Andrew Murray’s book Humility is a time-honored publication, reprinted throughout the last century and this one. From his writing we see humility as the least taught and sought, and the most needed virtue of the Christian life; so it is not surprising that God is still leading His children in this area.
Having this book for at least twenty years I have taken it off my bookshelf occasionally to re-read and pray for God’s working of this virtue in my life. Not only seeing the need in my own life for this nature of Christ, but studying it, I see how far short I fall of this “cardinal virtue” and how much I need to make it a special request.
This year I plan to do more than just read these twelve short chapters. By the Lord’s leading and my commitment I have already begun in the Preface to study, meditate and memorize the main points of the truths found here.
Believing that others also struggle in this area, and without it forfeit the blessings that come with it, my review and study will be posted here. I will be sharing this review only once a month (a chapter a month) so as to keep my other commitments.
This will allow us to become more familiar with the truths of God’s word that He uses to renew our minds and to conform us to the image of Christ, His Son. I invite you to join me; to see these truths as a reality in your own life.
Unless you want to order your own paperback you can follow the whole text with this PDF, or a copy here from the archives.
The main points for meditation and memorization in this study will be in bold print.
The stronger points in the Preface ~
Murray suggests that there are motives – “three great motives that urge us to humility” – which means that it is something that we do not have, and that when we realize the need, will desire it and pray for it.
“The first we see in the heavenly hosts, in unfallen man, in Jesus as the Son of Man.”
“The second motive appeals to us in our fallen state, and points out the only way through which we can return to our right place as men.
“In the third motive, we have the mystery of grace, which teaches us that as we lose ourselves in the overwhelming greatness of redeeming love, humility becomes to us the consummation of everlasting blessedness and adoration.”
This third motive is Murray’s emphasis in his book. As I have memorized, and continue to meditate on this “mystery of grace” and “the overwhelming greatness of redeeming love” I see humility as the middle ground between Christ’s initiative (His blessedness) and my response (adoration.) It seems that this would be the normal Christian life.
Humility is necessary if we are to receive all that God has prepared for us, from the new birth, and throughout our sanctification. Without it we are ruled by pride, which keeps us from the good things that the Lord has for us. If Christ truly lives within us, He will give us the desire, and work the nature of humility in and through us.
Murray speaks of the ordinary Christian teaching, that puts “the second aspect of man as sinner in the foreground.” There seems to be the thinking that “we must keep sinning if we are indeed to remain humble. Others have thought that the strength of self-condemnation is the secret of humility. And the Christian life has suffered loss, because believers have not been distinctly guided to see that nothing is more natural and beautiful and blessed than to be nothing, so that God may be all. It has not been made clear that it is not sin that humbles us most, but grace.”
“It is the soul led through its sinfulness to be occupied with God in His wonderful glory as God, as Creator and Redeemer, that will truly take the lowest place before Him.”
“If humility is to be our joy it must be understood apart from all sin as a covering with the very beauty and blessedness of heaven and of Jesus.”
“When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition, and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that it is our true nobility.
We will begin to understand that (even as Jesus was a servant) being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.
Humility should be “sought after as the distinguishing feature of the discipleship of Jesus.”
It should be “esteemed as the cardinal virtue; the only root from which the graces grow; and the one dispensable condition of fellowship with Jesus.”
At the back of the book is a prayer suggestion for those who would be a part of this study.
Dear Father, “Of your great goodness, make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind, and form, and degree of pride; and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility that will make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit.”
I hope that you will join me, add your comments, and share your own experience of how the Lord is working in your life this year. You might want to share this with a friend, or with the book, use it in a small group. Let me know if you want to be a part of this review ~ LIKE, COMMENT, or email, so that I know to whom I am accountable; and for whom I will be praying this year. Please pray for me.
In Christ ~ Fran
Lamb photo – courtesy of Josette Brouwer
- Humble Yourself (eteubom.wordpress.com)