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Thursday, November 10, 2011

George Mueller: How to ascertain the Will of God

This past week I had the privilege of preaching from Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 on the topic of "Listening and Hearing from God." While I reading & prepping I came across a short tract by George Mueller (1805-1898), called "How to ascertain the will of God." Mueller preached at his local church for six decades and built five large houses for orphans in England. I have never read of or run across another human in the last millennia for whom I have more respect in the areas of discerning God's will & specific, bold prayers. I hope you find this brief & straightforward piece of wisdom as instructive as I have:
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.   2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.   3. 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 me at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.   4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.   5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His Will to me aright.   6. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of His Word, and 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 the most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

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