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Soul Keeping

July 28, 2015

“Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

These were the words given to John Ortberg by Dallas Willard. They were the foundation on which Ortberg launched into a journey to discover a healthy soul life.

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You is a collection of reflections on his conversations with and mentorship by Dallas Willard. Ortberg blends in decades of pastoral experience into this work.

For me the book started solely with some “scholarly” definitions of the soul, but soon branched into loads of practical application.

Ortberg tackles rest, gratitude, works and grace, as well as the disappointing seasons known as the “dark night of the soul.”

Here are some of the best quotes from the book: (JO=John Orterg, DW=Dallas Willard)

Dwell

June 24, 2015

I am often asked, “If God knew how things were going to turn out, why did He create the world?”

There are lots of token answers. But the most satisfying answer I am settling on more and more is profound in its simplicity.

God wanted to dwell with us.

When God created the world and it was perfectly good, He placed himself in proximity to Adam and Eve; dwelling in the Garden with them.

We know this utopia did not last long. Adam and Eve broke the one commandment they were given. Sin, death, and separation from God entered the picture. They broke the planet. Things were no longer how God created them to be.

But this did not change the heart of God to pursue His people.

Fast forward hundreds of years to the time of the Exodus. God wanted to deliver his people out of slavery to dwell with Him in the wilderness.

Life WITH God

April 19, 2014

I’ve spent a lot of time and space recently exploring ways Not to relate to God.

  • We explored the false pretense saying God is required to bless us for right lifestyle.
    – Truth, although powerful and needed, can actually be a substitute for relationship with God.
  • The consumer God mindset, where He becomes your WalMart was analyzed.
  • And we contemplated how being active and living on mission can subtlety replace God in our lives.

All of these posts and explorations have been inspired by the most thought provoking book I have read in a long time.

With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God by Skye Jethani shows how the change of a simple preposition can affect our walk with God.

  • When we live Under God it says we have power to demand blessings based on our lifestyle.

The most common view of life with God today is a picture of us living under divine rules in order to avoid calamity.

Follow the rules, live right, and God will bless us. Right?

We want God on our side. In simple terms, we want to move his hand or manipulate him.

A God who controls everything gives us rules, so we try to exert control over him in order to reduce uncertainty.

We do this by:
1. Rituals (religious practices which appease God)
2. Morality (certain behaviours to be done or avoided)

Its like the great exchange.  I give you worship and righteous behavior, you give me __________.

It’s a formula: I give you this, you give me that.

We motivate people towards sexual abstinence telling them, “If you don’t have sex you will have better grades, sports success, and have amazing sex when married.”