I know! It sounds strange to say something like that. Why would you let God know that you are about to break one of His laws? It sounds just like warning the enemy before starting a surprise attack. How to let God know when, by sinning, you think you don’t need Him? Can we sin without Gods will?
The biggest paradox is that we cannot even sin without Jesus Christ. Nothing happens without God’s will: not a single hair stray moves, the wind doesn’t blow, no rain drop falls in the early morning, not a single line of a poem is written, not a single business prospers and no motor starts. If people were left to sin like they like, we were living in a monstrous world, in a permanent struggle and we would easily kill each other through suffering.
When we sin, we want to be left alone; Saint Gregory of Nyssa sees our “falling” in sin not as the breaking of a command, but as our wish not to be with God.
Yes, sometimes we sin consciously and premeditated, leaving God a side, pretending He is not there to see us.
A few days ago I longed for a certain thing, I knew it was a sin and that God wouldn’t like it but I was tempted and I decided to do it anyway. Nevertheless, because right in front of me was the Icon of our Saviour, I looked at Him and thought;” God, I will do this thing because I cannot fight this longing. ”It was like asking for forgiveness before you sin and a way to convince myself that I was being tempted, and not even God can do something against it.
I did not ask for His help, I did not pray for Him to stop me from sinning; I was just letting Him know that I will sin, because I longed for the taste of pleasure and I was looking consciously for it. In order to get it, I needed to make an effort and wait a little while in order for things to settle down in my favour.
Surprisingly enough, after an hour or so, I don’t know how it happened, but I was not able to sin. The things around me have changed and God solved a problem I did not wanted to be solved. When I saw this, I was glad ,because in my sick mind I played a double game: if I sin I will get the pleasure, if I don’t sin, I will get the peace and joy of God’s presence. In both cases I win something, or at least I thought I would win something.
Take a look at the wonderful words of Saint Gregory of Nyssa about what happens when man sins, right at the beginning of our world and since then, time and time again:
“He, who was at the top, has fallen; he, who was created in the image of the Heavenly Father, became the image of the earth; he, who was appointed to reign, was enslaved; he, who enjoyed the delights of Heaven, was moved into this place of disease and pain; he, who was blessed with purity, adopted a sinful and dirty life; he, who was unrestrained and self –assured, is ruled now by so many evils, that is easy to count our tyrants.”
Actually my sin would have not brought me just pleasure but also enslavement, and distance from God, sadness, suffering and disease and at the end death itself.
The same thing happened to me twice in the same week and remembering the surprising experience I had the first time, I decided to let again God know that I choose to sin; but this time I only did it to see if He could rescue me one more time. Of course, Jesus Christ, our Lord, like a gentleman, how Nicolae Steinhardt calls Him, gave me a helping hand and set things, for the second time around, in such a way that the favourable conditions for the sin were gone. The third time same thing happened.
I was glad because I was looking for reasons, telling myself; “it’s not a big deal”, and God showed me that any sin is a “big deal” and it can become the prerequisite for another sin, and it prepares us for another fall, and so with every sin our moral is going from bad to worst.
Let God know when you are going to sin, and if you can, ask for His help by saying: ”God, I am going to sin, I can’t fight it anymore, please help me not to fall!” and you will be surprised by His wisdom and His power.
We don’t have to look at God as if He is our executioner, someone who is always counting our mistakes and making up punishments for them. On the contrary, He is always with us, to search for solutions and to encourage us not to sin. I learned something very important from the Orthodox Church Tradition: nobody loves us as much as God, neither parents, nor brothers, nor wives, and neither friends. Nobody could have as much patience with our weaknesses and the evil in us, as God has.
God doesn’t see you differently if you make a mistake, because your sin doesn’t influence Him in any way and doesn’t surprise Him either. If it would influence Him, that would mean He doesn’t have the power to change things. If He would be surprised, that would mean that He is limited by time. But He has the power to “clean us” and turn us into saints in a second, but He doesn’t want to force us, He wants us to participate in this process so that we may feel we have earned it: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than the snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones which Thou hast broken may rejoice.”(Psalm 50).
It would be to our advantage to see God as a friend, not as a judge. Saint Antonie the Great said: “I am not afraid of God anymore, but I love Him. Because love banishes fear.”
Jesus Christ is our companion, and we can tell Him everything, even our filthiest thoughts. If you hate someone or someone made you angry, talk to God about it, like you would tell the person who upset you.
Poor your heart out in front of God, hide nothing that you do or think from Him, and you will see how He thinks and you will wonder:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55, 8)