You can experience life without lack right now. Remember Christ is here with you.
That’s what I told myself a few minutes ago when I was buried under a stack of stress on my desk. Emails. Admin. Unfinished projects. Decisions and more decisions. My body was tense, my breathing was shallow, and my soul was agitated. I had lost my sense of the sweetness and sufficiency of the Lord.
So I stepped away from my desk, stretched my arms to the sky, filled my lungs with the air of heaven, and smiled big, “Ahh, yes! ‘The nearness of God is my good!’” (Psalm 73:28)
This is the message in Dallas Willard’s new book, Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23.
You might wonder how Dallas wrote a book when he died on May 8, 2013. The book is mostly a transcript from an eight-week series of talks he gave to a few people in a small church in 1991. Thankfully, the pastor, Larry Burtoft, recorded the talks and turned them into this book.
I read Life Without Lack out loud to Kristi. It’s vintage Dallas Willard. It’s clearly his words and his spirit. This morning I was re-reading my favorite portions and my heart was warmed. I felt like I was with Dallas again…
“The glorious, eternal, all-sufficient omnipotent Creator of the universe whose greatness surpasses anything we could ever imagine. Unlimited in resources, just as he is unlimited in love, he is the Good Shepherd who generously provides for our every need.” (p. xvii)
I miss talking with Dallas. In the years since he died there have been so many things I’ve wanted to share with him, so many questions I’ve wanted to ask him. Most of all I wish I could pray with him again.
Without prayer we get defeated by our stressor and hurts, we get dehydrated in this dry, dusty world (Psalm 63:1).
Thankfully, Dallas’ opening prayer in Life Without Lack reminds me that right now Jesus is present to welcome me into the Kingdom of the Heavens. Let’s pray it together. Imagine Dallas’ huge, soft hands taking hold of your hands. Hear his confident voice. Catch hold of his soaring faith in the reality of the risen Christ:
Dallas Willard’s “Life Without Lack” Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ…
We are so thankful you said, “Fear not, little flock,
for it is your Father’s good pleasure
to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
We are so thankful for the ease
with which you walked upon the earth,
the generosity and kindness you showed to people,
the devotion with which you cared for those
who were out of the way and in trouble,
the extent to which you even loved your enemies
and laid down your life for them…
We believe this is a life for us,
a life without lack… the sufficiency of your Father…
the fullness of life… poured through you…
You have promised [to give us] that same love,
that same life, that same joy, that same power…
Lord, slip up on us today.
Get past our defenses, our worries, our concerns.
Gently open our souls, and speak your Word into us.
We believe you want to do it,
and we wait for you to do it now.
In your name, amen. (p. xiii)