Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 5/9

God's plan of redemption grinds to a halt as hearts that should be 'simple and transparent through a constant devotion to God' become hearts 'chaotically duplicitous and confused, the playing field of pride and fear'.

Transforming Will and Character

"A will transformed into Christ likeness is single-minded and joyous in devotion to God and his will"
(Willard 2002:111)

Willard, D(. 2002) Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ

This is where Spiritual Formation cuts to the core of Mission - the reason for our calling - when our inner life is so formed that this devotion saturates every atom of our being and governs our every response.

Corrupt hearts squeeze and spit out the seat of 'joyous devotion' as they become dominated by self, self promotion, self-absorption self-importance, selfishness, vanity and ego however well disguised. God'’s plan of redemption grinds to a halt as hearts that should be 'simple and transparent through a constant devotion to God' become hearts 'chaotically duplicitous and confused, the playing field of pride and fear'.

Dallas Willard points out:-
"Manipulation, deception and malice replace transparency, sincerity and goodwill, as exaltation of self replaces submission and service to God. In modern thought sincerity is merely self-deception." (2002:112)
Perhaps it is only in a heart of purity, (if defined in the context of on-growing spiritual maturity) that a 'duplicitous spirituality' is recognised. That only in a heart of purity that 'dishonesty, deceitfulness, two-facedness' aches with regret. Perhaps only in a heart of purity do we recognise and root out that 'hope to win our arguments, hope not to give ground, to build up our pedestals on which we feel untouchable'. Perhaps only in a heart of purity is there that discomfort with the need for 'our opinion to count; our viewpoint to be heard'; that desire 'to influence, sway, pressure people to our way of thinking.'

Willard helpfully finishes up by pointing to such a heart of purity, spiritual maturity, and adulthood being dominated by:-

surrender of our will to God we consent to his supremacy in all things.
abandonment of self will no longer holding back any part of themselves.
contentment with that will desiring nothing but that will.
intelligent, energetic participation in accomplishing God's will in the world as we recognising our essential part.

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Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 1/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 2/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 3/9
Dallas Willard on Spiritual Formation... 4/9

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