God has graciously brought this book into my hands at this season of my life. There are different types of books that I enjoy reading, but God sovereignly directed me to Dallas Willard’s book, which I am thankful. As I start off, I will make a bold statement and say that this is probably one of the best books on the topic of spiritual formation. I am not the only one with this opinion and assessment.
Willard says so many familiar things in a fresh way that it really challenged me to think differently about discipleship, spiritual disciplines, and becoming more Christ-like. He states, “The human spirit is an inescapable, fundamental aspect of every human being; and it takes on whichever character it has form the experiences and the choices that we have lived through or made in our past. That is what it means for it to be ‘formed.’”
So many of our hearts have been “formed” by the things that we have gone through in our lives, but this is where the power of the Gospel comes in. When we surrender our lives to Christ and give Him permission to rule and reign, He will start transforming our hearts into the likeness of Christ.
Willard addresses the various aspect of a human being and he talks about how the heart, mind, will and even social relations need to be radical transformed. It is not the usual approach about praying harder or reading more Bible.
The book was hard to put down. At every turn of the page, there was some new insight to a familiar principle or situation. This book inspired me and reminded me of the importance of spiritual formation and how growing in Christ and seeing Christ-likeness takes not only time but devotion and commitment to the process. But above all, it is the grace of God.
Willard says, “It is the central point of this book that spiritual transformation only happens as each essential dimension of the human being is transformed to Christlikeness under the direction of a regenerate will interacting with constant overtures of grace from God.”