The Inner Chamber & The Inner Life (book review)

Andrew Murray is a brilliantly straightforward author. There aren’t hidden meanings, or complex phrases, or deep theology to wade through; instead, he takes you right to the heart of the matter. And the heart of the matter in The Inner Chamber & The Inner Life is our daily personal devotional time with God.

Never before have I read a book like this that taught me how to prepare myself to have my personal quiet time with God each morning. I have made it a habit to pray before I open my Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word to my heart. But Andrew Murray has given us 36 short chapters on how and why we should spend more time preparing ourselves even before we open the Bible.

I am a morning person, so I love to get up early to spend my quiet time with God before my day gets started. Whether you are a morning person or not, Andrew Murray makes a pretty good case for why the morning hour with God is indispensable. (I know my “night owl” friends may groan at this, but you really should check this out!)

If you would like to see your personal devotional time become a richer time with God, you will do well to read The Inner Chamber & The Inner Life.

It’s Not Anger Management

Aristotle had an insightful quote that was almost accurate—

Anybody can become angry—that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

I agree with most of this, but I would argue that it’s not within anybody’s power to express their anger in the right way.

The Bible says that our challenge is to not sin when we are angry (Ephesians 4:26). But most anger is selfishly provoked. That means, I’m angry because I have been offended, or my “rights” have been violated, or someone injured me.

If my anger has been selfishly provoked, how can I be expected to express my anger in any other fashion but selfishly?!?

Instead of me trying to manage my anger, I need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice. There is one important question the Spirit asks us (which comes from Jonah 4:9)—

Do you do well to be angry?

  • Is it good for me to be angry with this? or should I let this go?
  • Is my anger righteously provoked? or is it selfishly provoked?
  • Does this grieve the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10)?

God’s Spirit within you is never silent. He will either confirm that your anger is righteously provoked (as it was with Jesus in John 2:13-17), or it’s selfishly provoked (as it was with Jonah). That’s why you must ask yourself that question and allow the Holy Spirit to help you answer it: Do I do well to be angry?

If you answer “yes,” and the Holy Spirit confirms this in your heart, then He will help you to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way (as Aristotle said).

And if you answer “no,” the Holy Spirit is the only one who can help put out the flames of your anger in a healthy way.

So don’t try to manage your temper. Listen to the Holy Spirit asking you, “Do you do well to be angry?” And let Him guide you from there.

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