Take a deep breath when you start reading this book. If you are used to the books on spiritual growth we see today, if you frequently listen to the feel good sermons preached today, this book will take your breath away. Reading this collection of three of Murray's books reminded me of how shallow our contemporary Christian spirituality has become.
The first book in the collection is one on humility. Murray wrote there was nothing more beautiful and blessed “than to be nothing in order that God may be everything.” (14) Humility is entire dependence upon God and is to be the chief mark of our relationship with God. A lack of humility, Murray wrote, “is the explanation of every defect and failure.” (21) Jesus is our example of humility. What would our lives be like if we followed His example?
The first book in this collection shook me to the core. The second book, on abiding in Christ, helped me understand much about the Christian life and experience. Many do not understand what abiding in Christ means and is the reason they do not have joy nor the abundant life Jesus promised. Murray reminds us the abiding is not a work we do but rather is allowing God to work in us. It is by faith we realize we abide with Jesus moment by moment. It is allowing Christ to become our life within us, inspiring all out thinking, feeling and actions. (294)
The last book concentrates on prayer but begins reminding us of the seriousness of our sin and our being led by our flesh rather than the Spirit. Murray reminds us that the enemy uses all his power to keep us from praying. We are also reminded of the difference between knowing about life in Christ and actually living the abundant life in Christ, allowing Him to have full mastery over us. Murray also gives suggestions for prayer.
This is a book I will need to read again and again to reap the full spiritual impact it contains. The chapters are short and are suitable to be used as a daily devotion. Daily reading is the way to go as there is just too much to take in by reading it in big chunks as I did for this review. Be ready to be challenged to experience a depth of Christian spirituality rarely seen in modern works. If you feel there is something missing in your spiritual life, if you are willing to be confronted with your half hearted go at it, read this book. It will change you.
You can read an excerpt here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was born in South Africa. After receiving his education in Scotland and Holland, he returned to South Africa and spent his life there as a pastor, missionary, and author of many devotional books. He and his wife raised eight children.
Bethany House, 464 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)