The Heartfelt Counsel of a Friend

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.

Proverbs 27:9

I am so thankful for the friends the Lord has blessed me with. Over the past years, He has given me friends I have never met before, some who are now in heaven. One of the things I would always say to our children was, “Books are our friends.” God has blessed me with authors whose written words touched me so deeply, that I now consider them my friends. Their Spirit-inspired counsel has truly been sweet.

One of my best friends is Andrew Murray.

Here is an article from CT about my friend “Andy”

As a young man, Andrew Murray wanted to be a minister, but it was a career choice rather than an act of faith. Not until he had finished his general studies and begun his theological training, in the Netherlands, did he experience a conversion of heart. In a letter to his parents, Murray wrote, “Your son has been born again. … I have cast myself on Christ.”

This “casting of the self” became Murray’s life theme… that Murray experienced by continually casting himself on Christ.

“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence,” was his prayer. “And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.”

… Murray wrote to interpret the Scriptures in such a way that Christians were free to believe and experience the grace of God. He believed that God had done everything necessary for people to live rich, productive, meaningful lives that participated in the life of God. The obstacles to such lives included half-hearted surrender to God, a lack of confidence in the anointing of the Spirit, and a deep-rooted skepticism about the power of prayer.

One of his most popular books, With Christ in the School of Prayer, takes New Testament teachings about prayer and illumines them in 31 “lessons” designed to help the reader move past shallow, ineffectual prayer into a fuller understanding of the work God has called them to do. According to Murray, the church does not realize that “God rules the world by the prayers of his saints, that prayer is the power by which Satan is conquered, that by prayer the church on earth has disposal of the powers of the heavenly world.

In my journey to abide in Christ, God has used “Andy” to speak to me in very profound ways. I am slowly reading, because that’s how I need to read Murray’s books, “The True Vine.”

Here’s something God is using Andrew Murray’s heartfelt counsel to draw me closer to Him:

The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up. That is, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth. And so the believer has but one reason for his being a branch-but one reason for his existence on earth-that the heavenly Vine may through him bring froth His fruit. Happy is the soul that knows this, that has consented to it, and that says, I have been redeemed and l live for one thing-as exclusively as the natural branch exists only to bring forth fruit, I too; as exclusively as the heavenly Vine exists to bring forth fruit, I too.

Andrew Murray, The True Vine, pp. 17-18

There is nothing I want more right now than just that. I seek to be like my friend, Andy, who said, “May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence.” That’s the continuing journey I am on. Thanks, Andy!

Another step…

2 thoughts on “The Heartfelt Counsel of a Friend

  1. This is awesome, Mark. Even though you are old (like me!), you continue to grow in Christ and His Aloha. Andy’s writings is filled with the essence of lokomaika’i, God’s amazing grace, because it is filled with Christ. God’s grace is evident in your life!


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