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God's Will and Life

“If civil authority receives its power from God, then the Roman government’s execution of Jesus is a sign that God disapproved of Jesus and His messianic claims. But then, there is Christ’s resurrection which reveals that Christ in fact is God’s chosen Messiah and Son, and that the actions of the Roman government and Jewish leaders was in fact opposed to God’s will. What becomes clear is that God was choosing an unusual way to accomplish His will and was showing that the normal way of looking at things, cannot apply when God is working His will.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“The story of Isaac blessing his son Jacob illustrates the intense meaning of what we might think of as “mere words.” I’ve often wondered: If Jacob deceived his father in order to receive his blessing, why couldn’t Isaac take back the blessing and bestow it on his older son Esau? Why couldn’t Isaac simply rescind his words? The answer to my question lies in the fact that God’s will is always accomplished—despite my human expectations, despite my sense of fairness. God knew the inner character of the two brothers. In His infinite wisdom, He chose Jacob to be the next patriarch. God knew Jacob’s heart and found him worthy of this calling instead of Esau, who had rightful ownership of the blessing as the firstborn….God’s will is always trustworthy, even when it does not coincide with my own will.” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)

“The purpose of all tribulation is healing-union with God. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His passion, crucifixion and death on the cross as St. Matthews account renders: “And going a little farther He fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." (Mat 26: 39). Christ made the choice He requires of us if we are to be His follower. When we follow God’s will, amidst all tribulation, and, Christ indwells in our hearts, we become a ‘living icon’ of that same life-giving Christ. Through us, all around us, can see Christ.” (Fr. George Morelli)

“…we get an insight into the way the Holy Spirit often directs our lives. The Spirit rarely sends an e-mail full of instructions about what we should do. It is rare to receive a vision of His plan. Rather, the initial sign of an upcoming change in the course of our lives comes with circumstances, discontent about one’s situation, a chance word of a friend or family member, or just an inner conviction that the Lord wants something else from us. We rarely know what the will of the Lord is at once. But the sense of a new direction starts with an unsettled feeling in our hearts that something is in the “offing.” As time goes on, what is on the distant horizon becomes clearer to us. We begin to grasp the will of God as we pray, ponder, test different possibilities, and remain open to surprises.” (Fr. Basil)

“God’s will is not something that we can list like a set of rules or instructions and then try to follow legalistically. That’s making it humanistic by reducing it to something we can deal with strictly intellectually….We come to understand God’s will for us through our hearts through continual prayer, repentance, obedience and humility born out of love for the Lord.” (Sacramental Living)

“The will of God is not a judicial imperative, it is an influx of life; it bestows existence and renews it when it goes astray. The will of God is, first of all, creation itself, the universe itself entirely borne up by the will-ideas, by the logoi, the sustaining words of the poet-God.” (Olivier Clement)

“God’s will is that all be saved, however, humans with free will can reject God’s love and salvation. God gives us free will and is willing to allow us to use it to choose our way to loving or rejecting our Creator and Savior… The will of God is life for us, both in this world and in the world to come. Just by being alive, we are already participating in God’s will. We can choose to conform our will to God’s which is life or to choose separation from God which is death.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Spiritual death…fills the entire life with ‘dying,’ and, being separation from God, makes man’s life solitude and suffering, fear and illusion, enslavement to sin and enmity, meaninglessness, lust and emptiness. It is this spiritual death that makes man’s physical death truly death.” (Father Alexander Schmemann)

“…we can be physically alive but spiritually dead… spiritual death is like the condition of a dead body. It is unresponsive to the Spirit. It can neither hear the truth of God nor do His will. Spiritual death is therefore, spiritual paralysis. Those who are in this state of lifelessness are “dead in trespasses and the ‘uncircumcision’ of their hearts” (OSB Colossians 2:13). Their sins hold them fast to the ways of the devil. They are bound to the inevitable judgment of God. And their souls remain forever outside the circle of God’s favor. Those who are spiritually dead are alien to God and strangers to His grace. They may have physical life, but their destiny is only the judgment of God and exclusion from the joy and blessings of His Presence. But those who are buried with Christ in baptism are raised with Him. He makes them “alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13). They were once dead in their sins. Now they are dead to their trespasses. Moreover, they are dead to the requirements of the Mosaic Law that were held against them (OSB Colossians 2:13-14).” (Fr. Basil)

“Every word or deed or thought which does not look to Christ looks completely to the adversary of Christ. For it is not possible for what is outside of light or life not to be completely in darkness or death. . . . The person outside of Christ rejects Him by what he thinks, does or says.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa)


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