Monday, February 16, 2009

Lessons Learned from George Muller

Align Center

Below are random excerpts taken from a book "George Muller of Bristol" by Dr. Arthur T. Pierson. If any of you are not familiar with George Muller, you can read my previous note on him called "Is There Any God's "Mullers" Left Today?" There is NO intention in exalting this godly man of God. In fact, whenever one remembers George Muller, the important thing that first comes to mind perhaps is his hatred when anyone gave glory to him and not to God; when anyone looked up to him instead of God. Anyone who reads his account carefully will find that, during his Christian life, one of his many mottos was: "[God] must increase and [he] must decrease."

Here are some lessons we can learn from him:


Under his great Teacher [the Lord Jesus] did this pupil [George Muller], early in his spiritual history, learn that supreme lesson that to every child of God the Word of God is the bread of life , and the prayer of faith the breath of life .

The following are three Bible passages (in his early Christian life) that spoke to Muller's heart about the importance of meditating on God's Word:

Joshua 1:8 -- This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalm 1: 1-3 -- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

James 1:25 -- But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.


As faith was exercised it was energized, so that it became as easy and natural to ask confidently for a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand pounds, as once it had been for a pound or a penny. After confidence in God has been strengthened through discipline, and God had been proven faithful, it required no more venture to cast himself on God for provision for two thousand children and an annual outlay of at least twenty-five thousand pounds for them than in the earlier periods of the work to look to Him to care for twenty homeless orphans at a cost of two hundred and fifty pounds a year. Only by using faith are we kept from practically losing it, and, on the contrary, to use faith is to lose the unbelief that hinders God’s mighty acts.


Another fact that grows more conspicuous with the perusal of every new page in [Muller’s] journal is that in things common and small, as well as uncommon and great, he took no step without first asking counsel of the oracles of God and seeking guidance from Him in believing prayer. It was his life-motto to learn the will of God before undertaking anything, and to wait till it is clear, because only so can one either be blessed in his own soul or prospered in the work of his hands. Many disciples who are comparatively bold to seek God’s help in great crisis, fail to come to Him with like boldness in matters that seem too trivial to occupy the thought of God or invite the interposition of Him who numbers the very hairs of our heads and suffers not one hair to perish. [Muller] escaped this great snare and carried even the smallest matter to the Lord.


In a little sketch of Beate Paulus, the Frau Pastorin pleads with God in a great crisis not to forsake her, quaintly adding that she was “willing to be the second whom He might forsake,” but she was “determined not to be the first.” George Muller believed that, in all ages, there had never yet been one true and trusting believer to whom God had proven false or faithless, and he was perfectly sure that He could be safely trusted who, “if we believe not, yet abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” God has not only spoken, but sworn; His word is confirmed by His oath: because He could swear by no greater He swear by Himself. And all this that we might have a strong consolation; that we might have boldness in venturing upon Him, laying hold and holding fast His promise. Unbelief makes God a liar and, worse still, a perjurer, for it accounts Him as not only false to His word, but to His oath. George Muller believed, and because he believed, prayed; and praying, expected; and expecting, received. Blessed is he that believes, for there shall be a performance of those things which are spoken of the Lord.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Wrong Pattern in Seeking God’s Will

Taken from "Experiencing God" by Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King

I hear many people say something like this: “Lord, I really want to know Your will. Stop me if I am wrong and bless me if I am right” or “Lord, I will proceed in this direction. Close the door if it is not Your will.” This approach isn’t found in Scripture.

Don’t let experience alone guide your life. Don’t allow yourself to be led by tradition, a method, or a formula. Often people trust these ways because they appear easier than cultivating an intimate walk with God. People do as they please and put the whole burden of responsibility on God. If they are wrong, He must intervene and stop them. If they make a mistake, they blame God. God is not obligated to stop you from making a mistake!

If you want to know the will and voice of God, you must devote time and effort to cultivate a love relationship with Him. That is what He wants!

God Word is our guide. The pattern in the Scripture is that God always gives a direction on the front end. He may not tell you all you want to know at the beginning, but He will tell you what you need to know to make necessary adjustments and take the first step of obedience. Wait until the Master gives you instructions. If you start doing before you have a direction from God, more than likely you will be wrong. One of the most difficult things for Christians to do is to wait on the Lord. However, waiting reflects our absolute dependence on God.

“Darkness about going is light about staying”

Does God Give Specific Directions?

A common teaching today claims that God does not give you clear instructions. Instead, He merely sets your life in motion, and you try to figure out the directions, using your God-given mind. For these people, freedom to choose is the highest good. This implies that a Christian always thinks correctly and according to God’s will. It does not take into account that the old nature constantly battles with the spiritual nature (see Romans 7). Our ways are not God’s ways (see Isaiah 55:8). Only God can give you the kind of specific directions to accomplish His purposes in His ways. From God’s perspective, doing His will is the highest good and results in the greatest joy.

After God spoke to Noah about building an ark, Noah knew its size, the type of materials to use, and the way to put it together. When God spoke to Moses about building the tabernacles, He was extremely specific about the details. When God walked on the earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, He gave specific directions to His disciples—where to go, what to do, how to respond, and what to say.

What about when God called Abraham (Abram) and said, “Go to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1)? That was not very specific. That required faith. But God did say, “I will show you.” God always gives you enough specific directions to do what He wants you to do now. When you need more directions, He gives you more in His timing. God later told Abraham about the son to be born to him, the number of his descendants, the territory they would inhabit, and that they would go into bondage and eventually be delivered.

The Holy Spirit gives clear directions today. Because God is personal, He wants to be intimately involved in your life. Therefore, He will give you clear guidance for living. You may say, “That has not been my experience.” Base your understanding of God on Scripture, not on your personal experience or lack of it!

Suggestions to Help Us Looking to God for Directions in Our Lives

If you do not have clear instructions from God in a matter, pray and wait. Learn patience. Depend on God’s timing, which is always right and best. Don’t get in a hurry. He may withhold directions to cause you to seek Him more intently. Don’t try to skip over the relationship to start doing something. God is more interested in a love relationship with you than He is in what you can do for Him. If God is having you wait, He may want to develop a deeper relationship with you before He gives you your next assignment. He may have you wait because the timing is not yet right.

From George Muller

The following excerpt was taken from a book called “Answers to Prayer,” where George Muller summed up the way he entered a heart relationship with God and how he learned to discern His voice. (Notice that the order is VERY important):

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 deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly.

From Blog owner

The above passages only mention the principles in seeking God's will. If you'd like to know some wonderful examples how those principles could be applied practically in our lives, the following are 3 (three) highly-recommended books. The books were all written by godly men who had/have sweet fellowship with the Lord Jesus. They consistently applied the above principles, and thus, they are able to put them down in writing in order to share them with us. These godly men know that seeking God's will is not a matter of formula. They give us biblical and practical examples to help us know for certain that in every decision we made, we are indeed doing God's will.

1. Release the Power of Prayer (George Muller) by Whitaker House--141 pages, yet easy reading. Get it at

2. The 7 C's of Decision Making (David R.Reid) by ECS Ministries (Emmaus Bible College)--15 page booklet. Get it at

3. Experiencing God (Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King) by LiveWay Press-- a Bible study guide, 12-unit lessons in knowing and doing the will of God. Get it at

Last but not least, I shared the above advices with others because I have found them very helpful. I myself still have many things to learn regarding discerning God's will in my life. Therefore, when some things I learned have helped my personal walk with the Lord Jesus, I would NOT be able to stay still until I share them with others. I feel like it is selfish to keep them for myself. In fact, two of the books above were suggested by godly mothers I know. If I have received freely, then I shall give freely, too. May the Lord Jesus be glorified.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Christians and Politics (by William MacDonald)

Should a Christian become engaged in politics?

Those who say yes invariably quote the familiar aphorism, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” If that does not clinch the case, they cite Joseph, Moses, and Daniel as examples of believers who were involved in the political system.

Although the aphorism sounds convincing, we should remember that it is a statement of human wisdom, not divine revelation. We should not give it the authority of Scripture. As for Joseph and Daniel, they never ran for office but served as government employees. Moses was more of a gadfly to the government than a part of it.

The Biblical Answer

If we go to the Word for an answer, what do we find?

The Lord Jesus did not engage in politics. If anything, He found Himself in an adverse relationship to the system. The disciples did not engage in politics. Did they miss God’s best by concentrating on the gospel? The apostle Paul did not engage in politics. Faithfulness to his calling and to his message pitted him againts the pharisaic society.

Jesus taught that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). He said to His unbelieving brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil” (John 7:7). The apostle John reminds us that “the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Politics is part of the world system.

We have to separate ourselves from the world in order to influence it (2 Corinthians 6:17). Archimedes said he could move the world if he could get a fulcrum outside it. We must position ourselves outside the world system if we are going to move it for God.

Paul insisted that”no one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life” (2 Timothy 2:4). All believers are (or should be) on active duty. They should not allow themselves to be distracted.

Politics is corrupt. It is a system of compromise. Decisions are commonly made on the basis of what is expedient rather than what is right. It adheres to human rather than divine principles. The late Senator Vandenberg of Michigan said, “Politics by its very nature is corrupt. The church should not forget its true function by trying to participate in an area of human affairs where it must be a poor competitor…It will lose its purity of purpose by participating.”

The Banana Project

God’s solution to the world’s problems is not political but spiritual. New birth rather than newly elected officials is His answer. Politics is nothing more than a band-aid on a cancer. Our marching orders are, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:60). The [following] story of the banana peel puts things in proper perspective.

Once a man had a very important job in the publishing business and he was responsible for the publication and distribution of thousands of pieces of literature. On a particular day, he was on his way to work and as he passed a certain downtown corner he came across a banana peel on the sidewalk. Knowing of course that this was a potential danger, he took time to kick it into the gutter where no one would slip on it. But he began to think that more banana peel might be lying on the sidewalks of this large city. Suppose there was one that no one kicked in the gutter and someone stepped on it. Perhaps he should take the time to look through the streets of the city for a lurking banana peel. Otherwise someone might break some bones. Many might be saved a trip to the hospital. But wait a minute—he had his own responsibility. He was an important figure in the publishing business. It was his responsibility to keep the presses rolling and send messages to the ends of the earth. Reluctantly he abandoned the banana project for the more essential one. Let the street sweepers take care of the banana peel. That was their job.

Now let’s make the application. A Christian has the greatest responsibility in the world, that is, to publish the glad tidings of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a big business for the Christian. If he doesn’t do it, it will never be done. That’s why Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Many people are being involved in politics…but God has charged us with the blessed task of giving out the gospel to dying men and women. Other projects may be worthy, but if we fail in this, no one will take our place.

God’s purpose in this age is not to make the world a better place to live in, but to call out of the nations a people for His name (Acts 15:14). We should be working with Him in the accomplishment of this goal. Jowett said it well: “We are partners with God in the world’s redemption. This is our errand…to anoint men in the Name of the Lord to royalty of life, to sovereignty over self, to service for the realm.” He goes on to mourn the tragedy of Christians who fail to appreciate their high calling, who hug the subordinate, who creep instead of fly, who are slaves instead of kings.

The Christian’s primary citizenship is heavenly (Philippians 3:20). He is a pilgrim and stranger in this world (1 Peter 2:11). While he has a responsibility to obey the government and a right to use its judicial processes, he is not obligated to become part of the system. If I participate in politics, I’m casting a vote of confidence in its ability to solve the world’s problems. I have no reason for such confidence after centuries of political failures.

The general tenor of the NT is that conditions are not going to get better (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). This makes the Christian’s responsibility to the Great Commission all the more urgent.

Does all this mean that believers adopt a do-nothing approach? No! The point is that we can do more through prayer than we ever could through the ballot. We hold the balance of power through prayer. We can affect the destiny of nations through prayer. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

The time hasn’t come for Christians to rule (1 Corinthians 4:8). Lifetime is training time for reigning time. Said William Kelly:

"Never have Christians meddled with governing the world, save to His dishonor and their own shame. They are now called to suffer with Christ, by-and-by they shall reign with Him. Even He has not yet taken His great power for reigning. He sits upon His Father’s throne, as the earth-rejected Christ, waiting for the word from His Father to execute judgment and sit on His own throne (Revelation 3:21)."

Even as I’m writing this, I received a news clipping which supports Kelly’s position. It says:

"Van Dyke, a born-again Christian, was a controversial figure. His political career was marked with scandal. He was nearly expelled by the Legislature in 1984 for using fraudulent campaign literature. The Public Disclosure Commission fined him $500 and the Legislature demanded an apology."

Kelly’s statement is worth pondering: “Never have Christians meddled with governing the world, save to His dishonor and their own shame.”

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Christians’ Attitude Toward Alcohol

What should be the Christians' attitude toward alcohol?

The blog’s owner does understand there is some degree of liberty in this area of consuming alcoholic beverages for Christians. Without judging any true believers who may consume alcohol in temperate manner, the blog’s owner just want to share a worthwhile point of view about alcohol consumption by William MacDonald, who went home to be with the Lord in December 2007. His point of view is worth reading and worth considering.

When a converted drunkard was asked, “Do you believe that Jesus changed water into wine?” he replied, “Yes, I have seen Him changed whisky into groceries, gambling tickets into furniture, and a broken-hearted wife into a radiant Christian. I have no difficulty believing He changed water into wine.”

The most common form of drug abuse is alcohol. Like [other] drugs…, it is an escape route from the world of reality. It provides a temporary high, a chance to forget the problems of the moment, and a relief from tension. But, like the other drugs, it is demoralising, dehumanising, and destructive.

Those who claim to be Christians must adopt a biblical view toward the subject of alcoholic beverages. God’s original intention was that wine should be enjoyed by men and women, but in moderation (Psalm 104:15a). He warns against overuse that results in the loss of ability to make proper decisions (Proverbs 31:4, 5; Hosea 4:11). He permits the use of wine in areas where the water causes stomach disorders (1 Timothy 5:23) and advocates its medicinal use for dying (Proverbs 31:6, 7).

But the danger, of course, is that people might abuse a God-given mercy by becoming alcoholics. God solemnly warns believers against over-indulgence (Romans 13:13). He clearly states that no drunkard will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10). Even though a man may profess to be a believer, he shows that his profession is false if he is a drunkard. When abused, “wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink arouses brawling, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).

In cultures such as ours where drinking might stumble another person, believers should practice total abstinence, that is, to stay away from intoxicating beverages completely (Romans 14:21).

Actually believers should not need to use wine as a crutch. The Apostle Paul suggests that to be filled with the Holy Spirit, rather than to be filled with wine, is the way to go for a child of God (Ephesians 5:18).

The Safest Policy

The only way a person can be sure that he will not become an alcoholic is by staying away from liquor completely. And this is the surest way that his behaviour will not stumble someone else. This is an important consideration for all of us. If a weak believer sees you or me taking a drink, he may conclude that if it’s all right for us, then it’s all right for him too. Yet he may become addicted to alcohol, ending up as a drunkard. In that case, you and I are morally responsible because we set a bad example. That is why Paul said, “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles” (Romans 14:21). It is why he also said, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:13). It is worse to make men drunkards than to be one yourself—and God knows that it’s bad enough to be one.


I'd like to end this blog entry with five questions (biblical principles) that will help us, Christians, decide what we must do when we are facing difficult situation, including alcohol consumption. These questions, if I'm not mistaken, were composed by a godly father.

"All things are lawful," but:
1. Will they lead to freedom or slavery? (1 Corinthians 6:12)
2. Will they make me a stumbling block or a stepping-stone? (8:13)
3. Will they build me up or tear me down? (10:23)
4. Will they only please me, or will they glorify Christ?
5. Will they help to win the lost or turn them away? (10:33)


The above excerpt is taken from the book “Be Holy” by William MacDonald, published by John Ritchie Christian Publications. (The whole book is a worthwhile book to read. It contains many practical principles—biblical principles—about Christian holiness. If you are in the US and Canada, you can order it from Gospel Folio Press.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Persistent Praying - More From G. Muller

George Muller was a man of the WORD, a man of PRAYER, and a man of great FAITH! What an irresistible combination! What God-glorifying characters! We praise God for a man like George Muller. Let us glean some wisdom from this godly man about God's faithfulness in answering persistent prayers.

A year before George Muller died, he was asked if he had always found the Lord to be faithful to His promises. This was Muller's reply:

Always. He has never failed me! For nearly seventy years, every need in connection with this work has been supplied. The orphans from the first until now have numbered ninety-five hundred, but they have never lacked a meal. Never! Hundreds of times we have begun the day without a penny in hand, but our heavenly Father has sent supplies by the moment they were actually required. There never was a time when we had no wholesome meal. During all these years, I have been enabled to trust in God, in the living God, and in Him alone. One million, four hundred thousand pounds have been sent to me in answer to prayer. We have needed as much as fifty thousand pounds in one year, and it has all come by the time it has really been needed.

No man on earth can say that I have ever asked him for a penny. We have no committees, no collections, no voting, and no endowments. All has come in answer to believing prayer. My trust has been in God alone; He has many ways of moving the hearts of men all over the world to help us. While I am praying, He speaks to this one and another, on this continent and on that, to send us help.

Expect great things from God, and great things you will have. There is no limit to what He is able to do. Praise be forever to His glorious name! Praise Him for all! Praise Him for eveything. I have praised Him many times when He has sent me sixpence, and I have praised Him when He has sent me twelve thousand pounds.

The great point is never to give up until the answer comes....The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God's glory, they should pray until they get it. Of, how good, kind, gracious, and generous is the One with whom we have to do!

I have met with many discouragements, but at all times my hope and confidence have been in God. On the word of Jehovah's promise has my soul rested. Oh, it is good to trust in Him; His Word never returns void (Isa. 55:11). He gives power to the faint, and to those who have no might He increases strength (Isa. 40:29).

From "Release the Power of Prayer" by George Muller. Published by Whitaker House Publishers.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is There Any God's "Mullers" Left Today?

George Muller (Sept. 27, 1805 -- Mar. 10, 1898)

He prayed about and for anything and everything!
He is a man of the WORD, of PRAYER, and of great FAITH!

The following excerpts are taken from George Muller’s personal account. At his young age, George Muller was a thief and a liar, but after turning to Christ, he provided for over 10,000 orphans—without ever asking anyone but God to supply their needs. He testified of at least 50,000 specific answers to his prayers. Through Muller’s experience, we can see how God could use a miserable worm, who was only a wreck when brought to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Muller died at the age of 92 with a wonderful Christ-honoring legacy left behind. Not only did Muller have concern about the physical, emotional, social, and educational needs of the orphans, but also--most importantly--their spiritual needs. Many orphans came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through his ministry.
Muller himself has stated that through his writing, he wanted God’s people to know that God is forever faithful and He still answers prayers. Muller wanted us to discover how to trust Him, our heavenly Father, who is always willing to supply ANYTHING we need and give ANYTHING we ask (that is according to His will and in the name of the Lord Jesus). He wanted us to know that we can also experience the shower of God’s abundant blessings. (Keep on reading to find out how.)

By God’s grace, I have put it to test to pray for things very specifically. Amazing! (Not the prayer itself that is amazing, but the God who answers the prayer.) When we ask for specific things, God also gives us the specific answers that were sought. “According to your faith let it be to you” says the Lord Jesus in Matthew 9:29. However, I still have many things to learn about prevailing prayer that pleases God. Through His Word, the Lord Jesus is ever ready to teach us. Next time I will post more excerpts which show that:

Muller’s love for God’s Word was the main reason he was a great man of faith and a great man of prayer.

May we, by God's grace, become one of God's "Mullers" today. May we be not found rebuked by our Lord, “Where is your faith?” Instead, may we be found--for the glory of Christ--commended by Him, "Great is your faith.”


So that people would know that his faith was not a unique faith available only to him, Muller wrote in 1842:

I desire that all children of God who read these details may thereby be led to increase and more simple confidence in God for everything they may need under any circumstances. I trust that these many answers to prayer may encourage them to pray, particularly for the conversion of their friends and relatives, their own progress in grace and knowledge, the state of the church of God at large, and the success of the preaching of the Gospel. Especially I affectionately warn them against being led away by the tricks of Satan (see 2 Peter 3:17) to think that these things are unique to me, and that they cannot be enjoyed by all the children of God.

Although…every believer is not called upon to establish orphanages or charities and trust in the Lord for the support of these institutions, yet all believers are called upon, in the simple confidence of faith, to cast all their burdens upon Him (Ps. 55:22). They are to trust in Him for everything (Ps. 37:5; Prov. 3:5), and not only to make everything a subject of prayer, but to expect answers to their petitions that they have asked according to His will and in the name of the Lord Jesus (Matt. 21:22; John 11:22).

Further, when sometimes all has been dark, exceedingly dark, judging from natural appearances, with reference to my service among the saints, when I would have been overwhelmed in grief and despair if I had looked at things “according to the outward appearance” (2 Cor. 10:7), at such times I have sought to encourage myself in God by laying hold in faith of His mighty power, His unchangeable love, and His infinite wisdom. I have said to myself, “God is able and willing to deliver me, if it is good for me; for it is written, ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ (Rom. 8:32).” As I believed this promise through His grace, my soul was kept in peace.

Also, when in connection with the orphanages and day schools trials have come upon me that were far heavier than the lack of sufficient resources…--at such times, my soul was stayed upon God. I believed His Word of promise, which was applicable to such cases. I poured out my soul before God and arose from my knees in peace, because the trouble that was in the soul was, in believing prayer, cast upon God; thus, I was kept in peace.

Dear reader, I may seem to boast, but, by the grace of God, I do not boast in speaking the way that I do. From my inmost soul, I ascribe the glory to God alone that He has enabled me to trust in Him, and that He has not allowed my confidence in Him to fail. But I thought it needful to make these remarks, lest anyone think that my depending upon God was a particular gift given to me, which other saints have no right to look for, or lest it should be thought that my depending upon Him had only to do with the obtaining of money by prayer and faith.

By the grace of God, I desire that my faith in God might extend toward everything: the smallest of my own temporal and spiritual concerns, the least of the temporal and spiritual concerns of my family, the saints among whom I labor, the church at large, everything that has to do with the temporal and spiritual prosperity of the Scriptural Knowledge Institution, and so forth.
Dear reader, do not think that I have attained in faith (and how much less in other respects) to that degree to which I might and ought to attain; but thank God for the faith that He has given me. Please pray that He will uphold and increase it.

Finally once more, I remind you not to let Satan deceive you in making you think that you could not have the same faith but that it is only for persons who are in a similar situation as I.

May you not do the same, dear believing reader? Oh, I beseech you, do not think that I am an extraordinary believer, having privileges above any other of God’s dear children, which they cannot have. Do not look on my way of acting as something that would not work for other believers. Give it a try! Stand still in the hour of trial, and you will see the help of God, if you trust Him.

But there is so often a forsaking of the ways of the Lord in the hour of trial, and thus the food of faith, the means whereby our faith may be increased, is lost. This leads me to the following important point. You ask, How may I, a true believer, have my faith strengthened? Here is the answer: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17). As the increase of faith is a good gift, it must come from God; therefore, He ought to be asked for this blessing. The following means, however, ought to be used:

First, carefully read the Word of God and meditate on it. Through reading the Word of God, and especially through meditation of the Word of God, the believer becomes more acquainted with the nature and character of God. Thus he sees more and more, besides His holiness and justice, what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful God is. He will rely upon the willingness of God to help him because he has not only learned from the Scriptures what a kind, good, merciful, gracious, and faithful being God is, but he has also seen in the Word of God how, in great variety of instances, God has proved Himself to be so. And the consideration of this, if God has become known to us through prayer and meditation on His own Word, will lead us with a measure of confidence, in general at least, to rely upon Him. Thus the reading of the Word of God, together with meditation on it, will be one special means to strengthen our faith.

Second, with reference to the growth of every grace of the Spirit, it is of the utmost importance that we seek to maintain an upright heart and a good conscience; therefore, we should not knowingly or habitually indulge in those things that are contrary to the mind of God. So it is also particularly the case with reference to the growth in faith. How can I possibly continue to ask with faith in God concerning anything if I am habitually grieving Him and seeking to detract from the glory and honor of Him in whom I profess to trust, and upon whom I profess to depend? All my confidence toward God, all my leaning upon Him in the hour of trial, will be gone if I have a guilty conscience and do not seek to put away this guilty conscience, but continue to do the things that are contrary to the mind of God. And if, in particular instance, I cannot trust in God because of guilty conscience, then my faith is weakened by that instance of distrust. For with every fresh trial, faith either increases by my trusting God, and thus receiving His help, or it decreases by my not trusting Him. Then there is less and less power of looking simply and directly to Him, and a habit of self-dependence is born or encouraged. One or the other of these will always be the case in each particular instance. Either we trust in God, and in that case we do not trust in ourselves or in our fellowmen or in circumstances or in anything else; or we do trust in one or more of these, and in that case, we do not trust in God.

Third, if we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through the trials, be strengthened. In our natural state, we dislike dealing with God alone. Through our natural alienation from God, we shrink from Him, and from eternal realities. This tendency cleaves to us, more or less, even after our regeneration. Hence it is that, more or less, even as believers, we have the same shrinking from standing with God alone, from depending upon Him alone, or from looking to Him alone. Yet this is the very position in which we ought to be if we wish our faith to be strengthened. The more I am in a position to be tried in faith with reference to my body, my family, my service for the Lord, my business, and so on, the more I will have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance. Every fresh instance in which He helps and deliver me will tend to increase my faith. On this account, therefore, the believer should not shrink from situations, positions, or circumstances in which his faith may be tried; instead, he should cheerfully embrace them as opportunities in which he may see the hand of God stretched out on his behalf to help and deliver him, and whereby he may thus have his faith 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 faith comes, and do not try to work a deliverance of our own. Wherever God has given faith, it has been given, among other reasons, for the very purpose of being tried.

Yes, however weak our faith may be, God will try it, but with this restriction: as in every way, He leads gently, gradually, and patiently, so also with reference to the trial of our faith. At first our faith will be tried very little in comparison with what it may be afterward, for God never lays more upon us than He is willing to enable us to bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

If the believer, therefore, would 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. He…permitted our faith to be tried in order to make the answer so much the sweeter. It is indeed a precious deliverance.


George Muller wrote the following reminder to believers who are facing trials:

“That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

God’s way always leads into trial, as far as sight and sense are concerned. Nature will always be tried in God’s ways. The Lord was saying to us by our poverty, “I will now see whether you truly lean upon Me, and whether you truly look to Me.”

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. How awful the disgrace brought upon His holy name would be 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!

Truly, it is worth being poor and greatly tried in faith for the sake of having day by day such precious proofs of the loving interest that our kind Father takes in everything that concerns us. And how could our Father do otherwise? He, who has given us the greatest possible proof of His love that He could have done in giving us His own Son, surely will with Him also “freely give us all things” (Rom. 8:32).

~From “Release the Power of Prayer” by George Muller, published by Whitaker House.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


The apostle Paul, Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, Knox, Edwards, Finney, Spurgeon, Moody--each shared a common denominator: a fire in their belly. They each were so eaten up with the gospel and thirsty for Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost, they could not stand idly by while others perished. They saw nothing but eternity, worshipped a holy God, and served a risen Christ; living not for earth nor its gains but living only for heaven and its rewards. When they preached, they linked the devil with sin and the cross with salvation. They preached hell and its fire and Christ and Him crucified. Not one of them feared King, Queen, or Pope; and not one of them sought the compliments of men."

--E.A. Johnston, Realities of Revival (Taken from Uplook Magazine, October 2007)


Paul, Luther, Wesley--what would these choses ones of God be without the distingushing and controlling element of prayer? They were leaders for God because they were mighty in prayer. They were not leaders because of brilliancy in thought, nor because of their exhaustless resources, their magnificent culture, or their natural endowment; but they were leaders because, by the power of prayer, they could command the power of God. Praying men means much more than "men who pray by habit." It means "men with whom prayer is a mighty force," an energy that moves heaven and pours untold treasures of good on earth.

The great need of the church in this and all ages is for men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that they will work spiritual revolutions through their mighty praying. As someone has said,

Natural ability and educational advantages do not figure as factors in this matter; but a capacity for faith, the ability to pray, the power of a thorough consecration, the ability of self-littleness, an absolute losing of oneself in God's glory, and an ever present and insatiable yearning and seeking after all the fullness of God. Our need is for men who can set the church ablaze for God, not in a noisy, showy way, but with an intense and quiet heat that melts and moves everything for God.

--E.M. Bounds, E.M. Bounds on Prayer, Praying Men and Personal Purity