Walk This Way: George Muller
“How was this wonder accomplished? Mr. Muller has told the world that it was the result of ‘Prayer.’ The rationalism of the day will sneer at this declaration; but the facts remain.”
This guy is one of my favorites from more recent (few hundred years) history. This guy lived deeply in faith.
He started out as a regular teenage delinquent. He borrowed, stole, lied and cheated. Somewhere in his college days, he was invited to, and went to, a Bible study. There he saw real Christians worshiping a real God. He was hooked. He immediately changed his attitude and lifestyle. Although his friends made fun of him, and his father made protest, he knew what the will of God was for his life, and he changed his course to line up with it. Cut off from all his father’s monetary support, his first challenge was to support himself in college. He prayed, almost embarrassedly, for God to supply his needs. God did. From that point on, George Muller lived solely on faith.
He studied to become a Lutheran minister, and then on the prodding of the Holy Spirit, to become a missionary to the Jews. He studied Hebrew in London. Half way through his studies he felt God calling him to minister to not only the Jews, but to everyone he crossed paths with in England.
Throughout his life there are countless stories of amazing grace and amazing faith. He took only what God would provide to sustain him. No salary from anyone. He had a powerful ministry in the town of Bristol during a great Cholera epidemic. Though thousands around him were dying, he continued visiting the sick and dying. His church continued to meet, though the risk of the spread of disease in the meetings was great, only one member of his church died during the outbreak.
George, knowing and living in the power of prayer and faith, saw something that troubled him. Many of the people he met had difficulty trusting God. “Yes, the person believed that God could provide for him, but no, he was not prepared to take time out of his overworked life to pray and serve others and allow God to meet his needs.”
George strongly desired a way to show people the power of prayer, faith, and the provision of God. He called a meeting at his church and told people that God was leading him to open an orphanage. At the time there were very few orphanages in England. Most orphans were left in poorhouses to work and die. As foreign a concept that this was to people, one after another people offered their time and belongings without desire for salary or repayment. They too lived on the power of faith. Not thinking of their own well-being, but the needs of others. God would supply their needs.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Time and time again God did supply all his needs, and the needs of the thousands of orphans that were raised in the Muller’s orphanage. There were many days when they had no money or food for the next day. Each time George would pray, and God would supply. On one occasion they had no food for the two thousand orphans currently living there. He went in to the dinning hall. All the children were waiting patiently. George prayed and thanked God for the food they were going to eat. As he finished, someone knocked on the door. It was a baker who had spent the night baking bread for the children. Soon after another man knocked at the door. His milk cart had broken down right outside the doors of the orphanage. He gave George ten cans of milk. More than enough for the morning’s meal. God supplied all their needs. Daily.
When it came time to expand the orphanage, the cost required was often staggering. Nothing worried George Muller.
“The greatness of the sum required affords me a kind of secret joy; for the greater the difficulty to be overcome, the more will it be seen to the glory of God how much can be done by prayer and faith.”
Life wasn’t always joyful for George Muller, but he knew who provided for him. When George’s first wife died, he preached the funeral message out of Psalms 119.
You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
What amazing faith that George showed throughout his life. As I read through his story, and his writings I can do nothing less than measure my own faith. What do I count on, instead of God, to supply my needs. I am challenged to re-ground my faith in God. I am challenged to put my money where my faith is, instead of putting my faith in my money. My money and my possessions are not my own, but trusted to me by God. I strive for the faith of George Muller. I long to see God work in my life like he worked in his. I desire to live by faith every day, and walk this way.
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
I end today’s post with a quote that seems appropriate.
“May I ask you then, my brethren and sisters, who have
been benefited in reading this book, to help me with your prayers, that it
may be blessed to others. May I also ask you, my brethren and sisters, who
think I ought not to have published it, to ask God to bless that which you
yourselves consider good and scriptural in it.”
A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with George Muller