Friday, November 2, 2012

Humility is great

HumilityHumility by Andrew Murray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was formative in my thinking and life several years ago. It was good to read through it again and be reminded of the centrality of, the path to, and the blessings of humility.

Some meaningful quotes from the book:

As God is the ever-living, ever-present, ever-acting One--who upholds all things by the Word of His power, and in whom all things exist--the relationship of man to God could only be one of unceasing, absolute, universal dependence. . . . Man need only look back to the origin of existence and he will acknowledge that he owes everything to God. (9-10)

To many of us it has been a new joy in the Christian life to know that we may yield ourselves as servants, as slaves to God, and to find that His service is our highest liberty--the liberty from sin and self. We need now to learn another lesson--that Jesus calls us to be servants of one another, and that, as we accept it heartily, this service too will be a most blessed one. It will be a new and fuller liberty from sin and self. At first it may appear hard; this is only because of the pride which still counts itself something.
If once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of man, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we will welcome with our whole heart the discipline we may have in serving even those who try to vex us.... no place will be too low. No stooping will be too deep, and no service too mean or too long continued, if we may but share and prove the fellowship with Him who spoke, 'I am among you as he that serveth' (Luke 22:27).
Brethren, here is the path to the higher life. Down, lower down! (31-32)

The insignificances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity because they prove what spirit really possesses us. (44)

It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God. Yet, humility toward men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real…. When in the presence of God lowliness of heart has become, not a posture we assume for a time when we think of Him, or pray to Him, but the very spirit of our life, it will manifest itself in all our bearing toward our brethren.... (43-44)

The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God's presence he has learned to say with Paul, "I am nothing" (2 Corinthians 12:11). (44)

How can I die to self? The death to self is not your work; it is God’s work. In Christ you are dead to sin. The life there is in you has gone through the process of death and resurrection. You may be sure you are indeed dead to sin. But the full manifestation of the power of this death in your disposition and conduct depends on the measure in which the Holy Spirit imparts the power of the death of Christ. And it is here that the teaching is needed. If you want to enter into full fellowship with Christ in His death, and know the full deliverance from self, humble yourself. This is your one duty.
Place yourself before God in your utter helplessness. Consent heartily to the fact of your weakness to slay or make yourself alive. Sink down into your own nothingness, in the spirit of meek and patient trustful surrender to God. Accept every humiliation, look upon every fellow-man who tries or vexes you, as a means of grace to humble you. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-men as a help to remain humble before God. It is by the mighty strengthening of His Holy Spirit that God reveals Christ fully in you. In this manner, Christ, in His form of a servant, is truly formed in you and dwells in your heart. God will accept such humbling of yourself as the proof that your whole heart desires it. He will accept it as your very best prayer for it, and as your preparation for His mighty work of grace. It is the path of humility which leads to perfect death, the full and perfect experience that we are dead in Christ. (75-76)

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