Prof. Nikolay Pestov. “Way to True Joy”.
“Christ humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2,8). A man was created for free will, but does it mean that he is absolutely free in his wishes, intentions, decisions and deeds? Does he have a right for headstrongness and willfulness? No, the human will is restrained by God’s laws of the universe. God determined what Adam was allowed to do and what was prohibited.
According to the Holy Fathers obedience is the same thing as piety. So St. Anthony the Great explains: “To be pious is to fulfill the will of God, that means to know God”. The Holy Fathers say that the will is the only thing that really belongs to us, and anything else is given by God as a gift. Therefore the renunciation of the will values more than many other good deeds.
As elder Silouan of Mount Athos says: “Hardly anyone knows the mystery of obedience. The obedient man is great before God. He emulates Christ, Who gave us the image of obedience. The Lord loves the soul of the obedient, bringing it quiet and love. The spirit of obedience is necessary not only in monks but in everyone else, too. Everyone seeks peace and joy, but few people know that they are obtained through obedience. Even feats without obedience may lead to vanity”.