In the twelfth and last chapter of Humility, Andrew Murray deals with the final outcome of true humility - exaltation of the humble one by God. The author begins with multiple New Testament citations, starting with Jesus' teaching in Luke 14:11: "He that humbles himself shall be exalted." This important lesson was repeated by our Lord in Luke 18:14, and was echoed by James in James 4:10, and by Peter in 1 Peter 5:6. The concept is key to Christian believers. Pastor Murray then goes on to make some of the following points in his final chapter:
1. The Christian is commanded to humble self. This fact is repeated several times in this chapter. Pride, the enemy of humility, is conquered first by one taking a humble position before God and man. Then, the author declares, God does His work, which includes casting out pride, losing self, and then being exalted into the likeness of Jesus. The command to humble self is not easily obeyed, and will be met by failure at times in attempting to obey. The important aspect is to be persistent in trying, and to have faith in the grace that is present and will be made even more abundant for eventual victory. Humbly identify pride in oneself, and God will be faithful to exalt. He will remind one to be humble, and will give more grace. That deserves all of one's thanks.
2. God deals with man in two stages in this arena. First, there is the time of preparation, which includes effort with failure to humble oneself, but then with training and discipline, partial success and the promise of greater things. Secondly, God brings a "time of fulfillment" in which "faith inherits promise," and "enjoys what it had so often struggled for in vain." This is a joint activity between God and man. Man's obligation is effort and obedience in attaining a humble state, and in knowing one's weaknesses. That leads to God's promise of dying to self, and to His exaltation. The whole process begins with man's total ignorance of all these things, and grows into "a longing for God to be all."
3. Man's sincere attempts to obey God's command to "humble yourself" will lead to two conclusions: he/she has a depth of pride and a natural unwillingness to be nothing; and there is a weakness in his/her efforts and even her prayers to conquer pride. One must put only hope in God to defeat pride and have humility before God and man. Murray gives his own version of "practice makes perfect": he states that human acts establish habits which become one's "will" and "character." Therefore by repeated humbling of oneself one's will is strengthened by God into the nature of humility. By humbling oneself, more grace is made available, such that pride is conquered, and Jesus comes into one's heart to live "meek and lowly" forever.
This chapter's beginning Scripture is from Paul's epistle, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "Most gladly . . . will I . . . glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, for when I am weak then am I strong." Andrew Murray uses this comment by Paul to develop the concept that true happiness in believers comes only from humility. Here are some of Pastor Murray's points from Chapter 11, the next to last chapter of this book:
1. Paul seemed to express here the basic idea of humility, which he received from some type of affliction. When he asked for its removal, the Lord told him that it was a blessing, that His grace might be shown through it. So Paul did more than simply put up with his affliction; he gladly gloried and took pleasure in it.
2. Murray states that Christians must go through stages to get to having humility. First there is fear of the humbling situation and attempts to avoid or get away from it. Then there is the seeking to obey the Lord's commands to be humble, but meeting utter failure due to a sense of the burden of the situation. There is no seeking of humility at all expense. Finally there is the revelation of Jesus, leading to the banishment of all self-seeking, delight in every humiliation, and the choice of humility as the highest blessing of our Lord. Paul went through all of that, and we are to learn his lesson.
3. Once again, as in previous chapters, Pastor Murray makes the point that many Christians may be devoted and have zeal for God and Christ, being gifted believers and teachers who have "heavenly experiences," but be lacking in humility. There is always the danger of religious self-exaltation in that setting. Paul had some of that, and had to learn how to be nothing, that Jesus Christ might be all in him. Believers must die to self, and learn the pleasure of lowliness, glorying in weakness, that God might be all. "The highest holiness is the deepest humility," the author concludes. Such humility does not come by itself or by man's efforts, but through "special dealing" by the Lord for His servant.
The Beauty of Holiness
“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”