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The Power of One-time Decision-making in Uncertain Times

one-time decision

“I hate to bother you, Mr. Müller, but the children are ready for breakfast and there is not a thing in the house to eat.”

“Abigail,” he called, “Come and see what God will do.”

“Dear God, we thank you for what You are going to give us to eat.” George prayed.

“The children were seated and…there was a knock at the door…”Mr. Müller,” began the baker, “I couldn’t sleep…thinking somehow you would need bread this morning…so I got up and made three batches for you…”

Within minutes…a second knock…the milkman addressed George, “I’m needing a little help…The wheel on my cart is broken, and there’s ten full cans of milk on it. Could you use them?”

George Müller’s biography, one of my favorite stories to read to our girls—and one of theirs—taught us a powerful lesson: relational prayer.

George founded multiple orphanages in Bristol, England, calling down over $8,000,000 during the 1800’s from God’s storehouses! He decided early in his ministry—if they needed it, God would provide, never asking publicly for funds. 

First, I’m not advocating ministries never speak of financial need!

But, profoundly affecting me as a young Mom, George’s walk with Jesus demonstrated a level of intimacy and trust, pioneering a path of faith in prayer I desired—and deeply needed.

I imagine if we peeked into his many journal entries, his core values might be:

  • Faith – keeping him steadfast to Jesus and his one-time decision
  • Hope – belief for what he could not see
  • Courage – taking the next step in apparent hopeless circumstances

Robust and daring, George’s mission even brought Charles Dickens knocking to see how things worked. A skeptic at the door, Mr. Dickens left with the highest praise for George’s methods some labeled as madness.

Not only did Mr. Müller impact my prayer life, he also influences my decision-making. 

I discovered 3 applicable principles.

  1. What about Jesus?
  • Will this push me closer to or farther from Him? (2 Cor.6:14)
  • Am I seeking His heart in Scripture? (Prov. 16:9)
  • Have I asked Him for wisdom? (James 1:5-7)
  • Have I prayed with a few trusted confidants? (Matt.18:20)
  • What does my partner / family think? (Eph.5:21)

One-time decision

    2. Clarify my calling.

  • Will this amplify God’s glory, other’s good and my joy?
  • Does it bolster my ego or my purpose?
  • What’s my gut saying?
  • How will this affect my immediate family? 
  • Have I sensed a door closing or opening?
  • Am I in a messy middle, still needing completion or closure?
  • Will my friendships / connections flourish or fizzle?
  • Is this the right mission, but the wrong season?

    3. A one-time decision settles a thousand others.

  • George settled it once, cultivating confidence in future decisions, as many others have done. 
    *Steve Jobs wore the same black turtleneck and jeans to work daily.
    *John Mark Comer observes a weekly Sabbath.
  • By making a one-time decision, we conserve cognitive capacity for better things: our people, purpose and passions.

George created space for faith to flourish during seasons of crisis and soul barrenness, pushing back anxiety.

Reflecting on his prayer life, I’m provoked to look at my own life wrought with anxiety. Will I ever arrive at that kind of faith? 

I don’t know, but I’m going to die trying.

God wants to make every moment of my life glorious with His presence…to fill our souls with beauty, splendor, wonder and magnificence. It’s what people say when they’ve been with you, ‘There’s really something different about her. She just seems to shine no matter what.’” John Ortberg

This beautiful truth settled deep, and though I struggle daily, it’s a compass I desire to keep me true north in decision-making.

My ultimate purpose and destiny is to love God and people and enjoy Him forever. As I seek to filter decisions through these truths, keeping my values in view, even when I miss the mark, Jesus will correct my course. (Prov. 3:5-6)

George Müller taught me relational prayer, though I falter frequently. Yet it’s not about perfection, performance, persuasiveness or profundity. No need for pretense or pretty words—just me, coming to Jesus.

Prayer is more about relationship than answers.

Trust me, I must be intentional, but when I seek Him over His gifts, I find peace in the midst of thousands of daily decisions.

But I’ve never “fallen” into His presence. Scripture says we seek Him, then find Him, (Deut.4:29) uncovering what we truly need:

  • Peace
  • Security
  • Clarity
  • Purpose

George Müller found security in decision-making through prayer. Jesus offers us nothing less. Why would George possess some special connection unattainable to us? 

How about you? If you’ve asked Him a hundred times, can there be a 101st? Is there a one-time decision you can make?

The LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Prov. 2:6

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