Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.
(“Breathe on Me, Breath of God” by Edwin Hatch)
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’” (John 16:13–15 NLT)
There are some individuals who so embody humility that even when they are counted among the top echelon of subject matter experts, they consider themselves to still be a student rather than a teacher, recognizing how much they truly do not know. Dallas Willard was one such individual regarding spiritual formation. In a 2009 article for Radix Magazine that addressed how disciples of Jesus must live, Willard shared from his own journey rather than teaching from a position of authority, writing, “I am learning to do the things which Jesus explicitly said to do.” He goes on to say, “I must, through appropriate courses of action, become inwardly transformed by grace to become the kind of person—in my inmost thoughts, feelings, attitudes and directions of will—who will routinely do the kinds of things he said to do. I will then not be governed by anger, contempt or lust. And I will be able to bless those who curse me, love my enemies, and so forth, because I am one in whom the character and power of Christ has come to dwell through the processes of discipleship to Christ.”
The main point of Willard’s article is that it is the spiritual disciplines—modeled by Christ and His followers—that best attune our hearts, minds, and actions in such a way that they reflect Jesus and His Kingdom. It is not the disciplines themselves that properly align us to the ways of Christ, but it is through the Spirit, working through the disciplines, that we can become people who model Christ in our world. Through dialogue with God, select a spiritual discipline for God to use to breathe new life into your soul. Be sure to follow through with putting it into practice in the days and weeks to come.