A shelf full of notebooks confirmed it: An astounding number of specific answers to his prayers. One of the reasons: He prayed according to the will of God.
He knew what this really meant.
He also knew how to determine God’s will, for himself personally, in matters beyond the Bible’s musts and must-nots.
He simply proceeded in any endeavor only after getting full assurance it was God’s specific design for him to follow. That and his powerful prayer life, made his life and works a glorious display of God’s power in man’s weakness.
Starting with literally nothing but trust in God, fervent effectual prayer, and seeking God’s direction on everything, he established orphanages that housed, fed, clothed, and educated over ten thousand orphans. And he told no human, ever, the orphans’ needs — only God.
Many people I highly respect declare that beyond obeying the principles of scripture, we can simply choose as we like among many morally neutral action choices. But with the messes (and waste of time) I’ve made myself by that approach, and verses like Proverbs 3:5-6, James 4:13-15, and Psalms 119:133 in mind, I lean toward George Müller‘s approach, and think it’s worth any of us considering.
So, on the L– topic of Listening to God, I share with you today how he “Listened” to “hear” God’s preferred will in any given situation:George Müller’s Example of How to Determine the Will of God
- Release Your Own Will
First, 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 at this point. 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 just a little way before one discovers the knowledge of what God’s will is.
- Do Not Trust in Feelings
Second, having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or a simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
- Look to the Spirit and the Word
Third, 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 also lay myself open to great delusions. If the Holy Spirit guides at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.
- Consider the Circumstances
Next, I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
- Pray for God to Show You His Will
Fifth, I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me so that I may understand it correctly. [My note: this certainly doesn’t need to be fifth only in steps outlined.]
- Assess Your Peace regarding the Decision
Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the 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 to be after two or three petitions, I proceed accordingly.
Both in trivial matters and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.