John Ortberg has just recently released his newest book, The Me I Want to Be and it is about the shaping of our souls, which he says is the most important thing ever – and pastors are entrusted with it. Only God knows what our true potential is and he’s more concerned that we meet it than we are. And the reality is, we’re being spiritually formed whether you’re doing anything or not. How are we formed? Grace.
Grace isn’t just for salvation, it is how we live. Ortberg quoted Dallas Willard (and Willard repeated it in their interview): “Saints run on grace more than sinners ever will.” Ortberg’s point at the closing lab session was that the River of God (Jn. 7.38-39) is always running and we just need to step into it.
This seems to be through spiritual disciplines, but Ortberg says that disciples are hand-crafted, not mass-produced. He suggests Monvee as a way to get your individual diagnosis of what you need. When you flourish, you become more the ‘You’ you’re intended to be.
The next day, Dallas Willard was interviewed by Ortberg before he was given the Catalyst West Coast lifetime achievement award. Some highlights…
Q: What ahs the church not been getting right?
A: Problem is the message. Jesus invites us through faith to live in the Kingdom now.
Q: What is Jesus’ gospel?
A: How to get into heaven before you die. We have to learn to live with God in charge now because the Kingdom is in action now as God is gracious towards us.
Random note: “Grace is God acting in your life to accomplish what you can’t accomplish on your own.”
Q: Why do disciplines matter? How do they relate to grace?
· Grace doesn’t make us passive.
· Grace isn’t opposed to effort; it is opposed to earning.
· Do things within your power to enable you to do things you’re unable to do on your own now by direct effort. Disciplines are training vs. trying.
· Make space for God to act.
Q: How do I spiritually grow?
A: Do the next good thing you know to do.