The Importance of the Book of Psalms According to Dallas Willard

The power of the Book of Psalms

Still today the Old Testament Book of Psalms gives great power for faith and life. This is simply because it preserves a conceptually rich language about God and our relationships to Him. If you bury yourself in Psalms, you emerge knowing God and understanding life.

And that is by no means a matter, as some suggest, of the “poetic effect” of the great language. No mere emotional lift is involved. What makes the language great and provides the emotional lift is chiefly its picture of God and of life. We learn from the Psalms how to think and act in reference to God. We drink in God and God’s world from them. They provide a vocabulary for living Godward, one inspired by God Himself. They show us who God is, and that expands and lifts and directs our minds and hearts.

From The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. Copyright © 1997 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Trusting God — Dallas Willard

What does it take to trust God?

If you want to know whether you truly believe in God, you have to ask yourself what you really trust. This includes when you get up in the morning, when you deal with problems in your family, and when you deal with your business or your church. Many folks who profess to believe in God, act from disbelief. They may believe that Jesus died for their sins and when they die they will go where he is, but as far as an operational belief in God here and now, they don’t have one. This is partly due to the way we’re educated in our society and in our world and partly due simply to the massive presence of natural reality. Psalm 42:10 expresses something of the despair of the individual who is crying out for God, and God does not appear. You’ll remember those words: “As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, ‘Where is your God?’ ” The massive presence of the physical, natural world seems to stand between us and God. We have to deal with all those physical things and processes that are all around us, and we are tempted to deal with them as if it were merely a matter of our own strength. I want to tell you that it is not an easy thing to count on God. It’s easy for us to print on our money, “In God We Trust,” but what do you believe that means for us as a nation? What does it mean to trust God? Do you think our nation really does trust God? How many people do you meet in a day who really trust God? In the decision processes at work or at home, in your neighborhood, in the quietness of your own room, are you able to really trust God?

From The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Discipline Of Being Overwhelmed

Some gorgeous writing here from Seth Lewis…….

sethlewis.ie

Beside the road, the grass was parted into a path created by the feet of those who had walked there before me. I didn’t know the destination, but I had time, so I decided to follow the lead of those feet and find out where they were going.

It was a good decision. The path took me over a rise and around a corner, then sloped down gradually with a panoramic view of the ocean in front of me. On the right, the ground sloped down sharply towards a rocky cove where people were swimming. On the left, there was no ground. Only a sheer cliff, and the waves far below.

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A Definition of “Disciple” From Dallas Willard

The student resembles the master

Spiritual formation in Christ is the process through which disciples or apprentices of Jesus take on the qualities or characteristics of Christ himself, in every essential dimension of human personality. The overall orientation of their will, the kinds of thoughts and feelings that occupy them, the “automatic” inclinations and “readinesses” of their body in action, the prevailing posture of their relations toward others, and the harmonious wholeness of their soul—these all, through the formative processes undergone by his disciples, increasingly come to resemble the personal dimensions of their master. “A pupil is not above his teacher,” Jesus said, “but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

How Should Christians Face an Anxiety Disorder? Some Counter-Intuitive Advice

Here is the main takeaway for me from this article: “God is using (and will use) your anxiety disorder to teach you amazing things about your own weakness, your quivering need for him at every moment, and the powerful life that you can receive when you’re bowed in submission to him. Your anxiety disorder, in other words, serves a critical spiritual purpose.” From Pierce Taylor Hibbs……………….

How Should Christians Face an Anxiety Disorder? Counter Intuitive Advice

Kingdom Living from Dallas Willard

Faith in God is Returned in Faith

God nevertheless pursues us redemptively and invites us individually, every last one of us, to be faithful to Him in the little we truly “have say over.” There, at every moment, we live in the interface between our lives and God’s kingdom among us. If we are faithful to him here, we learn his cooperative faithfulness to us in turn. We discover the effectiveness of His rule with us precisely in the details of day-to-day existence.

From The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. Copyright © 1997 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

THE PECULIAR IDOL OF PERSONAL OPINION

With the rise of the Internet and social media, we have seen the growth of a number of negative trends and factors in society, one of which is the glorification of personal opinion. This article makes the cogent point that our opinions about things have become new idols for us. Here is a takeaway for me: “It’s possible that never in the history of the world have human beings felt more entitled to their own feelings and opinions…. Social media has filled in the gap between fool and expert, and it is filling the world with foolishness disguised as expertise.” From Your Mom has a Blog…….