“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a
A few years ago, when our family was in the middle of our God-led transition from the city to the farm, my children and I read the biography of George Mueller. The book was all the more powerful since we had been living day by day trusting God to provide a new home for us and had seen with our own eyes the ways God would work in our midst to bring about something wonderful when our earthly eyes could see nothing on the horizon. If you want to read more about that journey, I blogged about it from February 13th through the 17th under the following titles: Does Escape Bring Rest?, Does Striving Bring Rest?, Where is the Beauty the Brings Rest?, Will Worthy Activities Bring Me Rest?, Will Money or Riches Bring Me Rest?
The reason I bring up George Mueller this morning, is because one of the devotionals I was reading had an excerpt I wanted to share with you in relation to the 2 Chronicles verse above and to the 2 Corinthians verse here:
“It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” 2 Corinthians 8:10-12
Here is story for you to read, and then I will tie in the two verses I have on laid out:
“George Mueller, at more than ninety years of age, in an address to ministers and other Christian workers, said, 'I was converted in November 1825, but didn't come to the point of total surrender of my heart until four years later, in July 1829. It was then I realized my love for money, prominence, position, power, and worldly pleasure was gone. God, and He alone, became my all in all. In Him I found everything I needed, and I desired nothing else. By God's grace, my understanding of His sufficiency has remained to this day, making me an exceedingly happy man. It has led me to only care about the things of God. And so, dear believers, I kindly ask if you have totally surrendered your heart to God, or is there something in your life you refuse to release, in spite of God's call?'” [Excerpt taken from Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman]
I am not sure if you can see it right away, but what I felt God was showing me this morning was that the heart – and only the heart – it what is necessary to prepare to be successful in ministering where the Lord calls. First, as described in 2 Chronicles, the heart must be readied and completely dedicated to the purposes of God and whatever path the Lord has set before it. Second, as described in 2 Corinthians, the heart must be set on the path of God for the long run so that the journey will be finished just as well as it was started. Finally, as George Mueller conveyed to the crowd he was speaking to, the focus must be on God alone and that focus alone is what keeps the heart surrendered and steadfast.
The callings God puts in our lives are never ones of ease and that is why we must keep our hearts steadfast on Him and not weaken when our feelings are contrary to where we have dedicated our hearts because of the unknown or the difficult terrain ahead of us. As the quote from 2 Corinthians ends as I have it above, we only need to have a “willing mind” and not consider what we have or don't have, because God creates what we need when we need it – a life long testimony of the life of George Mueller who found time and time again when he had a need before him that he could not see supply for, all he had to do was pray and ask God and God provided for all of his needs.
What a wonderful testimony we have been given through this man of faith to live in faith and set our hearts to the purposes of God and His total sufficiency.