Thus, the second statement, the “church at large,” also needs to be defined and understood. Muller was a man who loved scripture, and it is irrefutable that he was biblically minded. After all, he founded a “Scripture Knowledge Institute,” whose intent was to educate the public on what the scripture teaches, he distributed thousands of Bibles and scriptural literature, and he read through the Bible over 200 times in his life! Consequently, he understood that the church is not an organizational structure, rather it is all true believers bound together by the Spirit of God, through the purchase of the blood of Christ (see Ephesians 1:22-23).
Further, because the foundation of Muller’s understanding of the church was that it is the very body of Christ, his statement, “the church at large,” necessarily follows! Hence, Muller would teach that whatever causes the gain, strength, and advantage for the church brings glory to Christ himself. AND the by bringing glory to the Risen Christ does cause gain, strength, and advantage for the church! Moreover, he understood that the church was not confined to a little island called Great Britain, in the 1800s. He believed with scripture, that the church is an eternal community of all the elect children of God. The church at large was not just the Church of England, the Catholic church or even the universal church of the 1800s. He understood it to be the saints that had already gone on to glory, the present church of his day, and every subsequent generation. The glory of God in this New Testament age, is elaborately interconnected with the benefit, health, vigor, strength, and power of the church! As the old Hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation,” says:
She is from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale,
Against both foe or traitor She ever shall prevail.
Consider that thought! She ever shall prevail, because she has been endued with every grace! God has fully empowered His church to accomplish His Kingdom’s purposes. The power of the church is found in it’s manifesting and showcasing the glory of God. This is the church at large that Geroge Muller so cared and labored for.
Now let’s put those two statements together and see what constituted the central, blazing passion of Muller’s existence. Again, he said, “But I operate the ministry this way for the benefit of the Church at Large.” So, he operated his ministry, with the intent of giving the church, i.e. the vehicle through which God is accomplishing His Kingdom’s exploits, a benefit, i.e. a gain, an advantage, a profit. George Muller’s life was a fight, and it can be forcibly argued, a winning fight, for the advancement of God’s Kingdom, for God’s glory, through God’s body the church. The operation of Muller’s ministry was done in such a way that the Church of God triumphant might gain a diamond hard confidence in the faithful power of the God-head, in order to accomplish the errand for which she has been commissioned. Muller knew the individual’s and the Church’s tendency to think low thoughts of God and have a pitifully small faith in Him, and thus he labored to give the Church a living, present-day proof of the power of the living God.
Mueller’s driving passion and ethos was governed by the ruling dictum of showcasing the irrefutable, immutable and unchanging fact that there is living God. Mueller’s life so closely parallels the prophet Elijah of old that we are constrained to turn aside for a moment and consider the motivating force behind each of these men’s lives.