Born in 1935 in the small town of Buffalo, Missouri, Dallas Willard was a renowned American philosopher who discovered his love for books and philosophy early on.
Despite graduating college and becoming an ordained Baptist minister, Willard admitted ignorance about God and the soul, leading him to study philosophy in graduate school.
There, he identified a link between Jesus’s teachings and the timeless questions of philosophy.
Heeding a divine message, he pursued an academic career and, without applying, received an Associate Professorship at the University of Southern California in 1965.
Willard was a dedicated teacher who deeply influenced students and other scholars through his research and teaching.
His expertise included systematic metaphysics, ontology of concepts, language, thought, phenomenology, history of ethics and philosophy of religion.
Also, he translated works of German philosopher Edmund Husserl into English.
Willard’s unique blend of philosophy, theology, psychology and science allowed him to address diverse areas worldwide.
Emphasizing intentional living, he taught that spiritual exercises like prayer and service were vital to personal growth.
Willard’s impactful life inspired many of his students to become university professors, perpetuating his ideas.
His legacy lives on through numerous tributes and publications, reflecting the transformative influence he had on those he taught.
Let’s go through some of the best quotes by Dallas Willard.
Best Dallas Willard Quotes
Jesus is actually looking for people he can trust with his power. ~ Dallas Willard.
We are becoming who we will be-forever. ~ Dallas Willard.
As we mature in Christ, it is actually possible to outgrow fear. ~ Dallas Willard.
I’m practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word. ~ Dallas Willard.
There is no problem in human life that apprenticeship to Jesus cannot solve. ~ Dallas Willard.
Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort. ~ Dallas Willard.
One does not miss heaven by a hair, but by constant effort to avoid and escape God. ~ Dallas Willard.
Suppose our failures occur, not in spite of what we are doing, but precisely because of it. ~ Dallas Willard.
You can live opposite of what you profess, but you cannot live opposite of what you believe. ~ Dallas Willard.
I think that when I die, it might be some time until I know it. ~ Dallas Willard.
God’s address is at the end of your rope. ~ Dallas Willard.
We are built to live in the kingdom of God. It is our natural habitat. ~ Dallas Willard.
One of the hardest things in the world is to be right and not hurt other people with it. ~ Dallas Willard.
In Spiritual formation we are aiming at a character and life that is so shaped that the deeds of Christ routinely and easily come from what is inside. ~ Dallas Willard.
Famous Dallas Willard Quotes
Almost everything worth doing in human life is very difficult in its early stages and the good we are aiming at is never available at first, to strengthen us when we seem to need it most. ~ Dallas Willard.
The idea of having faith in Jesus has come to be totally isolated from being his apprentice and learning how to do what he said. ~ Dallas Willard.
Understanding is the basis of care. What you would take care of you must first understand, whether it be a petunia or a nation. ~ Dallas Willard.
It is the responsibility of every Christ-centered follower to carve out a satisfying life under the loving rule of God or else sin will start to look good. ~ Dallas Willard.
If we allow everything access to our mind, we are simply asking to be kept in a state of mental turmoil or bondage. For nothing enters the mind without having an effect for good or evil. ~ Dallas Willard.
If you don’t have a teacher you can’t have a disciple. ~ Dallas Willard.
The hardest thing about leadership is the intimacy it requires. ~ Dallas Willard.
The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon. ~ Dallas Willard.
Feelings are good servants, but they are disastrous masters. ~ Dallas Willard.
Top Dallas Willard Quotes
It would be of course a low voltage spiritual life in which prayer was chiefly undertaken as a discipline, rather than as a way of co-labouring with God to accomplish good things and advancing his Kingdom purposes. ~ Dallas Willard.
God inducts us into the eternal kind of life that flows through himself. He does this first by bringing that life to bear upon our needs, and then by diffusing it throughout our deeds – deeds done with expectation that he and his Father will act with and in our actions. ~ Dallas Willard.
In many cases, our need to wonder about or be told what God wants in a certain situation is nothing short of a clear indication of how little we are engaged in His work. ~ Dallas Willard.
Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by what they think, know, or believe. That is bound up with the central Augustinian claim that we are what we love. ~ Dallas Willard.
What is thinking? It is the activity of searching out what must be true, or cannot be true, in the light of the given facts or assumptions. ~ Dallas Willard.
When we pass through what we call death, we do not lose the world. Indeed, we see it for the first time as it really is. ~ Dallas Willard.
Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food. ~ Dallas Willard.
Play is the creation of value that is not necessary. ~ Dallas Willard.
A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in their life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do. ~ Dallas Willard.
The main thing God gets out of your life is not the achievements you accomplish. It’s the person you become. ~ Dallas Willard.
Popular Dallas Willard Quotes
The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low. ~ Dallas Willard.
Spiritual formation in Christ moves us toward a total interchange of our ideas and images for his. ~ Dallas Willard.
If you have a group of people come together around a vision for real discipleship, people who are committed to grow, committed to change, committed to learn, then a spiritual assessment tool can work. ~ Dallas Willard.
We Christians should be aware that there’s something at stake in cultural participation that we wouldn’t have been concerned about if all we did was worry about the messages in culture. ~ Dallas Willard.
The greatest challenge the church faces today is to be authentic disciples of Jesus. ~ Dallas Willard.
When we receive God’s gift of life by relying on Christ, we find that God comes to act with us as we rely on him in our actions. ~ Dallas Willard.
There is no avoiding the fact that we live at the mercy of our ideas This is never more true than with our ideas about God. ~ Dallas Willard.
The first act of love is always the giving of attention. ~ Dallas Willard.
Hearing God is about the very specific issue of what it means to live with guidance in our life. ~ Dallas Willard.
And the God who hears is also the one who speaks. He has spoken and is still speaking. Humanity remains his project, not its own, and his initiatives are always at work among us. ~ Dallas Willard.
You can no more trust Jesus and not intend to obey him than you could trust your doctor and your auto mechanic and not intend to follow their advice. If you don’t intend to follow their advice, you simply don’t trust them. Period. ~ Dallas Willard.
Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. ~ Dallas Willard.
The more we pray, the more we think to pray, and as we see the results of prayer-the responses of our Father to our requests-our confidence in God’s power spills over into other areas of our life. ~ Dallas Willard.
Reality is what you can count on. ~ Dallas Willard.
Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone. ~ Dallas Willard.
If our gospel does not free the individual up for a unique life of spiritual adventure in living with God daily, we simply have not entered fully into the good news that Jesus brought. ~ Dallas Willard.
Great Dallas Willard Quotes
The will is transformed by experience, not information. ~ Dallas Willard.
As Augustine say clearly, God being God offends human pride. If God is running the universe and has first claim on our lives, guess who isn’t running the universe and does not get to have things as they please. ~ Dallas Willard.
Discipline, strictly speaking, is activity carried on to prepare us indirectly for some activity other than itself. We do not practice the piano to practice the piano well, but to play it well. ~ Dallas Willard.
Many Christians were suddenly prepared to look at traditional methods of spiritual formation. They could not help but see that spiritual growth and vitality stem from what we actually do with our lives, from the habits we form, and from the character that results. ~ Dallas Willard.
God does not ‘love’ us without liking us… ~ Dallas Willard.
Theology is a part of our lives. It’s unavoidable. A thoughtless theology guides our lives with just as much force as a thoughtful and informed one. ~ Dallas Willard.
Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you. ~ Dallas Willard.
Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. ~ Dallas Willard.
Our failure to hear His voice when we want to is due to the fact that we do not in general want to hear it, that we want it only when we think we need it. ~ Dallas Willard.
The effect of standing before God by welcoming him before us will be the transformation of our entire life. ~ Dallas Willard.
Everyone gets a spiritual formation. It’s like education. Everyone gets an education; it’s just a matter of which one you get. ~ Dallas Willard.
Paul followed Jesus by living as He lived. And how did he do that? Through activities and ways of living that would train his whole personality to depend upon the risen Christ as Christ trained Himself to depend upon the Father. ~ Dallas Willard.
Powerful Dallas Willard Quotes
The true saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on takeoff. ~ Dallas Willard.
My central claim is that we can become like Christ by doing one thing – by following him in the overall style of life he chose for himself. ~ Dallas Willard.
Projects of personal transformation rarely if ever succeed by accident, drift or imposition. ~ Dallas Willard.
Kingdom obedience is kingdom abundance. ~ Dallas Willard.
God’s aim in human history is the creation of an inclusive community of loving persons, with himself included as its primary sustainer and most glorious inhabitant. ~ Dallas Willard.
And God has set up prayer in such a way that, if you want to explain it away, you can. That’s the human mind. God set it up like that for a reason, which is this: God ordained that people should be governed in the end by what they want. ~ Dallas Willard.
To withhold our bodies from religion is to exclude religion from our lives. ~ Dallas Willard.
At the center of care for the heart is the love of God. This must be the joyful aim of our life. ~ Dallas Willard.
Why doesn’t God just force us to do the things he knows to be right? It is because that would lose precisely that which he has intended in our creation: freely chosen character. ~ Dallas Willard.
The key, then, to loving God is to see Jesus, to hold him before the mind with as much fullness and clarity as possible. It is to adore him. ~ Dallas Willard.
The people to whom we minister and speak will not recall 99 percent of what we say to them, but they will never forget the kind of persons we are. ~ Dallas Willard.
Inspiring Dallas Willard Quotes
It’s very difficult to be right about something without hurting someone with it. ~ Dallas Willard.
Happiness in reality consists only in rest, and not in being stirred up. This instinct conflicts with the drive to diversion, and we develop the confused idea that leads people to aim at rest through excitement. ~ Dallas Willard.
Most problems in contemporary churches can be explained by the fact that members have never decided to follow Christ. ~ Dallas Willard.
Spiritual people are not those who engage in certain spiritual practices; they are those who draw their life from a conversational relationship with God. ~ Dallas Willard.
The basic question ‘will I obey Christ ‘s teaching?’ is rarely taken as a serious issue. For example, to take one of Jesus’ commands, that is relevant to contemporary life, I don’t know of any church that actually teaches a church how to bless people who curse them, yet this is a clear command. ~ Dallas Willard.
A leader enables people to love and honor the role they play in the organization or group they are part of. ~ Dallas Willard.
You cannot trust Jesus in areas in which you don’t think him competent. ~ Dallas Willard.
Few people arise in the morning as hungry for God as they are for cornflakes or toast and eggs. ~ Dallas Willard.
Spiritual formation cannot, in the nature of the case, be a ‘private’ thing, because it is a matter of whole-life transformation. You need to seek out others in your community who are pursuing the renovation of the heart. ~ Dallas Willard.
Prayer is talking with God about what we are doing together. ~ Dallas Willard.
Inspirational Dallas Willard Quotes
The open secret of many Bible believing Churches is that a vanishingly small percentage of those talking about prayer and Bible reading are actually doing what they are talking about. ~ Dallas Willard.
The Spiritual disciplines are wisdom and not righteousness. ~ Dallas Willard.
Obedience to Christ is the easy way, take my yoke… ~ Dallas Willard.
Study without worship is also dangerous, and the people of Jesus constantly suffer from its effects, especially in academic settings. ~ Dallas Willard.
Jesus is the human face on the kingdom of God. He makes it concretely accessible. ~ Dallas Willard.
What a child does when not told what to do is the final indicator of what and who that child is. ~ Dallas Willard.
The union Christ had with the Father was the greatest that we can conceive of in this life-if indeed we can conceive of it. ~ Dallas Willard.
Today we are apt to downplay or disregard the importance of good thinking to strong faith; and some, disastrously, even regard thinking as opposed to faith. ~ Dallas Willard.
Spiritual formation for the Christian basically refers to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ himself. ~ Dallas Willard.
Motivational Dallas Willard Quotes
When the will is enslaved to a desire, it will in turn enslave the mind. ~ Dallas Willard.
The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become. That’s what you will take into eternity. ~ Dallas Willard.
Knowing the ‘right answers’ does not mean we believe them. To believe them means to act as though they’re true. ~ Dallas Willard.
We are unceasing spiritual beings with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe. ~ Dallas Willard.
We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true. ~ Dallas Willard.
What we can accomplish as good as it may be does not compare to what God can accomplish. ~ Dallas Willard.
The cautious faith that never saws off a limb on which it is sitting, never learns that unattached limbs may find strange unaccountable ways of not falling. ~ Dallas Willard.
Grace is not opposed to effort; it’s opposed to earning. ~ Dallas Willard.
So these were the 103 top Dallas Willard quotes and sayings on discipleship, prayer, joy, soul, grace and heaven.