“Are you clothed with humility?” Andrew Murray leaves us with this question in the third chapter of Humility. To understand what he is asking we must look carefully at this most important chapter in his book. PDF
I am led to ask another question, “What does real humility look like?”
We find the answer to both questions when we look into the inner life of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we seek something of the Lord wholeheartedly we find and experience the blessedness therein. In Jesus’ state of mind and heart it is this beauty and blessedness of heaven that we see. His nature and disposition was that of the one who came to serve the will of His heavenly Father and the men he came to save; so that He might work in us the same mind, heart and disposition.
I suggest that during this month we read Isaiah 53 ~ the prophecy of the promised Messiah. A daily meditation would help us to understand this as the prophecy of Jesus Christ. His life, His humility, His actions were lived with the recognition that He was to fulfill this prophecy.
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:11-12
….From His childhood Jesus knew He “must be about His Father’s business.” Luke 2:49
….In His baptism He was identified as both servant to the Father and to man, “to fulfill all righteousness” in obedience to the Father and to take on the ministry of our redemption. Matthew 3:15
….In the calling of His disciples to testify of His character and His mission of the Father’s will and kingdom he showed them, “I am among you as he that serves.” Luke 22:27
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
….To witness of the purpose and power of His life He said, “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34
….As the good shepherd He said, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:15
….His constant direction to the apostles was toward the destined hour; “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51
….At the last supper He washed his disciples feet, and, as he shared a cup of wine, said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:20
….In the garden of Gethsemane he struggled in his flesh with sweat drops of blood and prayer; and then in the state of humility said, “Not my will, but thine be done.” Matthew 26:39
….In surrender to the authorities that spit upon Him, reviled and questioned Him he fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7, “he answered him nothing.” Luke 23:9
….On the cross “he was numbered among the transgressors.” Luke 22:37
….In His final words, “Into your hands I commit my spirit,” and “It is finished,” we see the will of the Father and our redemption accomplished through His life and His death. Luke 23:46; John 19:30
I have always heard that we should exclude the pronoun “I” from our writing and our conversation. It is interesting that Jesus’ statements include a lot of these pronouns; but they are all seen behind the words “not” and “nothing.”
“I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will” (John 6:38)
“I do nothing of Myself” (John 8:28)
“I seek not Mine own glory” (John 8:50)
Description of True Humility
You will find in this chapter the following descriptions of the humility of Christ and His people. Look for and underline these and note how these relate.
Consent ~ to let God be all
Surrenders ~ Himself to His working alone
Essential nature and life ~ of redemption
Absolute submission and dependence ~ upon the Father’s will
Giving everything to God ~ honor and glory that is due to Him
State of mind, spirit and disposition
Self-denial ~ to which our Savior calls us
Empty vessel ~ which God must fill
Being and doing nothing by ourselves ~ that God may be all
Full consent ~ to be and to do nothing of ourselves
Death to sin and self
A channel ~ through which the living God can manifest the riches of His wisdom, power and goodness
Life yielded to God ~ that He might work in it.
The Relationship and the Power
This relationship that we see between God the Father, and God the Son is the example of our relationship with Jesus Christ. This life he came to live and to give us. The redemption that He purchased by total obedience to the will of the Father is His means of restoring us to a life of humility ~ the only true relationship between man and God.
We learn from Jesus’ life that humility for His followers is not a one time response to the good news of our redemption, but like him, it is His heart, mind, spirit, and nature working in us always.
Jesus was one of a kind, the only begotten of the Father. No other person will have the same purpose that He had; but we have the same Spirit working in us, the same power, to bring us to die to ourselves, so that we may experience a true relationship with Him.
What does real humility look like in us? The reality of humility is first, our being overwhelmed with the greatness of His redeeming love, (Preface) and what He went through to save us. Only then can we sacrificially offer ourselves to God for Him to accomplish His purpose in us. It is giving up our own plans so as to be His servant to men; beginning where He has placed us; continuing to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, His guidance and plans.
If we cannot yet see this in ourselves let us focus on the example and the power of this heavenly nature in God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. We must continue to study God’s word and the life, the love, and work of Christ.
We may ask ourselves if we are clothed with the humility of Christ. Beyond this we must ask fervently for his nature and disposition. Even if we think this life of humility is too high for us we must remember that it is His work in us, not ours.
“It is the indwelling Christ who will live His life in us, meek and lowly. We must long for this, above everything, seeking this holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all.
We must set aside our ordinary religion to secure this, the first and chief of the marks of Christ within us.”
“And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you.”
What in Jesus’ words or life has overwhelmed and humbled you?
Dear heavenly Father, we praise you for condescending to us in the person of Christ your Son, revealing His humility, without which we would never have received your forgiveness and reconciliation. In your love for us and your desire to bring us to yourself you gave us your Son, who willingly gave Himself to you and us. Thank you for making us your own through your plan of redemption. We praise you for your marvelous grace; and pray that you would continue by the same power of your Spirit that was working in Jesus to work His humility in us, conforming us to His image.
“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 which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.