By James R Edwards
Reviewed by Benjamin C Maxson, Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
This exciting book explores ways in which God intrudes into our lives. Edwards uses different Bible characters and stories in a series of conversations to demonstrate the ways in which God breaks into our world to touch us. The overall theme is that God does not draw us up to Him, nor does He expect us to use our abilities to seek and find Him. Instead, He joins us where we are, in the details and struggles of real life.
Edwards also uses examples and illustrations from contemporary life to demonstrate ways in which God intervenes and seeks us. The author takes us back to the reality of our total dependence upon God. ?Human inadequacy and weakness make obvious our need of God and make us more open to God. The success of the call is not in our abilities, but in our dependence on God? (p 67).
Grace is a crucial component of God’s intervention in our lives. ?God is in the business of transforming what is, into what might be. Censure does not achieve that transformation, but solidarity and affirmation do. That is why God comes to us in our deepest troughs and needs with his forgiving and saving presence rather than with condemning judgment. At the point where we are most vulnerable and alone, God says, ?I am with you’?(p 79).
One of the author’s strong contributions is in the area of discipleship. ?The great irony of discipleship is that God must first make us weak in order to use us? (p 85). These moments of weakness make clear our need and dependence upon God. It is during these moments that we become open and responsive to God’s invasion of our lives. Then God uses us in ways that we cannot anticipate. ?God makes us weak so that we may be serviceable to his kingdom. God makes of us what we could not imagine; he assigns us to posts that we would never choose. He does this not to inflict pain on his servants, but to use them for greater purposes than they are capable of on their own. It is a divine mystery, like pruning: God cuts away so that something greater may appear? (p 136).
This is a powerful book that helps make God real in our lives. It assists us in understanding how God can break through—how He can become more real in what we do and say.