Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The means that God shall give

George Muller, famous for orphanages in England, set up an institution for the spread of the gospel which he named, "The Scriptural Knowledge Institution For Home And Abroad." This institution had several principles and objects. What I find inspiring is the refusal to ask men for money. People were aware of this institution, and then subsequent orphanages, which they were welcome to give to. But Muller was at pains to take his requests only to God and not to man.

And while Muller commenced activities he thought the Lord would have him do before all the provision had arrived, he refused to enter into debt for the same.

Further he sort to not use people to raise the profile of the institution if they were not Christian, and he refused the help and the employment of non-Christians in the work.

Here are the principles of the institution (appendix D).
  1. We consider every believer bound, in one way or another, to help the cause of Christ, and we have scriptural warrant for expecting the Lord's blessing upon our word of faith and labour of love: and although, according to Matt. xiii.24-43, 2 Tim. iii. 1-13, and many other passages, the world will not be converted before the coming of our Lord Jesus, still, while He tarries, all scriptural means ought to be employed for the ingathering of the elect of God.
  2. The Lord helping us, we do not mean to seek the patronage of the world; i.e., we never intend to ask unconverted persons of rank or wealth to countenance the Institution, because this, we consider, would be dishonourable to the Lord. In the name of our God we set up our banners, Ps. xx.5; He alone shall be our Patron, and if He helps us we shall prosper, and if He is not on our side, we shall not succeed.
  3. We do not mean to ask unbelievers for money (2 Cor. vi.14-18); though we do not feel ourselves warranted to refuse their contributions, if they, of their own accord should offer them. (Acts xxviii. 2-10.)
  4. We reject altogether the help of unbelievers in managing or carrying on the affairs of the Institution. (2 Cor. vi.14-18.)
  5. We intend never to enlarge the field of labour by contracting debts (Rom. xiii.8), and afterwards appealing to the church of God for help, because this we consider to be opposed both to the letter and the spirit of the New Testament; but in secret prayer, God helping us, we shall carry the wants of the Institution to the Lord, and act according to the means that God shall give.
  6. We do not mean to reckon the success of the Institution by the amount of money given, or the number of Bibles distributed, etc., but by the Lord's blessing upon the work (Zech. iv.6); and we expect this, in the proportion in which He shall help us to wait upon Him in prayer.
  7. While we would avoid aiming after needless singularity, we desire to go on simply according to Scripture, without compromising the truth; at the same time thankfully receiving any instruction which experienced believers, after prayer, upon scriptural ground, may have to give us concerning the Institution.
While I am not completely against the requesting of funds for a need, Paul asked the Corinthian church to help the Jerusalem church, the idea of only asking God for one's needs has some appeal. In the natural it seems daunting, though our God has the resources of the universe at his disposal—how faltering our faith, but it has the advantage that only programs that God is involved in can prosper. Sure, God is involved in many organisations that appeal for money, but men can sustain efforts even when they abandon God's plans. But when God provides the funds, only his tasks get funded.

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