People think that the miracle in Abraham and Sarah’s lives was having a child when they were a century old. Maybe so, but that’s not the big one. Tolerating kids 24/7, at that age, was the miracle. Funny, how we can miss the real things that our Father is about!
The question came up this week in our Bible Investigation Group (it’s not a normal Bible Study!) about measuring our fulfillment of Father’s desires according to His blessings, or lack thereof. In other words if I’m not being blessed is that a clear indication that I’m not being as obedient as I should be?
That got me contemplating: “Are blessings a trap or a stepping stone?”
George Moeller (1805-1898) was a famous preacher who spent years of his life taking care of orphans. He’s remembered for God’s miracles of provision that resulted from his faith prayers. He affected the lives of 10,000 kids plus made an impact on generations of ‘missios’ who choose his model of ‘living by faith’. Unfortunately many of his biographers focused on the miracles of his faith walk. Almost none zero in on ‘why’ he chose that career and next to none mention what happened when he turned his back on the blessing of that career. The real story of George’s life is God’s process in preparing him for his ‘calling’.
George’s motivational spiritual gift was ‘prophet’. With that gift came the carnal aspects of being an obnoxious person. He was crude and rough; he was insensitive and relationally clueless. He was ideologically driven and believed that ‘poverty is spiritual’.
His primary reason for doing the orphanage ministry was to prove to apathetic believers of his era that God still performs miracles without the intervention of human conniving and manipulation. He set out to be a testimony to the world that God could show Himself mighty by hearing and answering prayer. His quaint methodology has not always been truly reported by historians but I’ll leave those tidbits of data for anyone who cares to ask me.
The real story about George started a long time before becoming a pastor, or even considered starting orphanages. Originally he wanted to be a missionary. But his opinionated and non-relational characteristics precluded any doors opening in that direction. To appease his passion for mission, and many years before the orphanage ministry, he started the “Spiritual Knowledge Institute for Home and Abroad”. Even though he couldn’t go himself, he advocated mission in foreign places by shipping hundreds of thousands of Bibles, New Testaments and Scripture booklets. Plus, he donated over $1 million dollars to missions.
Then it happened! When he was 70 years old, God unblocked the door. All the pastoral work and the orphanage administration had knocked off many rough edges and developed a congenially relational person ready to enter the mission field. At that point he walked away from unparalleled blessings in a ministry that had made him famous for 46 years. For the next 18 years (until he died at 88) George traveled to and ministered in 53 countries around the globe, travelling 200,000 miles by ship, relishing his real fulfilment, the thing he had been born to do: ministering cross-culturally.
George had a vision that was blocked; found a window to persevere; actively engaged in alternate enterprise (and was deeply blessed) but used the intermission as a stepping stone of preparation for finding the niche God had ordained for him. He was a man with a vision who didn’t become trapped by blessing, and never lost sight of his first love and passion.
Is God blessing you? Don’t let the success of His hand of blessing trap you in a season that is over. Exert yourself and possess what you’ve been called to do. May you be blessed with feet, the least recognized part of you, that will carry you to those who need to hear the message you’ve been given by the Most High. … john (Isaiah 52:7)
(original post Sept 13 2015)