“Self-denial is not so much an impoverishment as a postponement. We make a sacrifice of a present good for the sake of a future and greater good.”~ George Muller
As you may know, George Muller, who was a passionate evangelist and cared for over 10,000 orphans in his lifetime, is one of our heroes.
George Muller believed in, preached, and lived out the pursuit of happiness in God. He owned nothing, took no salary, lived the simplest of lives (materially), and he was, by his own testimony, the happiest of men in Bristol, England.
“Above all things, see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord…”
“Oh how different if the joy in God leads us to any little act of self-denial, how gladly do we do it then.”
As we talk about self-denial, selling things, living simply so that others may simply live, we are aware these things will only happen if we are first happy in God, being fully- convinced that what we are gaining is infinitely more satisfying than what we are giving up.
Being fully-convinced that feeding hungry children is more satisfying than buying a newer car. Being fully-convinced that providing medical care to the sick is more gratifying than getting that spa treatment or buying that new outfit. Being fully convinced that bringing clean water to an entire community is more rewarding than owning a bigger home.
If we are not convinced of that we will not do it. If we are not convinced of that, we ARE in bondage to a lie.
The enemy of our souls, the father of lies, wants us to walk in deception, believing the lie that our happiness is found in the “stuff ” of this world. The only way to disprove the lie is to try things God’s way. So, whatever that next step of obedience is, that thing our flesh doesn’t want to part with, the sacrifice we don’t want to make…that is the thing we must do to discover the truth: God’s ways are not only right, they are best!
“If the Lord were to take this piece of land from me (for building the next orphan house), it would only be for the purpose of giving me a still better one, for our heavenly Father never takes any earthly thing from his children except he means to give them something better instead.”~ George Muller
And this he said because he believed God’s Word:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.