How to Connect with God Each Day
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.
Daily Fellowship with God
The first and chief need of our Christian life is fellowship with God. The Divine life within us comes from God and is entirely dependent upon Him. As I need every moment afresh the air to breathe, as the sun every moment afresh sends down its light, so it is only in direct living communication with God that my soul can be strong.
The manna of one day was corrupt when the next day came. I must every day have fresh grace from heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself. Begin each day by tarrying before God and letting Him touch you. Take time to meet God.
To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, speaking thus within my heart: “God is. God is near. God is love, longing to communicate Himself to me. God the Almighty One, Who worketh all in all, is even now waiting to work in me, and make Himself known.” Take time, till you know God is very near.
When you have given God His place of honor, glory, and power, take your place of deepest lowliness and seek to be filled with the Spirit of humility. As a creature, it is your blessedness to be nothing, that God may be all in you. As a sinner, you are not worthy to look up to God; bow in self-abasement. As a saint, let God’s love overwhelm you and bow still lower down. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience, and surrender to His goodness and mercy. He will exalt you. Oh! Take time to get very low before God.
Then accept and value your place in Christ Jesus. God delights in nothing but His beloved Son, and can be satisfied with nothing else in those who draw nigh to Him. Enter deep into God’s holy presence in the boldness which the blood gives and in the assurance that in Christ you are most well-pleasing. In Christ, you are within the veil. You have access into the very heart and love of the Father. This is the great object of fellowship with God, that I may have more of God in my life, and that God may see Christ formed in me. Be silent before God and let Him bless you.
This Christ is a living Person. He loves you with a personal love, and He looks every day for the personal response of your love. Look into His face with trust, till His love really shines into your heart. Make His heart glad by telling Him that you do love Him. He offers Himself to you as a personal Saviour and Keeper from the power of sin. Do not ask, can I be kept from sinning if I keep close to Him? But ask, can I be kept from sinning if He always keeps close to me? And you see at once how safe it is to trust Him.
We have not only Christ’s life in us as power and His presence with us as a person, but we have His likeness to be wrought into us. He is to be formed in us so that His form or figure, His likeness, can be seen in us. Bow before God until you get some sense of the greatness and blessedness of the work to be carried on by God in you this day. Say to God, “Father, here am I for Thee to give as much in me of Christ’s likeness as I can receive.” And wait to hear Him say, “My child, I give you as much of Christ as thy heart is open to receive.” The God who revealed Jesus in the flesh and perfected Him will reveal Him in you and perfect you in Him. The Father loves the Son and delights to work out His image and likeness in you. Count upon it that this blessed work will be done in you as you wait on thy God and hold fellowship with Him.
The likeness to Christ consists chiefly in two things— the likeness of His death and His resurrection (Rom. 6:5). The death of Christ was the consummation of His humility and obedience, the entire giving up of His life to God. In Him, we are dead to sin. As we sink down in humility and dependence and entire surrender to God, the power of His death works in us, and we are made conformable to His death. And so we know Him in the power of His resurrection, in the victory over sin, and all the joy and power of the risen life. Therefore every morning, “present yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead.” He will maintain the life He gave and bestow the grace to live as risen ones.
All this can only be in the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in you. Count upon Him to glorify Christ in you. Count upon Christ to increase in you the inflowing of His Spirit. As you wait before God to realize His presence, remember that the Spirit is in you to reveal the things of God. Seek in God’s presence to have the anointing of the Spirit of Christ so truly that your whole life may every moment be spiritual.
As you meditate on this wondrous salvation and seek full fellowship with the great and holy God, and wait on Him to reveal Christ in you, you will feel how needful the giving up of all is to receive Him. Seek grace to know what it means to live as wholly for God as Christ did. Only the Holy Spirit Himself can teach you what an entire yielding of the whole life to God can mean. Wait on God to show you in this what you do not know. Let every approach to God and every request for fellowship with Him be accompanied by a new, very definite, and entire surrender to Him to work in you.
“By faith” must here, as through all Scripture, and all the spiritual life, be the keynote. As you tarry before God, let it be in a deep quiet faith in Him, the Invisible One, who is so near, so holy, so mighty, so loving. In a deep, restful faith too, that all the blessings and powers of the heavenly life are around you, and in you. Just yield yourself in the faith of a perfect trust to the Ever Blessed Holy Trinity to work out all God’s purpose in you. Begin each day thus in fellowship with God, and God will be all in all to you.
Note: This is the first chapter in Andrew Murray’s book, The Deeper Christian Life, published in 1895.