When I was still in college, and a very young Christian, it was fellow students (most younger than me) and their mentors who gave me my first lessons in the Christ Life and biblical community. These young people were serious about their faith and how they lived out their faith and—like those who mentored them—looked to the heroes and classic books of the past. I have been blessed in reading and re-reading these great books—and other classics I’ve discovered over time—ever since. I’m old enough now to have lived through many generations of how-to books and so forth, some of which have been helpful even decades after they were published. None of them has eclipsed the old books.
One of these old books, long out of print, is Answers to Prayer, by George Müller, one of the great heroes of 19th Century church history. Over many years this man asked for and received millions of dollars to care for orphans and support missionaries around the world. But he didn’t ask people for these millions—he asked God alone. Here’s his secret:
“I never remember, in all my Christian course, a period now (in March, 1895) of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever SINCERELY and PATIENTLY sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have been ALWAYS directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or if I did not patiently wait upon God for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations ofthe Word of the living God, I made great mistakes.”
It’s funny. This week I’ve been focusing on one of my foundation verses, trying to understand better God’s will for my family and me. What would happen if I really grasped the implications of these verses the way Mr. Müller seemed to?
Proverbs 3:5-7 (New International Version 1984, ©1984)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
Blessings to you and those you care for during the holidays. May God speak to you—and may you listen!