"This is a call for us to reconsider how we have been approaching our life, in light of the fact that we now, in the presence of Jesus, have the option of living within the surrounding movements of God’s eternal purposes, of taking our life into his life." Dallas Williard
We lost a giant yesterday. Ironically, it would have really pissed him off to be referred to as a "giant" or any other title that would have implied he was different than the rest of us. He was far more interested in bringing the Kingdom to others than appointing himself king of one...inviting others into their kingship under their King. In that regard, he stands almost unchallenged among many of the contemporary leaders of his day.
He paced his life to allow extensive time for authentic relationships with other men and his God. Deep and slow moving water can carve mountains, but can almost be overlooked by the casual observer. I feel clumsy and inadequate even attempting to write about this man. More thick of tongue like Moses than the communicator Aaron, I feel like God has called me to be.
At a time when marriage and my very faith was failing, his masterpiece, "The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God", saved me. My legalistic and judgmental brand of Christianity was collapsing into itself...the deep insecurity that it intended to mask was no longer fooling anyone and was most painfully obvious to the man looking in the mirror. My leadership of the realm I had been granted was most characterized by control and self-protection. I hated myself, my life, and could not understand why my strict adherence to law, tip, and technique wasn't bringing any peace.
Worse, my wife was miserable and conflicted as well. How could she be anything but? Dallas cut through the lies of our enemy that would pin us down with the exhaustive mandate of sin management as our only measure. He removed the blinders that purported rest and reward only in eternity, while the glory of His intended Kingdom in the here and now, was left unclaimed.
With unveiled eyes, I next found, "The Rest of the Gospel: When the Partial Gospel Has Worn You Out" by Stone and Smith. Most powerfully, they reminded me that Romans 3:23 was followed by a comma and that Jesus was the antidote in 3:24...the One who turned the tables on 3:23. That, followed by an awakening of my masculine identity, authentic headship, leadership, and governance through Eldredge's writing, has determined a progressively different path for every step since.
My understanding of the Father, the opportunity for authentic relationship with him, making room for others in my life and heart, the understanding of the Kingdom of heaven being at hand...exploding all around me...can all be sourced to him. I often say that I am an inverse Abraham, a son of many fathers (Dr. Willard was certainly one of those).
Willard said, "I think that, when I die, it might be some time until I know it.". He lived a Kingdom life in the here and now and inspired others to it. Eternity is just a simple continuation of the life he has always known. He is not dead, he is simply more alive.