“I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” – Psalm 81:10
A Snapshot of the Life of George Müller:
Born: Sept. 27, 1805, Kroppenstadt, Prussia (Germany)
Died: March 10, 1898, Bristol, England
History’s man of faith. Müller was converted attending a home prayer meeting while at Halle University in 1825. He went to London (1829) to train as a missionary to the Jews and moved to a pastorate in Bristol (1832). He married Mary Groves on Oct. 7, 1830 (died: Feb. 6, 1870), and Susannah Sangar on November 30, 1871 (died: January 13, 1894). In 1834, he founded the
Scripture Knowledge Institute, an umbrella for all his activities. In 1836, Müller opened an orphan home (26 orphans) in Bristol, which would by 1875 care for 2,100 children at a time. He was father to more than 10,000 orphans, helped 121,000 students, sent out 163 missionaries, received over 20,000 answers to prayer, printed 111 million tracts, and prayed in $5 million [Approximately $150,000,000 as of 2023]; never asking anyone but God for anything. Some of Müller’s last years, 1875-92, were given to worldwide evangelism in 42 countries. He wrote five books and was a leader in the Christian (Plymouth) Brethren movement. His favorite Bible verse was Psalm 81:10. – (Excerpts taken from the Reese Chronological Encyclopedia of Christian Biographies. Used by permission.)
A Spiritual Application for Our Lives:
The testimony of George Müller is a stunning rebuke to any who do not believe in a Living God. The magnitude of his work, done solely by faith, is a stirring testimony of God’s faithfulness to His faith-filled child. God honors faith (Matthew 21:22, Hebrews 11:6).
Although, many are familiar with Müller’s effective prayer life, far fewer understand his true passion – the Word of God. Müller was strong in the Word. He developed an intimate walk with the Savior that made it as natural to pray as to greet a friend on the street. He believed emphatically that the Word of God is true. Müller taught that we must believe God to deliver on His promises each day. The outward blessing that resulted from George Müller’s inner man made a profound difference on the leaders of his day. One such man was the great, Hudson Taylor. The following excerpt from Müller’s letter to Taylor perfectly summarizes the convictions and principles Müller sustained regarding the inner walk with God. The Christian life is not mere service, it is walking with God.
“…This then beloved in the Lord is what we have to aim after: the lowly mind. The true and faithful servant seeks the Master’s honour, not his own. So should we, to the utmost regarding our service for the Lord Jesus. Just in the measure as we are not willing in our inmost soul to give all the honour to the Lord Jesus, so in proportion are we unfit practically to be used by the Lord. He will not use us, lest if He did we should rob Him of His honour.
Further, I have in my own experience found it of the utmost moment to make the care about my own soul the chief business of my life. Abundant as my work is, so much so, that if I had strength to work 24 hours every day, I would not accomplish what is ready for my hands, and feet and head, and heart; yet with all this I consider my first business to be, and my primary business, day by day, to get blessing for my own soul, food for my own soul, to be happy in the Lord; and then to work, and to work with all diligence. Now in your case, with all the many millions of idolaters around you, the temptation is, to be overpowered by the immense quantity of work to be done, to the not minding sufficiently your own souls. But this would only lead to loss. No amount of work can make up for the neglect of meditation in the Holy Scriptures and for the neglect of prayer. Moreover it is not the amount of work we do, at which our Heavenly Father looks, but the Spirit in which we do His work.
Now, this right state of heart, which we need for this, we can only enjoy by seeking to feed our own soul through meditation on the Holy Scriptures. We should therefore habitually and prayerfully as much as possible in the early part of the day, read with meditation the Holy Scriptures and seek with reference to our own individual necessities to enter into what we read. There is great temptation for preachers of the Gospel to read the Holy Scriptures with reference to others, to the neglect of their own souls; this is greatly to be guarded against for if we read the Scriptures not with reference to our own souls, primarily we shall lose the blessing, which God meant to convey thereby to our hearts…”
May God stir you and I by Müller’s life and wisdom. Are not those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) going to be blessed with heavenly satisfaction? May we then seek after the Lord Jesus, our Water and our Bread (John 4:14; 6:35), with all our hearts. Let us not merely serve the Master; let us walk with Him today. Those who see God’s greatest glory are those who walk closest to Him.
A Suggestion for Further Reading…
George Müller of Bristol – A.T. Pearson (1849) | This excellent volume has been reprinted by numerous publishers
The Autobiography of George Müller – George Müller (1996) | This easy to obtain record of answered prayer and simple truths will strengthen your faith. However, anything written by Müller will be a profitable and stirring read.
George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans – 1999)