Saturday, October 01, 2016

Religious Information Cannot Transform the Human Heart Into Christlikeness

Truck, in Monroe County

Dallas Willard writes

"The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed "into His likeness" by more information, or by infusions, inspirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now-common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency."

This typical Willard-quote explains why so many Christians live lives of spiritual mediocrity. What is needed is: to learn what it means to abide in Christ, like a branch is connected to a vine, with Jesus being the Vine and you being the branch.
The fundamental secret of caring for our souls is found in a verse like Psalms 16:8-9: 

“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely.”
Willard writes: "Our part in thus practicing the presence of God is to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him." 

As this happens day after day after year and after year, our trust is in a God who can morph our souls into the form of Christ. (Galatians 4:19)

My new book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.