Converting Our Will

At the beginning of His public ministry Jesus challenged us to deny our will to follow Him The entire Christian journey rests in giving our will over to God’s will. We simply cannot follow Christ into heaven so long as we focus on our will over His.

Being obedient to God saves us. Being obedient to ourselves sends us down the path of destruction. Eve followed her will and brought death into humanity. Christ followed the Father’s will and brought us back to life.

The Church has been plagued with a ‘will problem’ ever since Adam and Eve. This explains the roughly 45,000 denominations of Christianity in the world today. It is what I call the Protestant Dilemma. If I don’t like First Ave Christian Church’s teachings, I start Second Ave Church, etc.

It is a dilemma because Christ teaches us to deny our will, but we continue to establish churches based solely on our will. The answer is to convert our will, not just our practices. If we maintain the idea that we will only believe what we want to believe, then we are not following Christ.

Even the ancient Church struggled with this dilemma, but through the grace of obedience the Church survived by being loyal to the Holy Apostles. The first Council held in Jerusalem (Acts 15) took place because some wanted one thing and others wanted another.

Today the Church commemorates Saint Theodore the Sanctified who from a young age lived in total humility and obedience to his spiritual father. At his death, mourning could be heard at a distance, he was loved so much.

Be Transfigured Ministries is dedicated to helping people Live A New Life In Christ through the Orthodox Christian way of life. Our daily blog and weekly sermons reinforce not only the teachings of the Church, but strict obedience to a spiritual father.

Many in the Ortho sphere, often called Orthrobros, are fixated on the Holy Canons of the Church. In their fixation, they forget one important part of Orthodox lifestyle. We are not obedient to the Rudder; we are obedient to a spiritual father, one spiritual father.

If we enter the Church picking and choosing what we believe and what we follow, rather than being obedient to the Church through our spiritual father, then we are still Protestant. We may worship with icons and incense, but in our ideology, we are still Protestant.

If you want to be Orthodox then you must give up your will to the Church through a spiritual father. This is not an easy process. It requires humility along with uncomfortable obedience. We must be willing to change our beliefs to conform to the Church, or we haven’t converted.

There are some warning signs you haven’t converted your will. Do you find yourself saying, “I don’t agree with the priest. The Holy Canons say….” This is a strong indication you are still Protestant in your ideology. The priest may indeed be wrong, but so could you be wrong.

Do you ‘float from priest to priest’ for Holy Confession? The tradition of Spiritual Father requires a single spiritual father to whom we are obedient. It is a relationship of mutual free will obedience. Seeking spiritual guidance from ‘this priest’ or ‘that priest’ until we hear what we want to hear means our ideology is still Protestant.

Adhering strictly to the Holy Canons is not the same as strict obedience to our spiritual father. It is the bishops who have the responsibility to interpret and ‘enforce’ the Holy Canons, not us as individuals. If we are ‘making up’ our own interpretation, then our ideology is still Protestant.

If you realize you haven’t converted your will, I encourage you to make an appointment with your spiritual father for Holy Confession and tell him everything. Don’t hold back ‘just because’ you want a certain outcome. You may be uncomfortable, but your humble obedience will lead you to Christ.

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