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On Humility

May 20, 20233 min read

‘Water always fills first the lowest places. The lower, the emptier a man lies before God, the speedier and the fuller will be the inflow of the divine glory.’

Andrew Murray

David Heffren, the lead minister at Town & Country, pointed this out today as we discussed the final chapters of Andrew Murray's book, Humility. I thought it was notable.

We find a deep theological truth in this quote. As John Calvin stated in his magnum opus, Institutes of the Christian Religion, the essence of true wisdom is the knowledge of God and of ourselves. In other words, we can only truly understand ourselves when we have a proper understanding of God and His ways.

The metaphor used by Murray, "Water always fills first the lowest places," is a perfect illustration of this truth. As Jesus said in Luke 14:11, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." The proud and self-reliant cannot receive the blessings of God, as their hearts are filled with the idols of self and worldly desires. But those who are lowly in heart and who recognize their own spiritual poverty and need for God's grace will be filled with His glory and power.

This truth is seen throughout the Bible, as God consistently chooses the weak and the lowly to accomplish His purposes. We see this in the life of David, who was the youngest and smallest of his brothers, but whom God chose to be king over Israel. We see this in the apostles, who were uneducated and socially marginalized but whom God chose to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. We see this trend consistently through the totality of the Word. God favors the meek and lowly. (Matthew 5:5)

The key to embracing this truth is to recognize that our salvation and spiritual growth are not based on our own merit or works or abilities, but solely on the grace of God. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-10, "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

Let us find humility before the Lord and seek His grace and His mercy. As we empty ourselves of pride and self-reliance, we create space for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and fill us with the fullness of God. May we become like the lowest places, so that we may be filled with the abundance of His blessings and glory.

I have been speaking a lot about Humility the last few weeks, and I very much so recommend going through this book. We read it as a staff together when I served at Town and Country and I found it to be incredibly enlightening and edifying in my discipleship growth. Murray defines humility as the opposite of pride and self-exaltation. He argues that pride is the root of all sin, and that true humility can only come from a deep awareness of our own sinfulness and need for God's grace. He writes, "Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living with itself, and with God and man, as God pleases." In other words, true humility leads to a life of submission and service to others, as we follow Christ's example of washing his disciples' feet.

What I appreciate most about Murray's book is that it is not just a theoretical treatise on humility, but a practical guide for how to cultivate humility in our lives.

If you do decide to pick it up, shoot me a message and let me know what you think! It's a pretty short book, in general, but take your time!

William Hamilton

I am a humble follower of Jesus Christ, dedicated to sharing the truth of the gospel. As a writer and seeker of knowledge, I am continually learning and growing in my faith. With a passion for deep theological understanding and a heart for apologetics, I strive to articulate the message of God's love and grace with clarity and humility. Through my website, I aim to provide thoughtful and edifying content, offering insights into biblical truths, cultural issues, and the relevance of Christianity in today's world. My desire is to glorify God, make disciples, and point others to the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ.

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