Friday, May 19, 2017

The Providence of God and the Work of the Gospel, Part I

When George Müller was twenty-two years old, he learned of a missionary opportunity in Bucharest, Romania. After a time of prayer, he decided to apply for the position, for despite his weaknesses, he “had a great desire to live wholly for God” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 23).

After receiving the consent of his father and spending some time with him, he “returned to Halle [Germany], and now prepared with earnestness for the work of the Lord. I set before me the sufferings which might await me. I counted the cost. And he, who once so fully served Satan, was now willing, constrained by the love of Christ, rather to suffer affliction for the sake of Jesus, ‘than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.’ I also prayed with a degree of earnestness concerning my future work” (page 23).

However, as he prepared himself to go, he encountered an older Christian friend who was about to give up on a ministry to the Jews simply because of his age. On hearing of this, the Lord began to stir in Müller’s heart to take his place and thus he began learning Hebrew and otherwise taking steps in that direction. But since he had committed to the work in Romania, he thought it best to follow through with that, trusting that the Lord would guide him along the way.

Amazingly, due to a war between the Turks and Russians, the missions society decided not to send Müller or anyone to Bucharest, and just at that time one of Müller’s mentors offered him a position as a missionary to the Jews. After a time of prayer, Müller was not sure of what the Lord would have him do, but he thought it good to apply to the position and trust the Lord to guide his path.

Accordingly, Müller applied for the position in December of 1827 and received an answer on June 13, 1828—seven months later! While they did think it good to accept his application, they wanted him to come to London to interact with the committee, pray, and make final plans. This wasn’t good news to Müller, however, upon consideration he saw the wisdom in going, received the blessing of his Father, and began the process that would lead to the journey. 

Next time, we’ll consider the conclusion of the story, but for now, please reflect on what you’ve read and ponder the providence of God. How do you see the Lord working in Müller? What might we learn from the Lord’s work in his life? How is the Lord working through the various circumstances of your life and of your church?

No comments:

Post a Comment