Tag Archive: Dallas Willard


Listen v5.7 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Leavening the Whole Lump The Spirit of God has this property — it increases good by adding to it more good. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560, copyright 2007 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Nothing to Talk About More recently the English philosopher and theologian John Baillie wrote, “Our knowledge of God rests on the revelation of his personal presence… Of such a presence it must be true that to those who have never been confronted with it argument is useless, while to those who have, it is superfluous.” Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
Love Trumps Every Other Card It would seem natural that those who exercise authority over others would be most fit to rule in God’s kingdom. Not so. He who is least shall be greatest in the kingdom of God. Submission is an act of respect and reverence; willing submission is an act of pure love — your will above my will. Therefore only those who humbly submit to others love well. Those in positions of authority find it difficult to love and respect others. Tom Van Hoogen
Behold Your God Stooping to Serve You In the sublime and twofold consciousness, we see Him unexpectedly rising up from supper; and for what purpose? To appear in His dignity? To display the splendor of His divine glory? To constrain His disciples to bow the knee in the dust before Him? One might imagine so; but no, He has something very different in view. Look, what means that? He lays aside His upper garments, takes a towel and girds Himself with it; pours water into a basin, bends down to the feet of the disciples, and begins to wash them in their turn, then to wipe them with the towel. What a spectacle!… They are to Him the spiritual bride, clothed with the sun; for they stand before Him arrayed in the royal robe of His righteousness.

O great and significant symbol! O powerful exposition of the words, I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister! O important testimony to that which is of value in His kingdom, and to that which is not! O impressive condemnation of all selfishness and self-exaltation in the children of men! O deeply affecting commendation of humility and self-denial, as the characteristics of His children, and amiable and ennobling instance of that love, which ought to animate us!

F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
Constructing the Intangible with the Tangible? Theology is the science of religion, an intellectual attempt to systematise the consciousness of God. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Beware of Right Desires with Wrong Motives If you desire any good, however spiritual it may be, let it be desired in such a manner that you be not disquieted if it is not granted you. Michael Molinos – The Spiritual Guide – circa 1675, copyright 1982 by Seed Sowers
Jesus, The Key that Unlocks All Mysteries When once one believes in a creed, one is proud of its complexity, as scientists are proud of the complexity of science. It shows how rich it is in discoveries. If it is right at all, it is a compliment to say that it is elaborately right. A stick might fit a hole or a stone a hollow by accident. But a key and a lock are both complex. And it a key fits a lock, you know it is the right key. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Revealing Signs of the Times “In the morning of our fathers,” says Bishop Burnett, “when a person came early to the door of his neighbor, and desired to speak with the master of the house, it was as common a thing for the servants to tell him with freedom — “My master is at prayer,” as it is now to say, “My master is not up.” Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Peering Into the Tabernacle for Glimpses And while you are before the Lord, hold your heart in his presence. How? This you also do by faith. Yes, by faith you can hold your heart in the Lord’s presence. Now, waiting before him, turn all your attention toward your spirit. Do not allow your mind to wander. If your mind begins to wander, just turn your attention back again to the inward parts of your being. You will be free from wandering — free from any outward distractions — and you will be brought near to God. The Lord is found only within your spirit, and the recesses of your being, in the Holy of Holies; this is where he dwells. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ – circa 16800; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
He is the Standard, Not We We are right when, and only when, we stand in the right position relative to God, and we are wrong so far and so long as we stand in any other position. Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Misplaced Pride of Death There was once a man who did not believe in resurrection. He was a very important person among a circle of atheists. After he died, the epitaph on his tombstone read: “Unbreakable tomb”. The tomb had been built with marble. Most surprisingly, that huge marble sarcophagus was one day split open. It so happened that an acorn had fallen into the crevice of the stones during construction. It gradually grew into a big oak tree, and eventually burst the tomb wide open. A tree has life, hence it can burst open a place of death. Life alone can conquer death. This is regeneration, this is resurrection. Watchman Nee – The Latent Power of the Soul, circa 1939, copyright 1972 by Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
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Listen v4.32 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
When Things Begin Clicking and Falling into Place I had found this hole in the world: the fact that one must somehow find a way of loving the world without trusting it; somehow one must love the world without being worldly. I found this projecting feature of Christian theology like a sort of hard spike, the dogmatic insistence that God was personal, and had made a world separate from Himself. The spike of dogma fitted exactly into the hole in the world it had evidently been made to go there and then the strange thing began to happen. When once these two parts of the two machines had come together, one after another, all the other parts fitted and fell in with an eerie exactitude. I could hear bolt after bolt over all the machinery falling into its place with a kind of click of relief. Having got one part right, all the other parts were repeating that rectitude, as clock after clock strikes noon. Instinct after instinct was answered by doctrine after doctrine. Or, to vary the metaphor, I was like one who had advanced into a hostile country to take one high fortress. And when that fort had fallen the whole country surrendered and turned solid behind me. The whole land was lit up. as it were, back to the first fields of my childhood. All those blind fancies of boyhood which in the fourth chapter I have tried in vain to trace on the darkness, became suddenly transparent and sane. I was right when I felt that roses were red by some sort of choice: it was the divine choice. I was right when I felt that I would almost rather say that grass was the wrong color than say it must by necessity have been that color: it might verily have been any other. My sense that happiness hung on the crazy thread of a condition did mean something when all was said: it meant the whole doctrine of the Fall. Even those dim and shapeless monsters of notions which I have not been able to describe, much less defend, stepped quietly into their places like colossal caryatides of the creed. The fancy that the cosmos was not vast and void, but small and cozy, had a fulfilled significance now, for anything that is a work of art must be small in the sight of the artist; to God the stars might be only small and dear, like diamonds. And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe s ship even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world.
But the important matter was this, that it entirely reversed the reason for optimism. And the instant the reversal was made it felt like the abrupt ease when a bone is put back in the socket. I had often called myself an optimist, to avoid the too evident blasphemy of pessimism. But all the optimism of the age had been false and disheartening for this reason, that it had always been trying to prove that we fit into the world. The Christian optimism is based on the fact that we do not fit into the world. I had tried to be happy by telling myself that man is an animal, like any other which sought its meat from God. But now I really was happy, for I had learnt that man is a monstrosity. I had been right in feeling things as odd, for I myself was at once worse and better than all things. The optimist s pleasure was prosaic, for it dwelt on the naturalness of everything; the Christian pleasure was poetic, for it dwelt on the unnaturalness of everyting in the light of the supernatural. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
You Must Be Led By Christ, Not Men Moreover if we are firmly gripped by a true picture of life with Jesus and are moving by experience deeper and deeper into its reality, we will be able, strongly but calmly, to resist the mistakes and abuses of religious authority. From the local congregation up to the highest levels of national and international influence, we hear people and groups claiming that they have been divinely guided as to what we are to do. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
When Abiding, You Get What You Ask For We enter the sacred chamber on our knees. We still our thoughts and words, and say, Lord, teach us to pray. Give us thy holy desires, and let our prayer be the very echo of thy will. Give us thy Spirit as our advocate within. Open our eyes to see our great high priest and advocate above, and help us so to abide in Him, and to have His Word so abiding in us, that we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Kiss of Life The friend who cleaves to his friend in the spirit of Christ is made one heart and soul with him (Acts 4:32). Ascending to the friendship of Christ through the stages of love, he is made one spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17) in a single kiss. The holy soul sighs for that kiss, saying, “Let him kiss me with the kiss of his mouth” (Song 1:1). Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Discerning Between Soul and Spirit When you go to prayer, you should deliver yourself wholly up into the hands of God with perfect resignation, making an act of faith, believing that you are in the divine presence, afterwards remaining in that holy repose with quietness, silence, and tranquility, and endeavoring for a whole day, a whole year, and your whole life to continue that first act of contemplation by faith and love… by this you will be undeceived and know what is the perfect and spiritual manner of prayer, and be advised what is to be done in internal recollection. You will know that to the end that love may be made perfect and pure, it is expedient to curtail the multiplication of sensible and fervent acts, the soul continuing quiet and resting in that inward silence. Because tenderness, delight, and sweet sentiments, which the soul experiences in the will, are not purely spiritual, but are acts blended with the sensibility of nature. Nor is it perfect love, but sensible pleasure, which distracts and hurts the soul. Miguel De Molinos – The Spiritual Guide, 1675 – excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Who Are You in Relationship With? Sin is not a creation, it is a relationship. The essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers

Listen v4.28 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
You Should Know Him By Now In this union of souls and the conscious delight and rest in one another that is the highest and most exalted relationship possible between two persons it is not right for one person to always tell the other person what to do. And so it is in our union with God, a person both loving and beloved. He does not delight in having to always explain what his will is, he enjoys it when we understand and act upon his will. Our highest calling and opportunity is to love him with all our being. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
Instrumental Teachings Many believe that God has blessed them because of some special relationship they enjoy. Not so. Very often God blesses men with resources — things, cunning, power, charisma, health because they are of use to His sovereign purpose. He accomplishes His purpose through all things — even the jawbone of a donkey. To believe you are someone special or that you have a special relationship with God because He uses you is to expose your own great folly and pride. You may just be the jawbone of a donkey or even some other part. To be used makes you an instrument not a Son. I have no particular relationship to my hoe but only to my children. Tom Van Hoogen
Pass on the Praise to the Provider When you do receive praise for something you have done, take it indifferently and return it to God. Reflect it back to God, the giver of the gift, the blesser of the action, the aid of the project. Always give God thanks for making you an instrument of his glory for the benefit of others. Jeremy Taylor – The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living, circa 1650; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Self-Abandonment This then is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free form confusion in order that my liberty may be always at the disposal of His will; to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; to cultivate an intellectual freedom from the images of created things in order to receive the secret contact of God in obscure love; to love all men as myself; to rest in humility and to find peace in withdrawal from conflict and competition with other men; to turn aside from controversy and put away heavy loads of judgment and censorship and criticism and the whole burden of opinions that I have no obligations to carry; to have a will that is always ready to fold back within itself and draw all the powers of the soul down from its deepest center to rest in silent expectancy for the coming of God, poised in tranquil and effortless concentration upon the point of my dependence on Him; to gather all that I am, and have, all that I can possibly suffer to do or be, and abandon them all to God in the resignation of a perfect love and blind faith and pure trust in God, to do His will. Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation, ©1961 by the Abbey of Gethsemani, Inc.
Does He Attend Your Church? Satan is always at church before the preacher is in the pulpit or a member is in the pew. He comes to hinder the sower, to impoverish the soil, or to corrupt the seed. He uses these tactics only when courage and faith are in the pulpit, and zeal and prayer are in the pew; but if dead ritualism or live liberalism are in the pulpit, he does not attend, because they are no danger to him. E. M. Bounds – Guide to Spiritual Warfare, circa 1880, copyright 1984 by Whitaker House
Honesty IS the Best Policy A fanatic is one who entrenches himself in invincible ignorance. Job will not accept anything that contradicts the facts he knows; he is not splenetic, he does not say God is cruel, he simply states the facts It looks as though God is rejecting me without any reason, all the facts go to prove this and I am not going to blink them. Job will not lay a flattering unction to his soul on the line of expediency. No man ever puts a stumbling-block in the way of others by telling the truth; to tell the truth is more honouring to God than to tell a lie. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
A Very Pressing Matter The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted from him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably. And when the man s laboring conscience tells him that he has done none of these things, but has from childhood been guilty of foul revolt against the Majesty in the heavens, the inner pressure of self-accusation may become too heavy to bear. A. W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy, © 1961 Aiden Wilson Tozer
Under New Ownership Before the Fall there was an earth; after the Fall there was a “world”; at the Lord’s return there will be a kingdom. Just as the world belongs to Satan so The Kingdom belongs to our Lord Jesus. Moreover it is the Kingdom that displaces and that will displace the world. Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
Shine a Light Along the Way There is an urgent need for good works in believers. As it is necessary that the sun shines every day, it is even more necessary that every believer lets his light shine before men. We have been created anew in Christ for this — to hold forth the Word of Life as lights in the world. Christ needs you urgently to let His light shine through you. The unsaved around you need your light if they are to find their way to God. God needs you to let His glory be seen through you. Just as a lamp functions to light up a room, every believer should function to light up the world. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House

Listen v4.15 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Think About It The peril is that the human intellect is free to destroy itself. Just as one generation could prevent the very existence of the next generation, all by entering a monastery or jumping into the sea, so one set of thinkers can in some degree prevent further thinking by teaching the next generation that there is no validity in any human thought…. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all…. The young skeptic says, “I have a right to think for myself.” But the old skeptic, the complete skeptic, says, “I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all.” There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
First Things First The outpouring of the blood of the Lamb of God had to take place before the outpouring of the Spirit could be bestowed. Only when all that the Old Testament taught about the blood was fulfilled could the dispensation of the Spirit begin. Andrew Murray – The Blood of Christ © 1935
The Time is Now. Now is the Time God is in this power as in the eternal now. If a man’s spirit were always united with God in this power, he would not age. For the now in which God made the first man and that now in which the last man shall cease to be, and that now I speak in, all are the same in God and there is but one now. Observe, this man dwells in one light with God, having no suffering and no sequence of time, but one equal eternity…. therefore nothing new comes to him from future things nor any accident, for he dwells in the now, ever new and without intermission. Such is the divine sovereignty dwelling in this power. Meister Eckhart – circa 1310; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Achieving External and Internal Alignment It may seem strange, but being in the will of God is very far removed from just doing what God wants us to do — so far removed, in fact, that we can be solidly in the will of God, and be aware that we are, without knowing God’s preference with regard to various details of our lives. Dallas Willard – Hearing God ©1984 InterVarsity Press
Continue to Work Out Your Salvation Settle down on this one thing, that Jesus came to save you, now, in this life, from the power and dominion of sin and to make you more than conqueror’s through His power. If you doubt this, search a Bible, and collect together every announcement or declaration concerning the purposes and object of his death on the cross. You will be astonished to find how full they are. Everywhere and always, His work is said to be to deliver us from our sins, from our bondage, from our defilement; and not a hint is given, anywhere, that this deliverance was to be only a limited and partial one with which Christians so continually try to be satisfied. Hannah Whitall Smith – The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875 © 1998 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Only Life, not Death, has Pain Your Father wastes no time by cutting into that which is already dead… He seeks to destroy your old nature. He can only accomplish this by cutting into that which is alive. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Death is a Power Struggle with Life There is no reality without struggling. If you are not called to wrestle, it is only because the wrestling is being done for you. Dr. Forsyth Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
The Work of the Word First, the habit of reading the Word of God daily, preferably in the morning. The New Testament is the inspired record of the Revelation the revelation is the person of Jesus Christ. He moves out of the pages of this Book and meets us with the impact of his person on our persons. That impact is cleansing. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. When you expose your all to his everything, then you submit yourself to a daily cleansing of the mind, of motive, of emotions. E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
The House of God on the Earth He is showing us the plan for a Christian church that is much more than an association of congenial friends to listen once a week to an intellectual discourse and musical entertainment and carry on by proxy a mechanism of Christian work; but rather a church that can be at once the mother and home of every form of help and blessing which Jesus came to give to lost and suffering men, the birthplace and the home of souls, the fountain of healing and cleansing, the sheltering home for the orphan and distressed, the school for the culture and training of God s children, the armory where they are equipped for the battle of the Lord and the army which fights those battles in His name. Such a center of population in this sad and sinful world! A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
Religion is Strange Fire In the matter of worship and sacrifice there must be a divine order. Aaron was the high priest in the day of Moses and the tabernacle. Nadab and Abihu, his sons, had ambitions of their own. They did not move to worship and sacrifice under the authority and order of God by waiting on their designated authority, their father. Instead they wanted to strike out and establish themselves independent of their father. Such is the personality and program of the modern church built upon religion. It has no authority to act independent of its Head, Christ, yet has the audacity and arrogance to establish its own rules and methods and ways of worship. Daily religion offers up strange fire and God wonders at their confusion and irreverent and blasphemous gatherings. Tom Van Hoogen
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