My Favorite Passage on the Christian Life from George Müller

Here is my favorite passage from George Müller, the man of prayer and leader of orphan houses (1805-1898). This reading was originally a single passage that I have broken into five paragraphs.

On Making Sure Your Soul is Happy in the Lord

The welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, our work and service for the Lord, may be considered the most important matters to be attended to; but, according to my judgment, the most important point to be attended to is this—Above all things, see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you; the Lord’s work, even, may have urgent claims upon your attention; but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek, above all other things, to have your souls truly happy in God himself. Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled conviction for the last five-and-thirty years. For the first four years after my conversion I knew not its vast importance; but now, after much experience, I specially commend this point to the notice of my younger brethren and sisters in Christ. The secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, and having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God himself.

On the Scriptures as the Means by Which we Learn to Enjoy God

But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How obtain such an all-sufficient, soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ.

In the Scriptures, by the power of the Holy Ghost, He makes himself known unto our souls. Remember, it is not a god of our own thoughts, or our own imaginations, that we need to be acquainted with; but the God of the Bible, our Father, who has given the blessed Jesus to die for us. Him should we seek intimately to know, according to the revelation he has made of himself in his own most precious Word.

On Reading the Word for Ourselves

The way in which we study this Word is a matter of the deepest moment. The very earliest portion of the day we can command should be devoted to meditation on the Scriptures. Our souls should feed upon the Word. We should read it—not for others, but for ourselves; all the promises, the encouragements, the warnings, the exhortations, the rebukes, should be taken home to our own bosoms. Especially let us remember, not to neglect any portion of the Bible: it should be read regularly through. To read favorite portions of the Scriptures, to the exclusion of other parts, is a habit to be avoided. The whole divine volume is inspired, and by degrees should be read regularly through. But to read the Bible thus is not enough; we must seek to become intimately and experimentally acquainted with Him whom the Scriptures reveal, with the blessed Jesus, who has given himself to die in our room and stead. Oh, what an abiding portion do we possess in him!

On Carrying Out What We Read in the Word

But another point here needs especially to be noticed: it is that we seek habitually to carry out what we know; to act up to the light that we have received, then more will assuredly be given. But if we fail to do this, our light will be turned into darkness. It is of the deepest moment that we walk with a sincere, honest, upright heart before the Lord. If evil be practiced, or harbored and connived at, the channel of communication between our souls and God (for the time being) will be cut off. It is all-important to remember this. Infirmities and weaknesses will cleave to us as long as we remain in the body; but this is a different thing from willingly allowing evil. I must be able, with a true, honest, upright heart, to look my heavenly Father in the face, to say, “Here I am, blessed Lord; do with me as thou wilt.”

On Remembering We Belong Entirely to God

Then let us remember that we are God’s stewards. Our time, our health, our strength, our talents, our all, are his, and his alone. Let us try to remember this, and carry it out, and then what happy Christians shall we all be! It is a divine principle, “To him that hath shall more be given”; and as assuredly as we seek to make good use of that which is confided to us, more will be imported. We shall be used of the Lord, and shall become increasingly happy in his own most blessed service. Brethren! We have only one life—one brief life; let us seek, with renewed purpose of heart, to consecrate that one life wholly to the Lord—day by day live for God and to serve him with our body, soul, and spirit, which are his.[1]

—————–

[1] George Muller, in H. A. Mumaw, Fireside Readings: A Collection of Essays, Poems and Sentences by Various Authors (Elkhart, Indiana: Mennonite Publishing Company, 1881): 20-22. The section titles are mine.

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