A Living Proof
Before reading this book I had some knowledge of George Muller from anecdotal stories and accounts of God’s answers to his prayers. However, no doubt many of these were lacking some accuracy. But my impression and response was like of those stories of athletes attaining great feats of which I know I could never duplicate. I may think to myself wow, I wish I could do that but since being so far off I never examine the possibilities. Reading George Muller: Delighted in God by Roger Steer, I received a different view of these stories of amazing reliance and answer to prayer. In fact, my original view of these accounts where the completely opposite, as I discovered, to the purpose in George Muller recording them. As was recorded in the book of Muller’s journal he wanted the Lord’s blessing [to be] instrumental in strengthening the faith of the children of God (64). In addition to strengthen believer’s faith, he also wanted it to be a testimony of visible proof to the conscience of the unconverted. His reliance on God through pray became a testimony of faith and a witness of the power of God whereby the Lord is glorified. George was originally trained as an evangelist to the Jews of England, but that is not where God planned for his life to take shape. It was through seeing the suffering of orphans and the leading of the Holy Spirit to begin an orphanage when his real work as an evangelist began. George said the primary object of the work was that God might be magnified by [the fact the orphans are cared for] only by prayer and faith, without anyone being asked [for support] whereby it may be seen that God is faithful still and hears prayers still (65). I had to examine my own life under this conviction. Is my life, my family, and my ministry relying exclusively on Christ? Or is my reliance on a steady paycheck, requests for support and other items? Quite frankly the idea of removing my reliable income and going to the lord exclusively for help, without letting anyone else know of my needs, seems akin to having to jump a deep chasm; and rightly so. (George Muller asked that his pastoral salary be eliminated and requested that a box for freewill offering to his support be in its place; this led to some very tight moments.) The object is faith in God and by Muller keeping his needs unknown to others allowed George’s faith to grow deeper and more connected to the Father because it was without doubt who the originator of the answers was. In discussing this with my wife we agreed that the comforts, steady income, and savings removed the need for prayer and faith in many situations. This is not to advocate irresponsibility. But I can’t help but feel as if we are losing such blessings as George Muller received in having his every need become a matter of faith and prayer.