I’m getting ready to start reading another insightful book by Andrew Murray. For those of you not familiar with Andrew Murray, he was born in South Africa in 1828. After receiving his education in Scotland and Holland, he returned to South Africa and spent many years there as a missionary pastor. He was a staunch advocate of biblical Christianity and the author of over 240 books being best known for his many devotional books. He died in 1917.
I’ve been reading Andrew Murray books for nearly 15 years. My friend Jim asked me this morning ‘How did you find out about him?’ Initially, some of his books were in the bargain bin at FCS and spoke to faith issues I was wrestling with … you know, that makes it sound like a chance encounter. The truth is that the Holy Spirit leads me … leads you … to places, to people, to circumstances, even to books … that play a role in our sanctification and transformation … let me give credit where credit is due. Thank You Lord Jesus!
I’ve only read 5 of his over 240 books but I’ve never been disappointed … Humility, Absolute Surrender, Covenants and Blessings, Living a Prayerful Life, The Indwelling Spirit.
As I began reading my newest Andrew Murray selection, The Fullness of the Spirit, I was so blown away by the intro to the book; I thought I’d share it here on the blog:
“The message of this book is simple but serious. It is the greatest need of the church, and that which all believers ought to seek after with one mind and their whole heart: to be filled with the Spirit of God.”
“In order to focus our attention on this message and the blessing, it contains, I have placed particular emphasis on six main points:
- It is the will of God that every believer should live entirely and unceasingly under the control of the Holy Spirit.
- Apart from the fullness of the Spirit, it is impossible for a believer or a church to live and work as God desires.
- The lives and experiences of believers everywhere demonstrate that this blessing is greatly neglected by the church and is seldom sought after.
- This blessing is promised to us and prepared for us; God longs to give it to us. Because it is God’s gift, our faith can expect it with confidence.
- The biggest hindrance to receiving it is that the self-life and the world take the place that Christ ought to occupy.
- We cannot be filled with the Spirit until we yield ourselves to be led by the Lord Jesus to forsake and sacrifice everything that stands in the way of His rule.”
And these are the words of a 19th century writer, not one of the 21st century … how much greater the need must be today. I am of the firm belief that with the passing of time the draw of the world and the draw of religions prove to be far more attractive to mankind than the draw of the cross and Christ Jesus. Don’t misunderstand me … the power of Almighty God is undiminished and unchanging … but the enemy, the world and many religions play, with great success, to the unbridled weaknesses found in man’s sinful nature, his flesh, his lust, his pride … and his spiritual ignorance.
And I believe that final point is what Andrew Murray is pointing to … absent the fullness of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we all suffer from spiritual ignorance.
Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will teach you ALL things and ALL that He said.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you ALL things and bring to your remembrance ALL that I have said to you. John 14:26 (ESV)
Certainly there are also teachers, according to Scripture, that teach under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, oftentimes, we choose unspiritual substitutes. We also must remember that the Father and Son have anointed believers with the Holy Spirit (consider Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38).
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you ALL have knowledge … But the anointing that you received from him abides IN you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about EVERYTHING, and is TRUE, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide IN him. 1 John 2:20, 27 (ESV)
So, the greatest need of the church and every believer: to be filled with the Spirit of God.
Lord, remove all those obstacles keeping me from the fullness of the Holy Spirit, give me a surrendered and submissive heart ready to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, may Your Spirit lead me in all things!