Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray:
Let God help you do it #1.5
Earthly shadows of a heavenly reality
In both his works: Abide in Christ (1864/1882) as well as the Mystery of the True Vine (1897) Andrew Murray delves deeply into the truths that the parable of John 15 conveys. He tells us that when Jesus says: “I am the true vine,” He is speaking of earthly shadows that depict heavenly realities.
To understand this heavenly mystery, Murray bids us bow down and be still so that we can worship and wait until the divine Word enters our hearts.
Leaving the Father out is our downfall
The need to let the Spirit interpret the Word for us is particularly important as we read Murray's interpretation of God’s role in our ability to abide. In fact, he regards our utter dependence on God as absolutely essential to our spiritual growth. He even claims that our tendency to trust Christ, yet leave the Father out is out great downfall when trying to abide.
For Christ came to bring us to God. We can do nothing.
To reinforce the Scriptural principle of utter dependence on God, Murray points to Christ’s words:
- The Son can do nothing of himself (John 5: 19).
- The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14: 10).
- And my Father is the husbandman (John 15: 1).
Murray now points to the counterpoint of the truths conveyed in these Scriptures:
If the Father is the Husbandman and does the work, then we can have confidence that the Father watches over us and works in us.
Our work is to yield
Murray states that our lives need to mirror Christ’s example in His absolute dependence up God. With confidence in God the Father, Christ could enter death and the grave knowing that God would take care of it all.
In a similar way, we need to leave ourselves in God’s hands in the confidence that He will see to everything we ought to be and have. We can be assured of this from the words spoken by God in Isaiah 27: 2-3:
A vineyard of red wine. I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment lest any hurt it; I will keep it night and day.
The flip-side of the same ‘abide’ coin
In this blog post, we have dealt especially with Murray's emphasis on God’s role in helping us abide. In my next post, we’ll learn more about our role, and how it works in conjunction with God’s role. It would be true to say that it is on the flip-side of the same abide coin.
The Mystery of the True Vine chapter 2
© Olea Nel.