In chapter nine of his book Humility, Andrew Murray explores the connection between “Humility and Faith.” The benefits of the Christian life, according to Murray, are something we can see but not access until the gift of faith comes into our lives. Faith is not only trust in God or the ability to perceive the heavenly blessings of God, but at its root that deep sense that we need God. For, as Murray writes, faith is “the confession of nothingness and helplessness, the surrender and the waiting to let God work.”
This is where the connection between faith and humility becomes evident. Faith cannot develop until we have the humility of right perception of who we are and who we are not before God. Faith cannot take root in our lives until we fundamentally turn from ourselves and from others to God. Pride and faith are inimical to one another and, therefore, “we never can have more of true faith than we have of true humility.”
This touches upon the outlook we have in our lives. The outlook of faith is truly a looking outward from the self to God beyond the opinions of other people or our society.
As long as we take glory from one another, as long as ever we seek and love and jealously guard the glory of this life, the honor and reputation that comes from men we do not seek, and cannot receive the glory that comes from God.
Faith removes the misdirected fears of our lives into a holy fear of the Lord that shapes our living with humility.
It is humility that brings a soul to be nothing before God, that also removes every hindrance to faith, and makes it only fear lest it should dishonor Him by not trusting Him wholly.
Faith is the characteristic that enables us to truly draw near to God. This very act of drawing near aright demands a humility for entrance and an ongoing humility of dependence upon God to bear fruit.
We might as well attempt to see without eyes, or live without breath, as believe or draw night to Go or dwell in His love without an all-pervading humility and lowliness of heart.
Murray concludes this chapter with an emphasis on humility being a channel of a deeper experience of God and the Holy Spirit in our lives. There is a difference, in a sense, of having the Spirit of God move through us and the Spirit of God having ongoing residence in us.
The Holy Spirit not only working in them as a Spirit of power, but dwelling in them in the fullness of His grace, and specially that of humility, would through them communicate Himself to these convert for a life of power and holiness and steadfastness now all too little seen.
I am reminded of F. B. Meyer’s quotation:
There are three kinds of Christians out there. Christ’s Spirit is present in everybody who’s born again. Christ’s Spirit is prominent in some people. And Christ’s Spirit is preeminent in, alas, only a few.
May we be the humble in whom Christ’s Spirit is not only present, not only prominent, but preeminent.
[Read the entire series of posts on Andrew Murray’s book Humility here.]