Food For the Inner Man – George Mueller

by George Mueller (1805-1898)

While I was staying at Nailsworth, it pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost, though now…more than forty years have since passed away.

The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day, to have MY SOUL HAPPY IN THE LORD. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.

Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as a habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart may be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.

The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessings out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.

When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.

The difference between my former practice and my present one is this. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events I almost invariably began with prayer. But what was the result? I often spent a quarter of an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.; and often after having suffered much from wandering of mind of the first ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray.

I scarcely ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being nourished by the truth, being brought into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile though I am, and unworthy of it!) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.

It often now astonishes me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is a plain to me as anything that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man.

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. Now what is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God: and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.

I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength which I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials and the temptations of the day come upon one! – George Mueller

Comments 12

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  2. Adekusibe Olusola Isaac

    Written in the 1800s but yet more than timely and more than important in years 2000s for knowing God personally . This is the part of Mary and not Matha . This wonderful formula will not work for every christian except mixed with some other concepts of the new testament such as understanding of righteouseness by faith , the unconditional love of God , teachings on spirit , soul and body . Possibly if papa Muller had tried the formula at the begining of his christian life without a good heart revelation of the above concepts he might not have gotten the same experiece because the devil or his unrenewed mind must accuse and condem him of many things and this might made him feel that the formula was not of much life transforming . My point is this , even though the papa Muller’s formula for knowing God personally is excellent a christian must also know some other truths that George Muller knew that made it all work together for him . There are many annointed teachers such as Joseph Prince , Andrew Wommack , but thank God for Andrew he made his mp3 messages free for download at http://www.awme.net , these additional truths or concepts are there . Andrew Wommack teachings has changed my life . You are blessed . King Isaac from Nigeria .

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  4. DARRYL

    I HAVE USED THIS METHOD FOR YEARS AND NEVER LOST,HOWEVER FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO SHARE IT WITH OTHER(THEY COULD UNDERSTAND)
    IM SO BLESS TO SEE THIS ARTICLE..AND WILL USE IT TO SHARE

  5. Mark Marino

    I love this. How easily we fall into a methodical hamster wheel of our daily walks with the Lord. What a refreshing approach to treasuring Christ more deeply :)

  6. Pingback: Food for the Inner Man « E's Journal

  7. Allen

    Food for the Body, then why should we think that the inner-man have no need of this? One person said when it comes to natural things we are experts when it comes to spiritual things we are more than stupid.

    If some were as good in the heavenly business as they are in the earthly business, we would be an absolute menace to the Devil – Leonard Ravenhill.

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