Why do we need to know God’s will or the temptations of the enemy, and why is it that when something good, but doubtful, happens, one urges you to do it while another discourages you from doing it?
The enemy has the habit of hiding the truth and mixing good with evil. But why do we need to know the truth? God’s will in all our intentions is good, trustworthy, and evident. Not only in our good works, but even in our transgressions, God patiently endures and waits for our repentance. But why should we be aware of the enemy’s work? Usually, the enemy hinders and steers us away from doing what is good. However, if something that appears good on the outside troubles our mind, dispels the fear of God, and disrupts our peace, causing our hearts to become ill without cause, our wandering mind knows that this is the work and attack of the adversary. The enemy is the tempter and disturber of our minds in all our intentions. We should not fully trust the state of our hearts, but by discerning wisely, we will see if there is a lack of goodwill.
When our minds are bound to the enemy through thoughts and sadness, then we must completely abandon any thought and judgment because we will not know the truth until our mind is purified through prayer. Then, thoughts move in our minds like turbid water or wandering clouds, and our feelings toward everything can no longer be felt. Therefore, desiring to know the truth, let us dedicate ourselves to prolonged fervent prayer and beneficial deeds. During prayer, the enemy cannot hide the truth, so he loses his power. This way, you can verify your true faith in what you do.
Glory to our Lord forever. Amen.
Saint Paisios Velichkovsky