“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favouritism.”
I am constantly amazed by the depth of meaning which we find in the Word of God as we study it in depth. When we focus upon the message of Jude 24 and 25 as well as Ephesians 3:20-21 we are brought to consider the infinite power of God working out His purposes among us. There is nothing that He cannot do. Part of this reflection is to bring us into a strengthening appreciation of the providence of God in our lives. This is a message which is central to the Old Testament book of Esther.
In James 2:1 we are brought to another one of these deep passages. Here as James is beginning a discussion of the danger of partiality in the Church he takes us much deeper into the message of Christ. What James literally seems to be saying in this verse is this. “My brothers, stop constantly showing in partiality the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ the glorious one.” Based upon the Septuagint interpretation of the Old Testament there is a strong clue as to what James, a Christian who was familiar with the interpretation of the Scriptures in their Hebrew context, was thinking. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of Glory, the righteous one who would be coming at the close of the age to judge all of creation. The fellowship of Christ’s followers must be known as those who live lives characterized by the exaltation of Christ. All that we do, including how we treat one another must come under this Christ-centredness. This spirit seems to be breathed into the very heart of the Word of God.
This is the attitude which we discover in George Muller’s 6 Point Strategy for Finding the Will of God, written by Daniel C. Wilson. Wilson starts with Muller’s mission statement,
“The orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take Him at His Word. The first and primary object of the Institute was…that God might be magnified by the fact that the orphans under my care were, and are, provided all they need only by prayer and faith, without anyone being asked by me or my fellow labourers, whereby it might be seen that God is faithful still and hears prayer still.”
Muller then goes on to outline his strategy for finding the will of God.
- “Get your own will out of the way. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.”
- “Feelings are the sure path to delusions. Avoid walking that path. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions. ”
- “Seek the will of the Spirit in connection with the Word. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined.”
- “Consider providential circumstances [a call for sanctified common sense]”
- “Get on your knees in the Throne room. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.”
- “Make a deliberate judgment, and then keep testing it with prayer. Thus, through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment to the best of my ability and knowledge; and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters, and in transactions involving the most important issues, I have found this method always effective.”
What a Christ exalting, wise and Biblical method Muller gives us here. James calls us, at the beginning of the second chapter of his letter to a life that is lived with a focus upon the soon return of our King. It seems that Muller shouts amen to the call of James to this Christ exalting lifestyle.