George Muller Learning to Live by Faith
By the fall of 1830 George Muller began to have objections against receiving a salary by renting pews. According to the Bible this practice is against the mind of the Lord because the poor cannot afford as good a seat as the rich.
He also thought that a brother may gladly give something toward my support if the choice is up to him. But when he has other expenses, he could not know if he pays his money grudgingly or cheerfully, and God loves a cheerful giver.
He said the renting of pews is also a snare to the servant of Christ. Fear of offending those who pay his salary has kept many ministers from preaching the uncompromising Word of God.
For these reasons George told the brethren that at the end of October 1830 he would give up his regular salary. He did not want the poor to be embarrassed by given a small amount. He wanted to allow for gifts to be anonymous if the giver wanted them such.
He wanted to maintain cheerful giving without any manipulation. He says “for these reasons, we put a box in the chapel with a sign explaining that whoever had a desire to give something toward my support could put his offering into the box.”
On November 18, 1830. So only a few weeks later. He writes, “our money was reduced to about eight shillings. When I was praying with my wife in the morning, I was led to ask the Lord for money. Four hours later, a sister said to me, “Do you want any money?” I replied, “I told the brethren when I gave up my salary that I would tell the Lord only about my wants.”
She said, But He has told me to give you some money. About two weeks ago I asked Him what I should do for Him, and He told me to give you some money. Last Saturday the thought came again powerfully to my mind and has not left me since.”
My heart rejoiced at seeing the Lord’s faithfulness. She gave me enough money to last all week.
If you read George Muller’s diary you will see things like this over and over again.
On January 28 we had little money again although I had seen a brother open the box and take out the money four days earlier. But I would not ask him to let me have it. When the coals for our fire were almost gone, I asked the Lord to incline the brother’s heart to bring the money to us. Shortly afterward, it was given to us, and our temporal needs were supplied.
The Lord has kept me from speaking, either directly or indirectly, about my needs. In a few instances I have spoken to the very poor brethren to encourage them to trust in the Lord, telling them that I had to do the same.
On Feb 14 we again had very little money, and I asked the Lord to supply our needs. The instant that I got up from my knees, a brother gave me one pound which had been taken out of the box.
George was a man who truly lived by faith, and was convicted that giving must not be forced, it needs to be done cheerfully from the heart.