Growing up in the church I often heard of symbolisms of the cross of Christ. The one I remember was the vertical post as representative of the relationship between God and the believer; the horizontal bar representing the relationship between believers. Christ and His sacrifice there are seen as the center of both relationships, working in both directions.
In this sixth chapter, as in other chapters of Humility (PDF) there is an emphasis on relationships and power within relationships.
Love and Humility
Reference is made to the book of 1 John regarding love as God means it be. Though we say that we love God it is not the love of God if it is not evident in our relationships with others.
The same thing is true of humility. As both love and humility are His attributes, revealed in Christ and His work on the cross, “humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men.”
These are both the work of Christ’s life possessing us, working by His Holy Spirit of love and humility in us.
In particular Murray points in this chapter to our relationships within the church; to those in fellowship with Christ. How difficult it seems to serve and worship together with a heart of humility. Like children of “little faith” there is a lack of compassion and gentleness. Have we not all experienced this ~ from both sides? I have been the brunt of sharp words. These do not grieve me as much as knowing that I have spoken things that were not necessary, nor to the glory of God. These cut more than any others. When I think of the cross I am reminded that Christ’s sacrifice was to deliver me from my selfish nature; and to show His love to others.
It Is Hard For Those Who are Rich to be Humble
“The humble man seeks at all times to act on the rule, “In honor preferring one another; Serve one another; Each esteeming others better than himself; Submitting yourselves one to another.”
“It is often asked ~ how can we count others better than ourselves, when we see that they are far below us in wisdom and in holiness, in natural gifts, or in grace received?”
Some who are more knowledgeable in the truths of the Bible lord it over others. This is the nature of all men who are without Christ; and to be delivered from it must be the power of the Spirit of Christ working His nature in us. We are rich in the things of God not to be “puffed up” in our knowledge, but to “reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellowmen.
Without realizing it we, in our wisdom and knowledge of God, are sometimes promoting ourselves instead of Christ.
Many have the “virtues of boldness, joy, contempt of the world, zeal, and self-sacrifice while the deeper and gentler virtues are scarcely thought of or valued. ~ the more divine and heavenly graces, more distinctly connected with the cross and the death of self.”
Repetition and References
There is much repetition in this chapter, as well as in the whole book. This is true of the whole word of God. We keep seeing the same things over and over. As you read this chapter you will notice those statements and references. Pinpoint the particular statement that you want to remember. If we take time to meditate and memorize what we read, we can as we continue to pray for it, receive understanding and the authority of it working by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives.
“Let us be content with nothing less than taking each of these texts as the promise of what God will work in us.”
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
The Main Point
The main verse repeated in this chapter is good to remember; to pray for; and anticipate.
“Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-13)
In this verse is the symbolism of the whole of the cross of Christ. Where He stretched out His arms and died to forgive us we too are clothed in His righteousness, love, and humility; and enabled to reach out, not only in fellowship to our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to all men. It is to those with whom we live daily that are the witnesses of our humility. Caring for my mother and Jerry has been and continues to be a means for God’s working in me; but I still fall very short of this grace, and long for His working the love and humility of Christ within me.
Prepared and Waiting
At this point we are halfway through the book. So far we have a knowledge of true humility, the conviction of our need, the desires and the prayers for the humility of Christ. As we are now in preparation we continue to pray and wait for the “supernatural, heavenly, divine, spiritual, reality” (Waiting on God by Andrew Murray).
“Have full assurance that where He is enthroned in the heart, His humility and gentleness will be one of the streams of living water that flow from within us.”
Dear Father, you have brought us to the point of fervently praying and diligently seeking to have the nature and disposition of Christ, the power of His love and humility poured out from heaven into vessels that you have chosen for your honor. We desire this sweet and lowly gentleness that is the mark of the Lamb. We relinquish all to you for the work and power of your Holy Spirit in us. Enable us to look on every brother or sister who tries or vexes us as your means of grace, as your instrument for our purification.
“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 I pray. Amen.
A Year for Humility ~ The Preface
Image John 7:38