“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence.”
“Thy Will Be Done: The Blessedness Of A Life In The Will of God”
By Andrew Murray
Published in 1901
Beginning today, Monday, July 12th, 2021 I will begin a new series on A Crooked Path. Posting a chapter at a time of Andrew Murray’s book, “Thy Will Be Done.”
Andrew Murray, born in South Africa, to Scottish parents. his father, Andrew Murray Sr. (1794–1866), a Dutch Reformed Church missionary was sent from Scotland to South Africa. Andrew became a pastor, teacher, and Christian writer. And as with all men, all people, all Christian writers, and pastors do not believe them to be perfect. If something any pastor or writer may say or write be a Berean. Go to the Scriptures to make clear and rightly divide the word.
In 1838, when Murray was ten, he and his brother John went to study in Scotland. They went to train with their uncle, the Rev. John Murray. In the spring of 1840, the revivalist William C. Burns came and spoke in Aberdeen, Scotland. Burns made a deep impression on Andrew. He was staying at his uncle’s house and they spent long evenings in a discussion about the work of God. Burns had been instrumental in the great Kilsyth Revival of 1839. His heart was constantly broken over the lost, and he would weep and pray for hours for their salvation. Andrew would listen, with awe, as Burns would preach, and he saw a model of what he would like to become. Andrew and John attended Marischal College and graduated in 1844.
In 1848 the two brothers were ordained and went back to South Africa. Andrew had a traveling ministry, where he would go out on horseback, for weeks at a time, to hold meetings for the Dutch-speaking South African farmers. It was a time of deep introspection and development of his fire for prayer and the gospel. In 1856 he married Emma Rutherford, the daughter of an English pastor. In 1860 Andrew accepted a pastorate in Worcester. He came, to the church, at the same time as a scheduled conference on revival and missions. Some of what was shared was about the revivals in North America and Europe. The cry of the pastors was that revival would also break out in South Africa. Revival did break out, but not in the way Andrew expected. It seemed out of order, but God impressed upon Andrew that it was His work. Andrew had a completely different view of revival after that experience. In 1877 he traveled to the United States and spoke at holiness conventions all over the country.
Murray’s life was preaching and teaching. Then tragedy struck. In 1879 he became ill and his throat was impacted. He lost his voice and began the two “silent years”. These years molded Murray in a new way. He surrendered everything to God. He came to a place of deep humility and love for God and for others. He met with Otto Stockmayer to get a deeper understanding of the theology of healing. In 1881 he went to London to Bethshan, a faith cure home started by W. E. Boardman. He was completely healed there and never had trouble with his throat again. From that point on he knew that the gifts of God were for believers today, and taught and wrote about it. In 1882 he attended the Keswick Convention. This convention emphasized, “Holiness” and “Deeper Life” themes. Eventually, in 1895, he became a featured speaker.
Murray began an extensive schedule of traveling and speaking. Twice he was in car accidents that left him with a limp. These God chose not to heal. Eventually, he focused on writing books, as he was a prolific writer. Between 1858 and 1917 he wrote over 240 books and tracts. Many of these are considered classics and are still in print today. His books have touched a multitude of people drawing them On January 18th, 1917, Andrew Murray died praising God.
I will make every effort to continue this series in a timely and consistent manner. Bear with me as we go along, as installments might not appear on the same days, the same span of times between postings, but we will get to the end.
I hope you enjoy this series.
Ken Pullen, administrator of A Crooked Path
Chapter 1 – The Will of God, the Glory of Heaven
“Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.” Matthew 6: 10
The will of a man is the power by which he determines his actions, and decides what he is to do or not to do. In it is manifested his hidden, inward being, proving what his desires and dispositions are, foolish or wise, good or evil. The will is the revelation of character and life. What a man truly wills, he will infallibly seek to have done, either by himself or through others.
In the will of God we have the perfect expression of His Divine perfection. Because He is a fountain of all beauty and blessedness, His will is inconceivably beautiful and blessed. In it His Divine wisdom and goodness make themselves known. Through it alone the creature can know his God; in accepting and doing that will he finds the only and the sure way to fellowship and union with God.
The glory and the blessedness of heaven consist in nothing but this, that God’s will is done therein and by all. There is nothing to hinder God’s working freely and fully all His blessed will in its countless hosts. To all that He wills for them of goodness and blessedness and service their whole being is surrendered in submission and adoration. God lives in them and they in God. They are filled with the fulness of God.
In the Lord’s Prayer, our Blessed Master teaches us to come to the Father with the wonderful petition, that His will may be done on earth, even as in heaven! He calls us to open our hearts to think and lift them heavenwards in real desire and prayer. He bids us count upon an answer, and according to the power that works in us, expect the experience in such measure as we are fitted for; God’s will done in us and by us, on earth, as it is in heaven. The God who works it in heaven — is our Father, who delights to work it on earth. The blessedness of earth cannot possibly be other than that of heaven: let our hearts desire and delight to have the will of God done.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth! These chapters invite you to come and meditate on this petition, if so be the Father may, by His Holy Spirit, show you the Divine beauty of His will, and the altogether heavenly blessedness of living in it. Let us begin by considering what God’s will includes, that we may know aright what our Lord means and what we are to expect when we pray: Your will be done!
There is, first, the will of God’s Holy Providence. Everything that happens on earth comes to the child of God as the will of His Father. In His infinite wisdom God so overrules all the evil of men and devils, that in permitting it, He can take it up into His will, and make it work out His purposes. Joseph says of the sin of his brethren: “Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good.” Jesus said to Pilate: “Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above.” In everything that came on Him, He saw God’s will: it was all the cup the Father gave Him. It is when the Christian learns to see God’s will in everything that comes to him, grievous or pleasing, great or small, that the prayer, Your will be done, will become the unceasing expression of adoring submission and praise. The whole world with its dark mysteries and life, with all its difficulties, will be illumined with the light of God’s presence and rule. And the soul will taste the rest and the bliss of knowing that it is every moment encircled and watched over by God’s will, that nothing can separate it from the Love of which the will is the expression. Happy the Christian who receives everything in Providence as the will of His Father.
There is, next, the will of God’s righteous Precepts. Every command of our Father in heaven is a ray of the Divine will, radiant, to the eye that can see it, with all the perfection of the Divine nature. It comes as a proof of the Divine condescension, tenderly accommodating itself to our feebleness, as it puts the Divine will into human words, suited to our special capacity and circumstances. We all naturally connect the rays of light on earth with the sun from which they come. The more the Christian learns to link every precept with the Infinite Will of Love from which it comes, the more will he see the nobility and the joy of a life of entire obedience, the privilege and the honor of carrying out in human forms the perfect will of the Father in heaven. He then learns to say of God’s precepts what first appeared too high: They are the rejoicing of my heart. And, Your will be done, as in heaven, becomes the secret inspiration of a glad fulfilment of all God’s commands.
Then comes — the will of God’s precious Promises. We often fail in the power of grasping or holding some promise, of which we desire the comfort, because we deal with it as a fragment, and do not connect it with the great whole of God’s blessed will for us. Let every believer seek earnestly to realize what God’s will in His promises is. It is His determination to do a certain thing, His engagement to do it for or in me if I will trust Him. Behind the promise, there is the faithful Almighty God waiting to fulfil it. What a strength it would give in prayer, what a confidence in expectation, to be quiet, and trace the promise to the Living Will, the Loving Heart, that wills to make it true to everyone that yields himself in trust and dependence. As, Your will be done, in view of God’s Providence, was the language of a glad submission, in view of His Precepts, the surrender to a full obedience, so here, in relation to the Promises, it becomes the song of an assured hope. Your will be done, by Yourself in us, O our Father in heaven.
One thought more — there is the will of God’s Eternal Purpose. Our view of God’s will in His Providence, His Precepts, His Promises, is often very much confined to ourselves. The believer, who through these longs to enter fully into all the will of God, will be led on into a wider and a deeper insight into the glory of its counsels. He will learn something of that Great Purpose which filled the heart of God from Eternity, which reveals nothing less than the triumph of God’s Redeeming Love in a world of sin. As he is led by the Holy Spirit into the great counsels of redemption, into the meaning of the sacrifice by which God has sought to accomplish them, of the patience with which He is working out His plans, and the final triumph which is so sure and so glorious, he feels how little he has realized his position or the meaning of this prayer. Your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth! becomes the expression of his fellowship with God in His wondrous carrying out of His everlasting counsel of grace, of his intercession on behalf of a perishing world, of his joyful anticipation of all flesh seeing the glory of God. He feels himself as a mote floating in the sunlight of God’s presence. He knows himself an instrument, a vessel, a member of the body of Christ, through which God’s glory is working out His perfect will.
Believer, come and listen. This prayer needs your whole heart. It needs the teaching, yes, the indwelling of Jesus Christ in the heart, to be able to pray it aright. It calls for a heart, a will, a life, entirely given up to the Father in heaven, by His Spirit dwelling in us, to understand it aright. Let the glory of God doing His will in us and through us be met by nothing less than a will wholly given up to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven. Study how God’s will is done in heaven. Yield yourself to do it even so on earth.