Life Lesson: The Goal of Life
The goal towards which the convert should direct all his attention and labors is the final goal of man and the economy of salvation, namely: pleasing God, a living unity with God, becoming worthy of His kingdom. The searching, zealous spirit will only be at peace when he attains God, tastes Him and is filled. Therefore the first law for him is: seek ye the Lord and be strengthened; seek ye His face at all times (Ps. 104:4). The blessedness of this is incomprehensible to man. He himself could not even have conceived of such a height. But when it pleased God to give him this dignity, it was audacious for man to refuse it through his unbelief, inattentiveness, and neglect of it in his thoughts, even during his labors. I will dwell in them (II Cor. 6:16), says God, and this is all three Persons of the Most-Holy Trinity. The Lord says of God the Father and of Himself: We will come unto him, (to him who believes in Him and loves Him) and make our abode with him (Jn. 14:23). And about Himself Alone: I will come in to him, and will sup with him (Apoc. 3:20); and even more clearly: I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you (Jn. 14:20). The Apostle says about the Holy Spirit: The Spirit of God dwelleth in you (I Cor. 3:16), or: that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:14).
We should note that God’s indwelling is not merely mental, as sometimes happens during divine contemplation to a man by God’s good will, but it is a living, enlivening thing, to which contemplation should only be considered a means. Mental and heartfelt longing for God, that has come by God’s good will, prepares a person to truly receive God. It is a kind of unity in which, without eradicating human strength and personality, God manifests Himself as one that worketh in him both to will and to do (Phil. 2:13); and the person, according to the Apostle, does not live but Christ lives in him (cf. Gal. 2:20). This is not only the person’s goal, but also the goal of God Himself. All is created in God and endures in God. Free creatures are given over to their own volition, but not finally and not forever, so that they would give themselves to God All-powerful, not making any particular kingdom of themselves independent of God’s kingdom.
From The Path of Salvation by St. Theophan the Recluse