Some good words about spiritual formation from Dallas Willard…
Christian spiritual formation is focused entirely on Jesus. It’s goal is an obedience or conformity to Christ that arises out of an inner transformation accomplished through purposive interaction with the grace of God in Christ. Obedience is an essential outcome of Christian spiritual formation (John 13:34-35; 14:21).
Spiritual formation is, in practice, the way of rest for the wear and overloaded, of the easy yoke and the light burden (Matthew 11:28-30), of cleaning the inside of the cup and the dish (Matthew 23:26), of the good tree that cannot bear bad fruit (Luke 6:43). And it is the path along which God’s commandments are found to be not “heavy,” not “burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
But Christlikeness of the inner being is not a human attainment. It is, finally, a gift of grace.
(From Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard)