“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:25-34
As we step into summer, Mark and I are once again on the brink of change! After two years in Washington, we are leaving. Through prayer and fasting, we received the release from God to step out in faith onto the water. Against all conventional wisdom, Mark submitted his resignation and friends back in San Diego have offered temporary lodging. Exciting times.
My word in prayer for 2020 has been THRIVE. In this season of pressing in I have reflected on the faith of British minister and orphan champion George Müller who was known to have read the Bible over 200 times by his death, half of which were read on his knees in prayer seeking the face of God. He was convicted against laying up treasures for unforeseen needs because there was no emergency for the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God already knew what would be needed and would provide.
Müller and his wife were so convinced of God’s foreknowledge and provision that they chose to never ask for money in their years of ministry. His biography is a profound testimony to the faithful providence of God—no orphan in his care ever went hungry, and despite regular financial shortages, he continued to expand and take in orphans.
Müller kept detailed notebooks in which he logged his petitions to God, the date they were made, and the date answered. No detail was too insignificant to take to the Lord. He writes that God answered over 50,000 prayers.
Müller believed that he could accomplish more for the Kingdom of God with four hours of work preceded by an hour of prayer than five hours of work. After 20 years in Christian ministry, I know what he means.
At the age of 70, Müller embarked on seventeen years of missionary journeys. He traveled around the world, never asking for money, and exhorted, “Real trust in God is above circumstances and appearances.” He never lacked for provision. In 1834 as he launched The Scriptural Knowledge Institute, he was reminded in prayer of Psalm 81:10, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” This verse had guided his work with orphans and reflected the faith of a child. In seasons of struggle and doubt, his records show that he was reminded of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” His childlike faith clung to the simplicity of God’s Word.
George Muller wrote “Our faith becomes full when our bedrock foundation is His Word and we are unshakeable in knowing He will do what He said He will do. Like Muller, I maintain that to enter the fullness of God one must faithfully read and know His Word. Hebrews 13:8 declares that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” His Word never fails. Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still and know that I AM God.” This cautions us from making decisions or moving in any direction simply because it looks or seems ideal from a logical or even idealogical perspective. Instead, we must come before Him as children.
Parents understand the necessity of keeping one’s word to children. Children hang onto every promise with absolute expectation of fulfillment. This is how we must approach faith. Faith is not complicated. We simply come to Him as little children and believe.
Matthew 18:3 records Jesus saying, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Paul, in Philippians 4:19, declares “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Every need. As Müller’s expenses rose year by year, he continued to ask God for more. He writes, “He never failed us.” And “we thanked God for it and we asked for more.”
Warm weather is upon us. The grass is green and vibrant. Sunshine dances with puffy cotton clouds overhead. Yesterday, I watched children joyfully water play on a front yard blow-up slide. No fear that the inflatable slide would falter, no concern that the water would stop, or that they might slip over the edge. They knew that they were surrounded by observant parents whose ears were attentive to their cries, who had snacks prepared for hungry bodies, and towels ready for drying off. How like our Savior!
Entering fullness is as unencumbered as knowing the Father’s voice and choosing to walk in the simple faith of a child. We initially take childlike steps and learn to walk in confidence. He is the good Father. He never changes. I choose for my faith to become full by making His Word my foundation. I will be unshakeable in knowing He will do what He said He will do. I will thrive knowing that He will supply my every need.
I joyfully choose to be still and KNOW.
The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski and used with her gracious permission for Cultivating and The Cultivating Project.
Mary has cherished life-long literary dreams coupled with a passion for ministry, all of which lead her to study English literature and later theology and counseling in seminary. She has been designing artisan jewelry for eight years while homeschooling son Ian and daughter Julianna. She and her husband Mark Miller have been in ministry for the past thirteen years in San Diego and temporarily moved to Washington with their cat Lord Peter Wimsey while Mark finalized his dissertation. Dr. Miller is now pursuing ministerial opportunities nation-wide. Mary enjoys off-the-wall humor, gardening, cooking, and curling up with anything penned by Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, or Jane Austen.