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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

In Andrew Murray’s wonderful book, Humility, he observes that there are three great motivations to seek humility.  They are our status as a creature, as a sinner, and as a saint.  Which is to say, humble dependence is the proper posture for creatures before a Creator, sinners before an offended God, and the redeemed before a Savior.

He goes on to observe that one of these three gets a disproportionate amount of teaching and focus in most discussions about humility.  Can you guess which one?

Murray argues that it is the second: our status as sinners.  Without disputing the legitimacy of this motive, he suggests that we would be better off redirecting greater focus to the first.  Humble dependence is not merely the obligation of wicked sinners who deserve no better, nor the rightful repayment of those indebted to grace. It is God’s kind intention from the very beginning.  We were made to depend on Him, to delight in Him, to humble ourselves before His supremacy. Humility is not the best we can hope for as redeemed sinners; it was and remains God’s best for us from eternity past and through all of time: “Humility is our true nobility, and to prove it in being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.”

Which is not to say that it comes easily to us.  Many of us are not even aware that meekness is our Lord’s highest aspiration for us.  The Fall, which was in its essence a fall from humility into pride, left us woefully unable to embrace our place before God.

“I am sure there are many Christians who will confess that their experience has been very much like my own in this, that we had long known the Lord without realizing that meekness and lowliness of heart are to be the distinguishing feature of the disciple as they were of the Master. And further, that this humility is not a thing that will come of itself, but that it must be made the object of special desire and prayer and faith and practice.” -Andrew Murray, Humility: The Beauty of Holiness

One great reason to fast is that it helps us experience our own weakness and dependence.  As you fast today, I pray this would be your experience:

“Let us feel that nothing but a very determined and persevering waiting on God and Christ will discover how lacking we are in the grace of humility, and how impotent to obtain what we seek. Let us study the character of Christ until our souls are filled with the love and admiration of His lowliness. And let us believe that, when we are broken down under a sense of our pride, and our impotence to cast it out, Jesus Christ Himself will come in to impart this grace too, as a part of His wondrous life within us.”

You may also find that picking up a copy of Andrew Murray’s short and wonderful book will enrich your fast as you are directed to see the beauty of humility in the life, teaching, and followers of our Lord.

Tim Henderson
Vice President University Christian Union

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