The Lord covers the heavens with clouds,
provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.
He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry...
the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:8-9, 11.
Both my Father and Father-in-law considered a man named George Muller to be one of their favorite spiritual heroes. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard stories about him over the years. It really helped my faith as a young believer to realize that the God of miracles was still alive and well working on planet earth intersecting the lives of His children. It’s not just something that God only did back in the days of the Bible. I thought perhaps it might be encouraging to you as well to take some time to share his story.
George Muller was born in the Prussian village of Kroppenstaedt. While at university a friend took him to a Bible study. The experience affected him deeply and He chose to follow Jesus. George became passionate about reading the Bible and bringing every need to God in prayer. When he graduated in 1829 he moved to England to train for missionary work.
In 1832 George and his wife Mary moved with a friend to Bristol in England to lead Bethesda Chapel. Soon after they founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution which supported missionaries, distributed Bibles, and educated adults and children. A few years later, George was disturbed by the increasing number of children who had been orphaned and made homeless by the cholera epidemic, so he decided to open an orphanage.
For five months George prayed for the people and provision he needed. God answered his prayer and the first home opened on Wilson Street in Bristol. Over the following six years three more homes were opened on the same street and over 100 children were cared for. The neighbors started to complain, so in 1846, George asked God whether he should build a large orphanage in a more rural area. After discerning that God wanted Him to do it, George prayed for the then huge sum of 10,000 pounds to buy land. George had made a habit of not telling people about financial needs, instead he brought his need to God alone. By the following year George’s prayers were answered and building work began.
Ashley Down Orphanage opened in 1849 and welcomed 300 children but within two years George had a waiting list of children, so he prayed for the funds to build a second orphanage, then a third, a fourth and a fifth. By 1870, over 2000 children were at Ashley Downs and each one was receiving an education. After years of experience trusting in God, George Muller shared this advice for younger believers.
“Be slow to take new steps in the Lord's service, or in your business, or in your families: weigh everything well; weigh all in the light of the Holy Scriptures and in the fear of God. Seek to have no will of your own, in order to ascertain the mind of God, regarding any steps you propose taking, so that you can honestly say you are willing to do the will of God, if He will only please to instruct you. But when you have found out what the will of God is, seek for His help, and seek it earnestly, perseveringly, patiently, believingly, expectantly; and you will surely in His own time and way obtain it.”
Do you need to know God’s will and direction for ministry in your life right now?
Would you ask the Lord to guide you? As you listen, ask the Lord to help you to surrender your agenda, and to patiently trust in Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
What is God asking you to do to serve and love your community? What do God’s folk here in Topeka need to begin, or maybe continue in God’s work?
Would you pray with me today?
God, please provide all we need to serve You. Teach us to be a little more like George Muller and bring to You every challenge along the way.
Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.