What was the reason why God gave the commandments? Wasn’t it for our improvement? By accomplising God’s commandments, we practise virtue and acquire the health of our soul.
`The practise of virtue –says abba Isaac – means to keep the commandments of God.`
Abba Isaac says:
The man needs a brave and big heart so that he can keep the commandments of God.
It’s true. For keeping the divine commandments we need courage, bravery and watchfulness. That’s why you have to find out what is it that you lack and what God wants from you; you should examine what you did and what you had to do but you didn’t. Say for yourself: Fine, I am content with what I do, but is Christ content as well? And fight to accomplish the will of God. `For the words of Your lips I kept severe ways` says the Holy Scripture. Value has virtue that you gain in freedom, without constraint. The man must perceive virtue as a necessity and then endeavour to gain it.
It is not God who needs to see us fulfilling His will, but it’s us who need to fulfill it for getting rid of our debased nature. All the strife of the believer must have as aim the accomplishment of the divine commandments. When the man tries to fulfill the will of God, he gets close to Him and then without asking it, he receives the divine grace, meaning that he takes water right from the spring.
Source: Pious Saint Paissios the Athonite, Passions and Virtues, Evanghelismos Publishing House, p. 152.