“To ascertain the Lord’s will we ought to use scriptural means. Prayer, the word of God, and His Spirit should be united together. We should go to the Lord repeatedly in prayer, and ask Him to teach us by His Spirit through His word. I say, by His Spirit through His word. For if we should think that His Spirit led us to do so and so, because certain facts are so and so, and yet His word is opposed to the step which we are going to take, we should be deceiving ourselves.
For instance: A brother in business thinks he ought to leave the house in which he lives, because it is not in a good situation. He wishes to know the Lord’s mind, as he says, and prays about the matter. After a few days, unexpectedly, a house is offered to him without seeking after it, in a much better situation. The house is very suitable, as he thinks; the rent very moderate; and moreover the person who offers him the house tells him, that, because he is a believer he will let him have it at this cheap rent. There is, however, this scriptural objection in the way. If he goes into this house, he must carry on so large a business, to cover his expenses, that his time will be so occupied as to encroach upon those hours, which ought to be devoted to his spiritual interests. Now the scriptural way of deciding would be this: No situation, no business will be given to me by God, in which I have no time enough to care about my soul. (Matthew 6:33)”
After Muller had used the lot, an old testament tool used to make a decision, it turned out badly. After that, he writes that we should rely on prayer alone. Even circumstances can mislead us, especially if we want that thing badly. How many times have you decided to “throw a fleece” to see if something was God’s will, only to do it again and again, when the result was not in your favor. When our perceived answer is not really God’s answer, things will never go as we want them to. That was Müller’s realization in this chapter. Müller here encourages us to pray first and last, whenever we make a decision. He also says: “Therefore, however outward circumstances may appear, it can only be considered as permitted of God, to prove the genuineness of my love, faith, and obedience, but by no means as the leading of His providence to induce me to act contrary to His revealed will.”
Question: When making choices, do you pray or look for “signs,” or both? And if both, which one do you rely on more?