From the Life of George Mueller
George Mueller’s final principle states: “Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of your ability and knowledge and if your mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, proceed accordingly.” Mueller opens this statement by summarizing his first five principles. Critical to his first principles are prayer and the study of the Word. Our reflection on circumstances and having no will of our own should be in this context—prayer and the Word. Mueller’s point of coming to deliberate judgment keeps us from “putting off” making a decision.
Let’s consider why we might “put off” coming to a deliberate judgment. One reason might be that we are waiting for God to write it down, speak audibly, or send an angel to tell us what to do. God could certainly do this, but we need to realize that there is some subjectivity in hearing God and knowing His will. Once we have done everything that Mueller has suggested through his first five principles, it is time to make a decision. You say, “what if I get it wrong?” Well, God is bigger than our mistakes. Hearing God and making decisions, as we seek Him and His will, is not just about getting all of our decisions right, another outcome might be growing in our knowledge and love of God.
Fear of failure is another possible reason for not making a decision. You could be thinking, “If I am wrong, I will fail.” Someone has said that we are not a failure when we fail, but we are a failure when we are afraid to try. Remember, God loves you. Nothing can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). Making the best decision you can while seeking to do God’s will and getting it wrong will not separate you from God’s love. I love what Mueller said after the statement “come to a deliberate decision”—“according to the best of your ability and knowledge.” God wants you and me to make the best decision we can based on our ability and knowledge. Don’t be paralyzed with fear that you might get it wrong.
Mueller next emphasizes the importance of having peace as you come before God on two or three occasions with this deliberate judgment. The apostle Paul encouraged us to “let the peace of God rule” in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). The Holy Spirit can either bear witness to our spirit and we can have “peace” in a given matter, or we can have unrest in our spirit. I have found over the years of knowing God and seeking His direction that having this “peace” in our heart is essential. We wrote in an earlier blog that Paul had an open door, but had “no rest in his spirit” (2 Corinthians 2:13). Having “rest in his spirit” was important to Paul. Having peace in our heart should be important to us.
Once you have made this deliberate judgment and have peace in your heart, “proceed accordingly. In other words, there is a time for everything. There is a time to seek God’s face in a given matter and there is a time to make a deliberate judgment and proceed in life. Seek God, make the decision and proceed.
Have you ever experienced paralysis in decision-making? Has the fear of failure held you back from making a deliberate decision?
©2014, Dr. Robert C. Franklin