Friday, December 02, 2011

Andrew Murray

This is a biography of an amazing Christian writer, dynamic preacher, and a missionary statesman of the 19th century. The highlights of this write-up on the life history of Murray are "Revival" and "Work of the Holy Spirit."

Andrew Murray hailed from a remote Dutch-Reformed Village, Graff Reinet in South Africa. He was born on May 9, 1828, as the second of the 11 children of Rev. Andrew Murray Sr. and Maria Murray. Rev. Andrew Murray Sr. was pastoring a Dutch-Reformed Church. He was a man of prayer and was constantly praying for revival in his country. Young Murray’s life was influenced greatly by his father’s prayer life and by other great men of men of God such as David Livingstone and Robert Moffat.
Andrew Murray completed his formal studies in Scotland and his further studies in Theology and Dutch language in Holland. He returned to South Africa after being ordained at The Hague. Andrew Murray was just 20 years of age when he started preaching the Word of God. He rode on his horse for miles and days and conducted meetings for the Dutch-Speaking South African Farmers. His dynamic preaching about Christ Jesus often attracted a huge multitude of people. However, at one point, he was so desperate that he said, “when I look at my people, my peace forsakes me. I am forced to flee to the Master to seek a new and a more entire surrender to His work. My prayer is for service, but I am held back by the increasing sense of my own unfitness for the work. I lament that awful pride and self-complacency that have till now ruled in my heart. O that I may be more and more a minister of the Spirit.”
God took him through a path wherein Andrew fought against his pride and understood the greatness of humility. This enabled him to produce a masterpiece on ‘Humility’. Andrew Murray writes in his book, “The deepest humility is the secret of truest happiness - a joy that nothing can destroy.”
In his book called “Absolute Surrender”, Murray gives a beautiful illustration on just what absolute surrender means. “God claims absolute surrender from us. It means everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. Pen in my hand must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it. If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. God cannot work His blessed work in us without absolute surrender from our behalf. If our hearts are willing for absolute surrender there is no end to what God will do for us and to the blessing God will bestow.’’ Later, Andrew recalled the lessons God had taught him as follow: “If only we did not so often hinder Him with our much trying to serve, how surely and mightily would He accomplish His work of renewing souls unto the likeness of Jesus Christ.”
Andrew Murray was a multifaceted man of God. He was not only a preacher, pastor, and writer but also a missionary statesman. Andrew Murray was invited to speak in the Keswick Convention in 1895 and he was responsible for bringing this movement to South Africa. These conventions enabled people to progress in holiness, faith, and prayer. These conventions are considered to be the best place for recruiting the missionaries. He also wrote, “The Key to the Missionary Problem.’’ This book emphasizes more fervent prayer and fresh dedication for the cause of the missions.
Andrew Murray was a prolific writer who continued to write until he crossed over into glory in 1917. He has written more than 240 books and most of his writings were focused on sanctification and edification of the believers. Originally, his books were written in Dutch, later they were translated into English and various other languages. Andrew Murray’s life and writings have touched the lives of the Christians across the globe. His books such as, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Abide in Christ, The Deeper Christian Life, and Absolute Surrender have been found to have great impact on the prayer life and the ministry of the readers. Andrew Murray has greatly blessed the Christendom with the richness of his spiritual wisdom and his ability to perceive and to cater to the needs of God’s people.
All his life Murray had been working and praying for revival in South Africa, but he did not understand when the actual outpouring took place in his own church. He realized it after being convicted by the Holy Spirit that it was the work of the Spirit.
We Christians are called to move into deeper experiences in Christ Jesus.
In Luke 5:4-6 we read, “Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.’ And Simon answering said unto him, ‘Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.’ And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.” Here we see the fruitless efforts of Simon Peter and when he goes deeper with Jesus and casts his net as per Jesus’ direction, he is able to obtain a splendid fortune and much happiness. Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to go to the depths of the fullness of the Holy Spirit and not just knee deep, but to be inundated in the River of God and be led by the current of the Holy Waters to bring forth revival in our house, locality, and nation.

Fixed ideas, preconceived notions, and certain convictions will sometimes hinder the working of the Holy Spirit, but discerning things with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God will keep us cautious about new doctrines that crop up everyday in these last days as well pave way for a true revival.

God bless you as you yield to go into deeper waters to be led by the Spirit of the Living God!!

Written By: Shanta Daniel
[Copyright@ Permission is granted to duplicate this article in its entirety, but only without additions, alterations or omissions of any kind, including the author and ministry name at the end]

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