We, disciples, recently
completed our final class of the year which was a study of the Divine Embrace by
Robert Webber. It was definitely a challenging book to read, not only
because of the big words that the author used, but also because of the challenge he gives
to Recover a Passionate Spiritual Life.
I think the main thing
I took away from this
book was an understanding that my spirituality is not based on what I do or don’t
do but on God's Story, what He has already done for me and all of creation.
Having grown up
in a Christian home and made a decision to follow Christ at a very young age,
for as long as I can remember I have known God’s Story.
I knew that man had sinned and the only way to reconciliation
with God was through trusting in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. But
until going through this book I never really understood God’s story and how He invites me to enter
One thing that stood
out to me was the significance of Jesus being fully God and fully man. I’ve
never realized before just how important it is that Jesus be fully human. This
means that He experienced the same struggles and difficulties I do. In chapter
8 of the Divine Embrace, Robert Webber says: “As
one of us, real flesh and blood, Jesus reversed the wound of Adam. Beginning in
the womb of Mary, and continuing throughout his entire ministry, he struggled
to surrender His will to the Father. And because He succeeded in surrendering
His will to the Father’s will, in all things, he restored our will in his
obedience. Even as Jesus struggled to surrender His will to the Father, so
also, in our own spiritual life, Jesus is the model not only for victory but
also for the struggle. Therefore we ‘fix our eyes on Jesus the author and
perfecter of our faith…’ as the writer of Hebrews encourages us, ‘so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart’ (Heb. 12:2-3).
So, what will my
response to God’s Story be? How will I live each day with my eyes fixed on
For me, personally,
living in light of God’s Story means being willing, as Jesus did, to surrender
myself completely to the Father. In recognizing that my spirituality lies not
in what I can do but in what Christ has already done, my desire is to no longer
strive to do it on my own. As I have been asking the Lord to show me how to
live out this life of surrender, He has been teaching me to simply rest in Him,
trusting that He holds my life in His hands.
God has been teaching
me that the surrendered life is a life of continual repentance. It means not
allowing the enemy to fill my mind with guilt and self-pity when I fail, but
confessing my sins as soon as I am aware of them. I am learning not to become
overwhelmed by my shortcomings but rather, to ask the Lord for His mercy, pick
myself up and move on.
God has been showing me
that even when I fail and take my eyes off Him, He is still watching over me. He will
never leave me but will patiently wait for me to cry out to Him and allow Him
to once again take my hand. In knowing this I can have peace that nothing I do
can take me away from the loving care of my Heavenly Father. He is so much
bigger than I am
and knows what lies ahead. As long as He is leading me and my focus is on Him, I know that whatever
happens I am in His hands.
—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program