“Spiritual formation in Christ is accomplished, and the Great Commission fulfilled, as the regenerate soul makes its highest intent to live in the commandments of Christ and accordingly makes realistic plans to realize this intent by an adequate course of spiritual disciplines. Of course, no one can achieve this goal by themselves, but no one has to. God gives us others to share the pilgrimage, and we will be met by Christ in every step of the way. “Look, I am with you every instant,” is what Jesus said, and it is also what he is doing.
“…The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed “into his likeness” by more information, or by infusions, inspirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now-common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency.
“At the core of the human being is will, spirit, and heart. This core is reshaped, opening out to the reshaping of the whole life, only by engagement. First, engagement is to act with Christ in his example and his commands: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments,” he said, “and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another strengthener, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15-17). The engagement must come first, followed by the helper insofar as obedience is concerned; as we try, fail and learn, we engage with the spiritual disciplines. We add whole-life training to trying. We recognize that religious business-as-usual, the recommended routine for a “good” church member, is not enough to meet the need of the human soul. The problem of life is too radical for that to be the solution. We enter into activities that are mores suited to our actual life condition and that are adequate to transform the whole self under grace, allowing the intention to ive the commands of Christ to pass from will to deed.”
-p.76-77, “The Great Omission” by Dallas Willard [bold passages my emphasis]