• A Legacy of Faith – George Müller’s Conversion Story

  • By Susanna Fleming

  • A Legacy of Faith - George Müller's Conversion Story

    When George Müller enrolled in divinity school 1825, his ambitions were much more geared toward the pursuit of a comfortable and prestigious life than humble servitude of God. After years of partying and hedonistic behavior, George knew that this particular career move would both please his father and set him up for financial success. He would major in Theology and minor in worldly pleasures. He would polish up his external image and continue to live according to his fancies. It was the best of all worlds – or so he thought. That is, of course, until the events of a chilly November day altered the course of his life.

    While on a walk with a friend, George learned of a prayer meeting that occurred regularly on Saturday evenings. His heart was immediately stirred. “No sooner had I heard this”, wrote George, “but it was to me as if I had found something after which I had been seeking all my life long.”

    When he arrived at the meeting that evening, George was struck by the reverence and passion of the Christians in attendance. After singing a few hymns, many people knelt down in prayer. ”This kneeling down made a deep impression upon me,” Müller wrote, “for I had never either seen any one on his knees, nor had I ever myself prayed on my knees… I was happy, though if I had been asked why I was happy, I could not clearly have explained it.”

    George described the events following the experience as so: “All we [had] seen on our journey to Switzerland, and all our former pleasures, are as nothing in comparison with this evening. Whether I fell on my knees when I returned home I do not remember; but this I know, that I lay peaceful and happy in my bed. This shows that the Lord may begin his work in different ways. For I have not the least doubt that on that evening He began a work of grace in me, though I obtained joy without any deep sorrow of heart, and with scarcely any knowledge. But that evening was the turning point in my life. The next day, and Monday, and once or twice besides, I went again to the house of this brother, where I read the Scriptures with him and another brother; for it was too long for me to wait until Saturday came again.”

    Importantly, George’s conversion cannot be pinned down to a particular moment. It was progressive and gradual, with God peeling back the layers of his heart kindly and slowly, day after day. Over time, excessive drinking was replaced by a thirst for Scripture. Self-gratifying behaviors were slowly replaced by remarkable generosity. Rather than going through the motions of religious dogma, George Müller began to embark on a daily journey of passion and faith.

    Müller is widely esteemed for being an ordinary man who God used to do extraordinary things. His faith compelled him to shelter over 10,000 orphans throughout the course of his life (all without asking for donations!), and that is just one of his many accomplishments.

    But it is important that we remember that George was not an impressive Christian who God chose for great works because of his accolades, nor did he have a distinct and notable conversion experience that propelled him forward into a life of perfection without any subsequent challenges.

    The subtle but powerful whisper of God’s grace caught George’s attention that November night, and George said yes to God’s call every day after that. George’s faith – his daily “Yes” – is the most important legacy he has left with us.