In the 19th Century there live a man named George Müller who would transform from a gambling and dishonest teenager to a man who opened over five orphanages in Bristol England. This was during the era of poorhouses, Oliver Twist, and an industrial revolution that left many towns and cities dangerous places for children.
Mr. Müller was a preacher. Preachers of the time made a good living by a method that was basically pew renting. Those with money paid a larger amount to sit close to the front and peasants sat in the back. George, felt in his heart that the kingdom of heaven was not going to be segregated as such, so at his church he did away with these pew rents. He nailed a box to a wall that accepted any tithes that people might give but other than that he refused to ever ask people for money.
This mentality of God providing whatever he needed would be the defining theme for his life. He desired so much for people to witness the power of God’s provision, that He looked for ways to show people that God answered prayer.
He would die at the age of 93 in 1898, having started four orphanages on a residential street, building four full size orphanages on a piece of property he acquired, and funding missions all around the world.
When George Müller died, the world respected him for what he had been able to manage, but they all knew that God had provided all that he needed because he wasn’t afraid to ask through prayer.
Bob Goff is the founder of Restore International (a nonprofit fighting injustices committed against children), a lawyer, the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States, an author, and a adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and Point Loma Nazarene University.
One thing that stands out about Mr. Goff is that He believes that love is not simply a nice idea, but that love when it is real and genuine does something. This is shown in his book entitled “Love Does.”
The book is a series of short stories about his life in which extraordinary things happen because He is willing to step outside the norms of everyday life. He believes that living a life that is centered around love is not a dull and boring life, but instead it is a life full of “whimsy.”
Both of these men inspire me so very much. In this season of uncertainty I specifically chose to read the biography of George Müller and Love Does, because I wanted to be reminded of what life can be like when we pray faithfully and when our love does.
We live in a society that either tells us that we are being ridiculous or that anything is possible if we work hard enough. Our livelihoods are depicted as being a direct product of what we can provide while conveniently cropping out all mention of the one who allows the planet to continue to rotate upon its axis.
We believe that in order to help the poor and to better the world we need Kickstarter pages, funding campaigns, and a well networked Facebook page. None of those things is inherently bad, but I think we may be limiting what God allows to happen by asking for such trivial things and expecting the sweat of our brow to be the thing that causes breakthrough.
When I die, I want people to remember me. I want there to be a positive legacy that I leave behind. Some proof that I made a difference. But more than I want that, I want the world to know that God was the one who made everything happen. I just want for people to see that God is faithful and that no paradigm is too massive for him to shift.
With twelve men He flipped the world upside down.
With one man He gave life to thousands of orphans.
With one man He gave freedom to hundreds who didn’t have a voice.
With one me…. What is He going to do?