Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Latest Reading

One of the assigned books for my Spiritual Disciplines class is called Delighted In God by Roger Steer. It is a recent biography of the life of George Müller, the Prussian émigré to England of the mid 19th century.

Much of the book details his building of one of the largest, and certainly the best, orphanage complex in England from nothing. What is so inspiring is that this is a story about faith. This man, shortly after becoming a Christian, gave up almost all he owned and even the salary he drew for preaching at a local church. He decided to never ask anyone for anything or reveal the need of either his family or his organization, but would lean completely on God in prayer. He kept a prayer journal and marked off when his prayers were answered.

The book attests to many of his specific prayers and how they were exactly answered, not always when or how he expected, but always in time. For instance, at one point, after the establishment of the orphanage, they had run out of both food and money and had nothing to provide the children. Müller took a child by the hand and said, “Come and see what our Father will do.” He then publicly prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” Just as he was finishing his prayer there was a knock on the door. A local baker came in and told everyone present that he had been awoken in the middle of the night with the certain feeling that he must bake bread for the orphanage. He presented them fresh bread. Shortly after he left, another knock came at the door. The local milkman’s cart had overturned and he could not deliver all of his milk. He asked Mr. Müller if the orphanage could use the milk. Thus another day’s food was covered. What an example of faith and answered prayer for that child! There are many such examples in the book.

The entire book reminds me of (and this is what Müller predicated his hopes upon) Matthew 6:25, 31-34: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

How incredible! All of us tend to run after the ability to take care of our families and satisfy our passions. Yet God says if we seek his kingdom and his righteousness he will take care of our needs (as well as granting our requests for righteousness). Then he lifts up examples like Müller to prove to his blind and jaded children that he will answer right prayer, prayed in faith. While I do not believe that one must follow Mr. Müller’s example of never mentioning our need to others, I believe full reliance upon God should be a model for each of us. No one says that such a life is easy or provides the things that so many of us desire, but it is a good life that forces us to realize and rejoice in God’s good provision and his care for his people. Hallelujah! The God we serve is truly an awesome God!

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