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Old 05-28-2019, 12:39 PM   #10
Matt Anderson
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 125
Default Re: Bill Mallon's Passing

I saw Bill in mid-February. I hadn't seen him for many years. I did not know Bill very well, but he played a very important role in my life. On his journey away from the Local Church he came through the city I lived in two times for several weeks at a time. My parents hosted him (and Barbara when she was with him). I listened to him minister to various saints and he gave me some critical instruction on how to "discern" the will of God in the process of prayer and listening to the Lord. I was around 19-20 years old.

Bill taught me core principles that helped establish my walk with the Lord in a way that has helped me greatly over the years. He also sent me a few books in the mail. He did not identify himself as the giver of these books, but I realized at some point after I received them that they were from him. I believe the Lord led him to send them to me. Selected excerpts from one of the books were used by the Lord to help set my direction with the Lord in a few key ways.

Bill never realized how much he helped me because I did not spend a substantial amount of time with him.

Late in 2018 and into early January 2019, I understood from the Lord that I needed to visit Bill. The Lord put it on my heart that I needed to take the time to honor him for his service to the Lord as it related to me. I had thought of this on a few previous occasions, but the Lord used several circumstances to allow me to know where Bill was living (only about 3 hours from my current home) and that I should make time to see him soon.

When I saw Bill, I had the opportunity to thank him and share some of the results of what I had learned from him years before. I recounted a good number of key items he taught me that he didn't know about. He was surprised and then shared a brief testimony with me. He said that as he left the local churches he felt to regularly pursue the truth of the Word of God. He did this well and he taught others out of this pursuit of truth.

In honor of Bill, I will share the most important thing I learned from Him. Interestingly, it is not about the truth of the Word of God based on logic and reasoning, but it is still about knowing the "truth". Bill taught me four principles of how to determine whether something is the will of God for my life or not. Think of these as tools that require practice.

Each person must learn to use these on their own in fellowship with the Lord. I took these tools from Bill and applied them regularly. I have made mistakes, but these tools have served me well. They are not just for purpose of establishing the objective truths of Scripture, but for walking with the Lord in a living relationship. I am very grateful that Bill shared them with me in a way that was so accessible. He emphasized the need for knowing the truth of the Word, but also taught me that I must know how to hear accurately and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

1. You believe the Holy Spirit is saying something to you or leading you in some way - seems rather obvious, but it is a core principle for those who have listened too much to the voice of man as a substitute for the Lord and followed their leading rather than hearing the Lord for themselves.

2. It doesn't violate the truth of the Word of God - this can be a challenging one because we must know the Word. This is a life long process.

3. For more major items we can expect that God will establish His will (i.e. speaking) at the mouth of valid witnesses - at multiple key moments in my life I have prayed and asked the Lord to help me be clear that I am being led by Him (not my own thoughts, not any other spirit). When it has been for key/major items the Lord has sent His witnesses (not ones I tried to make) to establish His will/speaking to me.

4. It works out circumstantially - this may seem contradictory to faith, but it is not when it comes to our lives. There are many times God communicates to us well in advance. He then expects us to faithfully wait on Him (i.e. waiting on the Lord). We don't take action on our own from our own initiative. We receive what He shows us and believe in Him. When the time is right and He leads, we act and the pieces fit together circumstantially. If we begin to take action and hit a wall, we should pause and check again with the Lord before we proceed. This is a great protection against our fleshly ways.

I will summarize all of these principles from a few scriptures:

Romans 12:1–2 (ESV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

I know that it was time for Bill to go home to be with the Lord. I am very grateful for his service to me and to others. I believe he may have felt he did not accomplish as much for the Lord as he desired, but I feel that he did what the Lord led him to do. There are many who teach that do not see the full impact of their sound doctrine shared with others because it is worked out in the lives of those they teach after they have left the presence of their teaching. This is especially true for those who are not building up a ministry for themselves, but working in service of the one ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. For me, Bill was one of these kinds of excellent teachers.

God sees the heart and gives true credit for our service whether it is seen or recognized by man or not. May God credit Bill with his due according the truth of his service to the Lord. I know he blessed me greatly through his pursuit of the truth of the Word in fellowship with the Lord.

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