By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor
Just days after I trusted Christ for salvation and committed my life to His lordship, I was introduced to George Muller by way of one of his biographies.
Muller, who lived in England during almost all of the 1800s, was a fascinating man of prayer and faith. During his life time, he recorded over 50,000 specific answers to prayer with over 30,000 of them were answered within 24 hours.
Through prayer and faith alone – without ever sharing any need with any person other than the Lord – Muller trusted God to respond to meet his needs of his ministry
According to Muller’s records, God provided the equivalent of millions of dollars to underwrite the ministry of the orphanages in Bristol England.
Muller had a strict rule for his staff and that no one was ever to ask anyone for money. What was the key to Mr. Muller’s faith and the amazing answers to prayer? He had a process for how to ascertain the will of God.
In the biography that I read, just days after trusting the Lord, there was an appendix that that contained a simple explanation of the process by which Muller sought discern the Lord’s will.
It was titled, “How to ascertain the will of God.” Following are the six steps Muller employed in seeking the will of the Lord for his life and ministry.
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 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. 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 outright.
6. 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.
From the time that was introduced to Muller’s method, I have sought to employ it in my own life. As I reflect on my life I greatly regret the times that ignored Muller’s wisdom. However, when I did follow his biblically solid advice, I was always confident in moving forward.
Muller’s method allowed me to discern that God wanted me to leave my job with the Westinghouse Corporation in Round Rock, Texas and enroll in The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in nearby Belton.
The impact UMHB had on my life was, and is, incalculable. Space will not allow me to recount all the people and circumstances that God used in forming a solid foundation of faith during my four years at the school. Suffice it to say it was life altering.
I also met the love of my life, my wife, Mindy while we were students at UMHB. Together, we have endeavored to employ Muller’s process as we have sought to discern God’s will.
We have used Muller’s process for more than 28 years and discerned the Lord’s will in moving to three churches in Texas.
The biblical wisdom of Muller also helped me to know the Lord wanted us to move to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
The process Muller employed in his own life also helped us realize when it was time make a move and embrace a new aspect of ministry in Louisiana. The past nine years as editor of the Baptist Message have been fulfilling and always interesting.
We once again sought Muller’s advice and strongly believe it has led us to make yet another move – a move home. I have accepted a position at my alma mater, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I will be serving in the development office and my focus will be helping to raise funds so UMHB can pursue its vision of becoming the university of choice for Christian education in the southwest.
As we follow the Lord into a new chapter in our lives it is necessary to say “see you later” to many dear friends. I will especially miss the staff of the Baptist Message. I have never worked with a finer group of individuals. They are indeed special.
May the Lord bless you and may you seek to please Him by following the example of George Muller and always seek to ascertain His will.