Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray:
Having confidence that God will help us #1.6
To YIELD, to TRUST, to WAIT
In the third and sixth chapters of Abide in Christ, Andrew Murray goes deeply into his favorite theme:
We need to consent to let God do all for us, and through us, and in us. And we do this by yielding, trusting and waiting.
Murray reminds us that God, the keeper of Israel who slumbers not nor sleeps, has far more power to keep us than our aptness to be led astray.
God plants us in Christ
He goes on to remind us that it is ‘of God that we are in Christ Jesus’ (See 1 Corinthians 1: 30). God does His work by moving us to do our work.
For example, when we are converted, the spiritual quickening comes from God in a secret way beyond our sight. It is God’s almighty power doing its work by taking possession of us and planting us into Jesus Christ, then inspiring our wills to turn to Christ.
God keeps us safe to the end
Murray says that if we understand that it is ‘of God that we are in Christ Jesus, then this knowledge will act as a secure ‘standing ground’ for us to abide. And knowing that God is the Husbandman of the vine should give us added security that He will keep us safe to the end. For it says in Scripture:
You did not choose me but I chose you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last (John 15:16).
The grace TO COME and the grace TO ABIDE is the same
According to Murray, our idea of God’s grace is often skewed. While we understand that our conversion and pardon are God’s work, we then consider that following Jesus and living our lives as true Christians should be through our own efforts. So we fail and become despondent.
He goes on to remind us that we are not under the law, but under grace. We need to realize that our working and doing are the fruit of Christ’s work in us. So in order for Christ to lead us and stir us up to be active for Him, we need to first rest in Him (or wait upon Him) to know what we should be doing.
G. Campbell Morgan, a friend of Andrew Murray’s, describes this type of resting or waiting as follows:
Waiting on God means:
First: activity under command
Second: readiness for any new command that may come
Third: the ability to do nothing until the command is given
God’s work and our work
As we said in blog post #1.5: ‘Let God help you do it,’ God’s work and our work is the flip-side of the same coin. God takes hold of us so that our wills are free to take hold of God.
Murray sums up his exposition on this theme by quoting St Paul in Philippians 3: 12 (NIV):
But I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
© Olea Nel
Abide in Christ: chapters 3 and 6