What Life in the Spirit is Like

April 17, 2009
Wheaton College Chapel

Dallas delivered this chapel message at Wheaton College in 2009 while on campus participating in the conference "Life in the Spirit, Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective." 


Life in the Spirit

Dallas sheds light on what it means to lead a life filled with the spirit, emphasizing the power of Jesus Christ and the significant role of the Holy Scriptures in shaping our daily existence. He challenges listeners to seek first the Kingdom of God, assuring that such pursuit aligns our desires with God's will and leads to divine provision and guidance. With a focus on humility, Dallas encourages embracing our limitations and depending wholly on God, offering a transformative perspective on how true exaltation comes from submitting to God's mighty hand. 

Life in the Spirit


  • Understanding Spiritual Life: Dallas begins by emphasizing the spiritual life as rooted in the power, motivations, and character of Jesus Christ, extending to the presence of God the Father and the Holy Spirit in one's life. He defines a spiritual life as one lived from the Kingdom of God, powered by the resurrected Christ, and accessible to anyone who places their trust in Jesus.
  • Seeking First the Kingdom of God: Focusing on Matthew 6:33, Dallas explains that seeking the Kingdom of God should be preeminent in life. Seeking does not simply mean looking, but actively pursuing God’s presence and action everywhere and at all times. 
  • Spiritual Priorities: Dallas emphasizes the importance of setting spiritual priorities. He explains that what we seek fundamentally shapes who we are, and by seeking God’s kingdom first, we align our lives with divine purposes rather than mere personal or worldly ambitions.
  • Role of Scripture in Spiritual Formation: Dallas stresses the role of Scripture in spiritual life, particularly highlighting Joshua 1:8 and the necessity of meditation on the Word. He links spiritual prosperity and success to continual engagement with and obedience to Scripture, which directs a believer’s actions according to God’s will.
  • Humility and Dependence on God: Finally, Dallas discusses the virtue of humility in the Christian life, as taught in 1 Peter 5:5-7. He describes humility as recognizing one's limitations and depending wholly on God. He presents humility not as passivity, but as an acknowledgment of God’s ultimate authority and action in every aspect of life.