The With-God Life

Karen Bables

READ : John 15:1-8

I am the vine; you are the branches. (v. 5)

Spiritual formation has also been called the “with-God” life. The goal of our with-God life is personal transformation that leads to the transformation of the world around us. The notion of being spiritually formed seems radical to those have seen the Christian life as only intellectual assent to the lordship of Jesus and adherence to ethical rules and moral living. The discipleship Jesus requires is costly, but as Dallas Willard has said, the cost of nondiscipleship is even more costly. It costs the abundant life that Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10).

In his book Practicing the Way of Jesus, Mark Scandrette notes that when people hear about becoming like Jesus, they often begrudgingly think or ask, “What do I have to do?” or “How far do I have to go?” or “How much do I have to give up?” Yet he says, “A better question is, ‘How free and alive am I willing to be?’” (p. 47).

If you want to live a life of joy, not happiness; Spirit-filled risk, not boredom; faith, not anxiety; hope, not cynicism; empowerment, not control; if you want life to be a calling, gather some friends and create a vision. Commit together to intentional spiritual formation. Practice the spiritual exercises that will keep you attached to the Vine. Create an atmosphere of trust and accountability. Jesus says that this behavior will glorify his Father because you will bear much fruit—especially love, the mark of true discipleship.


Holy Spirit, breathe into me the passion to live like Jesus!