We Would Love to Hear From You
In striving for the Higher Christian Life, we often find great encouragement in the writings of those who experienced what we are trying to understand and appropriate in our own lives. One of these great men is Andrew Murray (1828-1917). If you have any familiarity with the saints of the last century, Andrew Murray would be listed among others like Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, Dwight Moody, and Charles Finney. He was a spiritual giant and preached the Higher Christian Life message from his pulpit and pen while ministering in South Africa. Many of His books are and remain, classics.
Andrew Murray published over 240 books and tracts in his life. Most of them are still in print today. Some of the most important are:
• Abide in Christ
• Absolute Surrender
• Holy in Christ
• Humility: The Beauty of Holiness
• The Deeper Christian Life
• The School of Obedience
• The Spiritual Life
• With Christ in the School of Prayer
• And many others.
The reason I am sharing this bit of his bio with you is that in his writings, Andrew Murray clearly laid out for his readers the steps to experiencing God in a fuller sense, or as it was called back then, the Higher Christian Life. One of his books, The Deeper Christian Life, begins with a chapter that reveals the great importance of daily fellowship with our Lord and how fellowship is the key to worship (and the Higher Christian Life). I thought it would be beneficial to each of us to read and meditate on his words.
Below I have included the first chapter of Andrew Murray’s classic work, The Deeper Christian Life, for your encouragement and instruction. This chapter is titled, Daily Fellowship with God. Also, I have made just a few grammatical corrections in Murray’s text and have left the rest untouched. So if you find his writing somewhat awkward to read, well, that’s what happens when a manuscript written in Dutch has been translated into English over a hundred years ago.
I pray this will be a blessing to you as you strive for more of Him and experience the Higher Christian Life.
Quite honestly, this question is what separates those who live their Christian life on the bottom rung from those who experience the Higher Christian Life. And it is all based on faith. Your faith. Do you believe the promises of God? Not just specific doctrines about God. Not what God has done for others. But do you, emphasis on you, believe the promises of God? Do you believe what He says He will do? Do you believe what He says about you? Do you believe the consequences of disobeying Him? And do you believe in the blessings promised by being “in Christ”? In short, do you believe?
Now your answer will be either yes or no. Or maybe, “Sometimes. It all depends on the promise.” But that view of God impugns His character. After all, He is either trustworthy or not. He either tells the truth or He spins it to fit His own narrative. He is either perfect and pure or shady like the rest of our friends. There is no middle ground. We either believe, or we don’t. And the consequences of our choice are profound.
Consider Abraham. He was given a promise from God that defied understanding, not to mention biology. When it was physically impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have children due to their advanced age, God promised Abraham he would have a son and his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:5). Pretty steep order. Yet this was a promise from God. Initially, Sarah laughed in unbelief when she heard God’s words (Gen. 18:10-13). And Abraham tried to find a loophole to work around his unbelief using Eliezar his servant (Gen. 15:4), and later Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden (Gen. 16:1-3).
Nevertheless, the promise was clear and precise. It was a promise to be believed, or not believed. And the choice was Abraham’s. So what did he do? Consider the following:
He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, (1) giving glory to God, and (2) being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it (Abraham’s faith) was accounted (imputed, reckoned) to him (Abraham) for righteousness.” Now it (Genesis 15) was not written for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him (Abraham), but also for us. It (righteousness) shall be (future) imputed (reckoned, accounted) to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, (crucifixion) who was delivered up (why) because of our offenses, and was (resurrection) raised (why) because of our justification – Romans 4:20-25.
Note, Jesus died because of our offenses or sins. And He was raised up or resurrected because of our justification (when we are declared righteous). We are not declared righteous based on our own merit, but the righteousness of Christ is now imputed (reckoned, accounted) to us by faith in the Lord Jesus. Just like it was with Abraham.
But there is so much more.
We have spent the last few sessions unpacking the three key truths that must be believed in order to receive the Higher Christian Life. By now, these should be second nature to you. But there are two aspects to these three truths. One, naturally, is the truths themselves. And the other, of equal importance, is that these truths must be believed. In a word, faith. It is the fact you must believe by faith what these truths state. This brings us to the topic for today, and that is faith. Abundant faith, achieving faith, overcoming faith, non-wavering faith. Faith. So let’s begin with a simple question: What are the unlimited possibilities of faith?
Let’s begin by looking at a few statements from Christ and see if we truly believe what they say.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” – Matthew 19:26.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” – Mark 9:23.
Note, the Greek word translated “all” is pás and means “each, every, any, in totality, the whole, without exception.” So, for us, all means all. Literally. And the second word to consider is dunatós which is translated as “possible” and means “to be able, to have strength, to be strong or powerful.” This is a form of dúnamis which is primarily translated in the New Testament as power, notably “miraculous” power. In essence, Jesus is saying with faith or to one who believes, all things, without exception, are possible, or have the power, strength, and ability to be done, even miraculously, in Christ.
Do you believe these words of Jesus? I hope so. For “without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6).
But there is something more here that needs to be understood about these promises. The first statement is a blanket truth about God. There is nothing impossible with Him, or all things are possible. But with the second statement, there is a condition. Jesus begins with a condition “if” and states, “If you can believe, (then) all things are possible to him (condition again) who believes” (Mark 9:23). So faith or belief is the condition that opens up the floodgates of blessings from the Lord and is the key, not only to our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), but also the Higher Christian Life.
And if that wasn’t enough, we find in Hebrews intimacy and becoming well-pleasing to the Lord is intricately tied to faith. So much so, the Scripture says “without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6), which is the point of seeking the Higher Christian Life.
So if the words of Jesus are true and faith is the substance that brings blessings and intimacy with the Lord, then what are the possibilities in Him, by faith, in this life we now lead? Or, is there anything God cannot do to those who believe?