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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sir, What's That Stuffed In Your Trunk?

A few months ago, I was faced with a significant decision that would determine the course of my life and the life of my family for years to come.  I desperately wanted to be in God's will in this decision.  I remember almost feeling paralyzed.  What if I made the wrong decision?  If I had gone left and God wanted me to go right, I had this picture of God standing over there saying, "Oh boy, you're in trouble now.  Best of luck to you."  Some of the best advice I received was from a man who lived over one hundred years ago....George Muller.

Muller was an incredible man of faith.  He was a pastor who started an orphanage in England.  The reason he started the orphanage was not so much to care for children as it was to live out a biblical life of faith completely dependent on God for supply.  Muller never asked for contributions.  The extent of his "fundraising" efforts was a small box placed at the back of his congregation.  Yet, throughout his life and ministry, God provided right on time every time.  Muller truly relied on God in such a way that if God, and his promises, were not real then Muller and the children in his care would have failed miserably.  This is exactly what God wants from all of us.

So when I stumbled on Muller's strategy for determining God's will for his life, I thought it would be sound advice.  He outlined what he called a "6-point strategy for finding the will of God".

1) Get your own will out of the way - "I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own.  90% of the trouble with people generally is here."

2) Feelings are the sure path to delusions - "I do not leave the result to feeling.  If so, I make myself liable to great delusions."

3) Seek the will of the Spirit in connection with the Word - "I seek the will 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.  If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them."

4) Consider providential circumstances - "Next, I take into account what I call sanctified common sense."

5) Get on your knees - "I ask God in prayer to reveal His will for me aright."

6) Make a deliberate judgement and keep testing it with prayer - "Thus, I come to a deliberate judgement 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 the most important issues, I have found this method always effective."

Not much need to elaborate on that.  But I am struck at how contrary this is to the world's process of doing things.  I mean just look at the first point....get what you want and desire out of the picture.  Imagine if wall street operated this way.  Shoot, imagine if every church operated this way!  But I guess thats the point; we are called to be different from those around us.  What better way to live that out than by approaching a crossroad with your will and desire stuffed in the trunk.


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