I recently watched a documentary on the life of George Müller. I was aware of Müller and the orphanages he started, but I didn’t have a grasp on the intense faith of this man. From the time he founded the orphanages until his death 62 years later, Müller never once asked for a single penny of support. He simply trusted God to provide.
There are many stories of times the children all sat around an empty table at dinner time because Müller could not afford to buy food, only to have someone knock on their door at the last moment with baskets of bread and bottles of milk to provide a meal for those under his care. No meal was ever missed, and no child ever went without clothing. And through it all, Müller never requested anything other than prayer from anyone.
I’ll get back to Müller in a moment, but I’m struck by the difference in Müller’s approach and that of so many ministries today. As I write this, the year is coming to a close which means ministries and other charitable organizations are filling my mailbox with please for “my best gift” as the year ends. As each year of my life passes, I grow ever wearier of these pitches. I understand the need for support and appreciate the fact they are only doing what they have been taught to do by other ministries. But where is the faith of Müller to simply bring the needs to God alone and trust He will provide?
Before we wag our fingers too harshly at the fundraising tactics of Christian ministries, it would be wise to shine the same light on our own lives. What is our response when we have a need? Sure, most of us go to prayer immediately, but what do we do next? Instead of trusting God to supply the need we set about figuring out how to take care of it on our own. How many hours do we waste in hurried activity stressing over our dilemma instead of falling to our knees and trusting God to supply?
The example of George Müller’s life is not an excuse for laziness. God has gifted each of us with a unique combination of talents and gifts to accomplish the work He gave us to do. So we follow close behind Jesus, doing the things He would do and walking in His will by obeying His commands. He will take care of the rest. He knows what you need (Matthew 6:6-8; Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:25-34) and has promised to provide it if only we will trust Him.
To see results like Müller saw, we must have the faith he had. Mr. Müller went to prayer and had no doubt the Lord would provide because he was humble enough and walked close enough to God that his prayers were in line with the will of God. He cared only to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and his prayers reflected that desire. Müller didn’t pray for wealth or popularity, yet when he died, he had given away more than $7 million dollars and people flooded the streets for his funeral procession. Over 10,000 orphans grew up loved, fed, and with the knowledge of Jesus because of the faith of this man.
What might we accomplish if we took God at His word and truly believed He would provide for our needs against all odds? What if we all had the faith of George Müller? I can think of no greater goal for anyone as we approach the New Year. Ask God to grant you such faith today, and believe He will provide.