Book Review: DEEPER CHRISTIAN LIFE-By ANDREW MURRAY

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The book Deeper Christian Life is one which deals with the need for Christians to go further into their devotion to God, and not settle for less. There is more to be found: our faith in God is a sort of opening unto an inexhaustible treasure trove, which we should gladly seek. Sadly, most believers in Christ do not press on to partake in this glorious gift. They’re content with the status quo, or think such heights of communion with God either unattainable, or for some select few. Murray wrote this book to address this crucial concern.
While it is true that this book is quite an old one (first published in 1895 by the Fleming H. Revell company), its subject matter is relevant to every age. And it is a simple little book to read too. But its worth returning to for some encouragement and admonition.
In seven chapters Murray effectively tackles this matter. Chapter one is aptly titled “Daily Fellowship With God”, and takes the reader through practical steps which should ensure that he or she is truly in tune with God, and has the correct perspective of their place before Him: God’s greatness, man’s unworthiness, and God’s amazing grace which He, in spite of our failings, has poured out upon us. This should inspire us to come before Him with confidence- not in ourselves, but in Him, in His love.
Murray dives straight into the “big one” in chapter two, as he notes that while there is such a beautiful life of intimacy with God awaiting the believer (a blessed life in every true sense of the word), most Christians fall far short of it. He attributes this principally, to unbelief. For it is unbelief that keeps them from asking this life of God our Father, and holds us down from going forward in faith to live this life. The remedy? confess and turn from this sin (he likens it to the attitude of the elder son in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son), to live the life of faith; ask God for the grace, and believe He has granted it. Then walk in it.
The great difference between the carnal life and the spirit-led life is the subject of the next chapter. Peter the apostle is used by the author as an example of where self-trust can lead us: failure, fractured friendship with our Lord, and separation from Him. His life after his denial of Christ was a changed one: he found that his trust in his own word and fleshly devotion to Christ was useless. He sorrowfully turned himself over to the will of God and followed Jesus in love. And he became a fearless servant of Christ.
In chapter four, Murray makes it clear that it is one thing to have declared for Jesus and pitch one’s tent with Him (“going out of Egypt”); but it is quite another to go further in growth, getting into a deeper relationship with God (“getting into Canaan”). Chapter five emphasizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer as crucial to a deeper, faithful engagement to God. And His spirit indwells those who desire Him, ask for Him, and believe that He has been given. The next chapter tells us that the key to the victorious Christian life is fixing our eyes on Jesus. Again, he takes the imagery of Peter struggling to stay upon the stormy sea of Galilee as Jesus calls him hither to himself. Only by faith in the word of our Lord and the sufficiency of his promise shall we walk as he did.
“A Word to Workers” is the seventh chapter of this book. It seeks to remind the “workers” in the field of evangelization and the encouragement of the brethren, that in order to effectively deliver a life-changing message on the beauty of the deeper christian life and the living of it, they (the ministers of this gospel) must have seen it come true in their own lives. This, for the observer, is vital in ascertaining the viability of the life preached about. The book ends fittingly, with a call to consecration: the giving of all we are to God, who has given this to us. Only in doing this will we find the joy and satisfaction of being so into God, and God being so into us.
This is a wonderful book, good for practically all Christians, whether they be new in the faith and wanting to grow, or for the older fellows who need some rejuvenation. I heartily recommend it to you, my dear reader.

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