are connected with these religious societies. The Lord has blessed their efforts in many ways, despite the existence of practices we judge to be unscriptural. Yet it appeared to us to be His will that we should be separate from these societies.
By the blessing
of God, we may help the children of God in those societies to realize their unscriptural practices. We remained united in brotherly love with the individual believers belonging to them. We would by no means judge them if they do not see that their practices are contrary to Scripture
. But since we see them to be so ourselves, we could not with a clear conscience remain.
We thought that it would be harmful to the brethren
among whom we labored if we did nothing to support missionary work. Therefore, we wanted to do something to spread the gospel at home and abroad, however small the beginning
March 5. This evening at a public meeting, brother Craik and I stated the principles on which we intend to establish our institution for the spread of the gospel at home and abroad. There was nothing outwardly impressive either in the number of people present or in our speeches. May the Lord graciously grant His blessing upon the institution which will be called The Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad.
The Principles Of The Institution We consider every believer
to be called to help the cause of Christ, and we have scriptural reasons to expect the Lord’s blessing on our work of faith
and labor of love. The world will not be converted before the coming of our Lord Jesus, but while He tarries, all scriptural means should be employed for the ingathering of the elect of God.
With the Lord’s help, we will not seek the patronage of the world. We never intend to ask unconverted people of rank or wealth to support this institution because we believe this would be dishonorable to the Lord. “In the name of our God we will set up our banners” (Psa. 20:5
). He alone will be our patron. If He helps us we will prosper; and if He is not on our side, we will not succeed.
We will not ask unbelievers for money although we will accept
their contributions if they offer them of their own accord. (See Acts 28:2- 10
We reject the help of unbelievers in managing or carrying on the affairs of the institution. (See 2 Cor. 6:14-18
We intend never to enlarge the field of labor by contracting debts and then appealing to the Church for help. This is contrary both to the letter and the spirit of the New Testament. In secret prayer, God helping us, we will carry the needs of the institution to the Lord and act according to the direction that God gives.
We will not measure the success of the institution by the amount of money given or the number of Bibles distributed, but by the Lord’s blessing on the work. “Not by might, nor by power
, but my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts
” (Zech. 4:6
). We expect His blessing in proportion to our waiting upon Him in prayer.
While we avoid needless separation, we desire to go on simply according to Scripture, without compromising the truth. We will thankfully receive any scriptural instruction which experienced believers, after prayer, may have to give us concerning the institution.
The Goals Of The Institution 1. We will assist day
schools, Sunday schools, and adult schools which give instruction on scriptural principles. As the Lord supplies the finances and suitable teachers and makes our path clear, we will establish schools of this kind. We also intend to place poor children into such day schools.
Our day school teachers must be godly people, the way of salvation
must be scripturally pointed out, and no instruction may oppose the principles of the gospel.
Our Sunday school teachers must be believers and the Holy Scriptures alone will be the foundation of instruction. We consider it unscriptural that any people who do not know the Lord themselves should be allowed to. give religious instruction.
The institution will not provide any adult school with the supply of Bibles, Testaments, or spelling books unless the teachers are believers.
2. We will distribute the Holy Scriptures.
3. We will assist missionaries whose ministry appears to be carried out according to the Scitiptures.
4) George Müller Answers to Prayer, from George Müller’s Narratives