10 Jan 2013 by Timothy Tai CM-
Have you ever tried to figure out God’s will for you in a certain area but not know what to do?
Maybe you’re trying to make a decision about which college to go to or which career path to choose. Or perhaps you’re at a major crossroads in your life and you’re questioning if it’s God will for you to quit your job and to start a business of your own. Figuring out the will of God can seem really difficult to some and even impossible to others. But it doesn’t have to be.
One remarkable man of God that we could all learn from is George Muller. In case you’ve never heard of him, he is best known to Christians and non-Christians alike as a compassionate man who built orphanages and cared for more than 10,000 orphans during his lifetime. However, that’s not what’s most remarkable about his life. The most amazing thing about him can be summed up in this one sentence:
He was a man of faith who prayed to God about everything and expected every prayer to be answered.
When he wasn’t sure if he should start an orphanage or not, he prayed about the matter and God answered by providing him with the exact amount of money that he needed. Not only that, God also sent him as suitable workers who offered their services for free.
Another time, when the orphanage was up and running, he had no food in the house for the 300 children under his care. He got the children to sit at the tables in the dining room and prayed and gave thanks anyway. After they finished praying, a baker knocked on the door and gave them sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone. This was followed by another knock on the door and it turned out to be the milkman who gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart had broken down in front of the orphanage.
Throughout his life, he learned to totally rely on God for everything, from guidance to financial provision. So how did this hero of the faith determine the will of God regarding all the countless decisions that he had to make in all the different areas of his life? Well, I’ll let him tell you in his own words.
How to Ascertain the Will of God
- 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 it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
- Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
- 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.
- Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s Will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
- I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.
- Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and my 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 most important issues, I have found this method always effective.
At the age of 89, he remarked that in all the 69 years of his Christian life he had always been directly rightly by God whenever he relied on Him. As for the times that he did not totally rely or wait on Him, he had this to say: “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 fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes.”
May we all learn to discover God’s good and perfect will for our lives (and avoid making great mistakes ourselves) by heeding the advice of this great hero of the faith.
Note: Timothy grew up in Kuching and worked in KL before jumping off the corporate ladder in 2006. He moved to New York City where he served at an inner-city kids ministry for almost 6 years. He has since returned to KL and has just married his Irish fiancee Sarah.
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