by Andrew Murray
C1. Best of Both Worlds Circle (Too many to describe)
C2. Wondering Circle (Multitudes)
C3. Serving Circle (Great and ever-increasing number)
C4. Inner Circle (Precious few)
C4. Inner Circle
Christians in this circle by comparison to all other Christians:
(a) Are in the closest possible communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.
(b) Are in the closest possible conformity to the image of Christ.
(c) Have a greater diversity of gifts and callings.
(d) Give themselves to much contemplation and personal worship.
(e) Have learned the secrets of the divine life so that their speech comes with heavenly power to others.
(f) Are usually simple and unknown and scholarly unlearned people.
(g) Who with much prevailing prayer, and Christian grace, bring strength, life and blessing to those around them.
(h) Who have learned to usually depend upon the Spirit within for overcoming the duties of daily life and responsibility, have kept their conduct above reproach, and in a life of humility and love, carry the savour of God’s presence and power with them, so that others know that they have been with God.
(i) Experience the blessing of having attained to a walk in unbroken fellowship in the unclouded light of God’s face (1 John 3:16-24).
(j) Are known in Biblical terms as “Spiritual Persons,” who depend upon the Spirit of God within Who both teaches and leads them into Truth. Their Spiritual food and nourishment comes from the indwelling Christ rather than from external and man-made sources (Hebr. 13:10-14).
Their honour, blessing and acceptance, comes from the indwelling Christ, never from others around them.
(k) Love to speak of what God is doing in them, but find that only those of like precious faith and growth in grace understand them. Others do seem to understand them, nor do others care to talk of the same precious pearls and processes which God is doing in these resting Christians.
(l) Who are the channels through whom the Christ life flows, to the otherwise “organised” or structured group of believers who have accepted’ as Saviour, and are endeavouring to learn and grow in the kingdom of God. They are the life organs, (heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and veins to the body, and as such provide life to the whole organism. Because they are inner, and life giving, they are usually the uncomely, unloved, wished by others to be unseen, (despised and misunderstood).
(m) Are relatively few in number, as are the life giving members of the human body.
C3. Serving Circle
Around the resting Christians, there is great and ever-increasing who are:
THE SERVING CHRISTIANS
These dedicated and sincere Christians are the means by which Christ’s life is expressed to the world. They are consumed with a passion to fulfil the Great Commission. They:
(a) Have heard the voices and sometimes have seen the lives of the resting ones, and they exceedingly long to enter that rest, but don’t know the Way.
(b) Sincerely believe that every child of God is to live for God and the service of His kingdom with as wholehearted devotion as Christ did.
(c) Are burdened by continual disappointment, but likely will not acknowledge it (not yet at least).
(d) Live in the region of struggle and effort.
(e) Have not found the faith that results in the streams of living water.
(f) Experience many blessings of God’s grace, but the rest which comes by full faith in the indwelling Christ still eludes them.
(g) Will be found, pressing on ― fainting, yet pressing on, and will in God’s good time, enter the rest that God has provided for them.
(h) Think of revival in which blessings will come as some elusive yet intensely hoped for and coming event.
(i) Are imminently ready for God’s Spirit to quicken them, because God is preparing their hearts for it.
(j) Have a “Service for God” mentality, which is only the apprenticeship, to fit them to be wise master builders when they do enter into rest.
(k) Earnestly, but unknowingly obey the law to achieve God’s approval, thus being submissive to God’s divinely appointed “Law” which will lead them to rest in Christ.
There is only one way in which they will come to righteousness by faith, and eventual rest, ― by burning themselves out under the law.
C2. Wondering Circle
Around the Serving Christians there is a multitude who are the:
These honest, earnest, Christians:
(a) Desire to work and live for God, but the wherewithal evades them.
(b) Know little of what it is to be spiritual men and women, or even to strive after the perfection of Christian maturity.
(c) Have a faith which never grows or develops further than their basic salvation experience of sins forgiven. They are totally lacking in spiritual knowledge of the word of God, nor do they have any real desire for it.
(d) Live in their own world, such that others would never take knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus.
(e) Know they are saved, and are very grateful, but their service for God is secondary, and to which they devote only what time and energy pleases them.
(f) Do not understand that their whole heart, with its love and interest, time and strength, is required of them in the kingdom of God.
(g) Have never learned what the power of Jesus is to save from sinning and from wandering, to keep their souls by His strength, in His will, and in His love.
(h) Have never surrendered to live entirely, every moment for Him, and accordingly, they miss the experience of unceasingly being kept by Him.
(i) Have a divided interest in the things of God and the things of the world. Eventually this split interest may result in a “falling away.”
(j) Will at times follow or help those Serving Christians to fulfil their mission, but usually revert back to spasmodic involvement in the things of God.
C1. Best of Both Worlds Circle
And then around the Wondering Christians is another group called the:
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CHRISTIANS
Made up of those who hope they are saved and who:
(a) Are on the outskirts of the church and for all appearances, in the world.
(b) Are chiefly selfish and worldly, trying to make the best of both worlds, one foot in both.
(c) Seek for happiness on earth with all its frivolity, and hopes for happiness in heaven, experiencing none of the first.
(d) May be somewhat regular in church attendance, and ready to take part in any collection for Christian objects as part of the work of the church.
(e) Have life’s highest priority, the world, and its spirit is their spirit.
(f) May have a seed or new life at conversion which is fully hindered from growing by the cares or the pleasures of this world.
(g) Think of revival as being something entirely strange or foreign, and limited to the idea of special efforts that sometimes may be made to boring others the same Christianity that they have ― the hope of going to heaven at death.
(h) Are strangers to personal communion with God, delight in prayer or Bible study, the longing for the love of Jesus, or holiness, or power.
(i) Cannot understand the passion of the soul for the things of God or revival, or life in Christ.
(j) Demonstrate the same clamour for control of the church, authority, equality, and social acceptability, as if the church was just another club. They demand the same status as others in the church, not even realising that there is a significant deficiency in their level of spiritual understanding.
C4. Inner Circle (cont.)
What are the principles impacting the responsibilities of the RESTING CHRISTIAN?
Above all, those RESTING CHRISTIANS bear the heaviest responsibility in the conveyance of life to the functioning Body of Christ.
The RESTING CHRISTIANS, and their object, can be illustrated by what we see in our own physical bodies. Our bodies possess two sets of organs ― the one for the maintenance of its own life, the innards. The other set is for communication with the outer world.
To the former belong the brain, the lungs, the heart, the digestive organs. The latter consist of eyes ears, mouth, arms and hands, and legs and feet. The former are by far the more important. Take away all the latter and a man can still live, blind, deaf, crippled, and handicapped, but still alive. Remove any one of the organs by which life is maintained and death ensues.
Yet it should be noted, that as in civil human livelihood, exceedingly more attention is given to the outer appearance and functioning than to the innards. In point of fact, the innards are quite detestable, unmentionable most of the time, and quite conspicuously absent, because of their concealment.
And so among the members of Christ’s body there are some wholly set apart to the maintenance of close communion with heaven and drawing down supplies for the use of the whole body. We do not want the body to be all brain and lungs; yet we see how much more essential these vital organs are than those with which we do our work in the outer world.
And so it is with these resting Christians.
(a) They will be misjudged, and often condemned because they simply are not involved in the hustle and bustle of church life. Rather they speak of righteousness, holiness, peace and victory. (Matt. 5:10, also 5:11-12, Rom. 12:14, 1 Cor 2:15, 1 Peter 3:14).
In human terms, “It is quite lonely here.”
(b) They are the spiritual life giving source for the whole body. It they do not function as they should, life ceases to flow to the body (1 Cor 12:12-31).
(c) They dare not leave, because if they do, the whole body will collapse
(1 Cor 12:16,21).
(d) If they do leave, and as some do, consent to come together for their own edification, that life-giving coalition will soon become “fleshly” again and perhaps even split asunder, for lack of expression to the outer world. They simply become introverted and self-centred again, until introverted life explodes. The manifestation of the flesh soon becomes evident amongst them. They struggle once again with base issues, but often consider themselves “free from the law,” and proceed with obvious un-Christ like conduct.
(e) And again, if they do leave, alienating themselves from the expression outlet to the body of Christ and the world, the rest of the body will conclude in their own ignorance, “self-righteous” or “holier than thou.” The resulting tarnished testimony of the Life of Christ will bring disgrace to the message of the cross, and the cross of Christ is emptied of its power (1 Cor 1:10-17).
(f) Resting Christians, if they function as they should, will remember that they will be the rescuers and leaders for those who desire to enter into rest. Serving Christians, who are ready to enter into rest, need those who have gone before to lead them there. God only knows there will be enough casualties in the system to drive fainting hearts to rest (Gal. 6:1-10) .
(g) If Resting Christians will exercise the Patience which Christ has given to them, they will wait out the foolishness of those around them, thus allowing God’s law to have its most powerful impact on leading them to Christ for justification. They must not despair of allowing law to be both proclaimed and practised, while this very law does its work to bring believers to maturity. The “school of law” is God’s institution to do the work that resting Christians cannot do by constantly proclaiming grace as the only way. The law was given so that sin may abound, and man become frustrated in his own attempts to stop sinning. Then and only then will man find righteousness by faith (Rom. 5:17-20. Gal. 3:24-26).
(h) There will always be a Spirit inspired, drawing to God’s divine rest, not by what resting Christians say or do, but as they are there, they provide life and the magnetism to draw all men unto Christ. The process of serving, trying, and achieving, will bring those whom God is drawing there. The “life givers” just need to be there to receive them.