As I continue interacting with Andrew Murray’s writings over the next number of weeks, I am currently spending time first with his short book Humility. In the fifth chapter of the book, Murray turns his attention from humility in the life and teaching of Jesus to the humility of Jesus’ disciples.
As one might expect, the disciples have both a grasp upon humility and a lack of humility at the same time. I find this encouraging since this is often my personal experience with humility in my own life. Murray highlights three aspects of the disciples’ struggle with humility that parallels what we often see in the life of Christians:
- “First, how much there may be of earnest and active religion while humility is still sadly wanting.” Or, to put it in my own language, we can be really authentically seeking God and at the same time be really proud.
- “Second, how impotent all external teaching and all personal effort is to conquer pride or give the meek and lowly heart.” Again, in my terms, just hearing teaching on humility and trying harder will not make you humble.
- “Third, it is only by the indwelling of Christ in His divine humility that we become truly humble.” Let’s get to the point: yielding to the life of Jesus in us is what will make us humble.
This chapter stopped me in my tracks. I had to take some time to pray about Murray’s words more than once. I tried to rush past some of what he said because it made me uncomfortable. But, to be honest, I did my best to ask God to search through me and change me. Reading a book titled Humility is not enough to make me humble. I need to surrender to God even more.
The final exhortation of the chapter was what I needed to hear:
To whichever class we belong, may I urge the pressing need there is for our all seeking a still deeper conviction of the unique place that humility holds in the religion of Christ, and the utter impossibility of the Church of the believer being what Christ would have them be, as long as His humility is not recognized as His chief glory, His first command, and our highest blessedness. Let us consider deeply how far the disciples were advanced while this grace was still so terribly lacking, and let us pray to God that other gifts may not so satisfy us, that we never grasp the fact that the absence of this grace is the secret cause why the power of God cannot do its mighty work. It is only where we, like the Son, truly know and show that we can do nothing of ourselves, that God will do all.
[Read the entire series of posts on Andrew Murray’s book Humility here.]