Spiritual formation starts with a choice. We have to decide that we want to change, that we no longer want to tolerate our current way of life. Change doesn’t happen magically, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, change is something that we have to be intentional about doing. We need to make the decision to leave our old lives behind, and pursue a brand new life.
The revolution of Jesus is in the first place and continuously a revolution of the human heart or spirit. It did not and does not proceed by the means of the formation of social institutions and laws, the outer forms of our existence, intending that these would then impose a good order of life upon people who come under their power. Rather, his is a revolution of character, which proceeds by changing people from the inside through ongoing personal relationship to God in Christ and one another. It is one that changes their ideas, beIiefs, feelings, and habits of choice, as well as their bodily tendencies and social relations. It penetrates to the deepest layers of their soul.
Dallas Willard, The Revolution of the a Heart, p. 15
Dallas Willard called this choice to leave our old life behind the “revolution of Jesus.” In other words spiritual formation is the result of repentance.
Repentance is nothing less than defection from our old way of living, a way of living that has held us in bondage. In repentance we defecting from the kingdom of darkness.
In our desire for a new life, we have realized that no longer want to live in rebellion against God. Instead of working against God, we want to join in the work God is doing. Our desire is to help bring restoration and redemption into the world, rather than corruption and pollution.
Through sin we aligned ourselves with Satan, and we have lived in open rebellion against a God. Repentance is severing our ties with Satan and his kingdom, and declaring our alliegance to a God and His Kingdom. This action turns our hearts over to God, so they can be healed and be made whole.