In Orthodoxy, salvation is inclusive to the entire creative order. God, being sovereign, grafts us into a plan that involves much more than just concepts and ideals, but a plan that involves nature itself, everything that He intentionally created as good. The eschatological plan of salvation does not merely involve the redemption of “souls alone,” but of souls that are attached to this creation that St. Paul says in Romans is “groaning” for its redemption. The prophet Ezekiel proclaims in Ezekiel 34:25-31 how through Christ all things created will be restored. Matter itself is not irrelevant to the faith or in some way evil. Matter is subjected to Christians to take spiritual dominion over, as stated in Genesis.
When God is working His will in the world, He is causing events to come together for the sake of Christians (Romans 8:11) – ALL THINGS! God is sovereign and includes all of nature to contribute to His work. Through His mercy He even uses the neglected and abused aspects of nature to benefit us. Even those that aim to contribute to our fall can be used by God to aid our salvation.
It is a mystery on just why some submit to this divine nature and some do not. Beginning at our very conception (Psalm 139: 13) God woos us through the creative order. He does not use an invisible truth serum that calls some and not others. No, God allows man to be creative in the creative order, and this is what the Holy Spirit operates through. He uses what God has made (not exclusively, of course)! This is why it is so important to care for children within healthy environments, because a negative environment will produce a negative person; not that God cannot overcome this negativity; He can and does, but the ideal of the Gospel is to glorify God in everything, everywhere, redeeming even time itself against what is negative (Ephesians 5:16).
Each one of us has a “will” that is being formed from our very birth, and each day of our lives, from this very birth, we exercise this will toward or away from God. God surrounds us with His love, His positive energy, and waits daily for us to make conscience decisions to grow within this love, this divine nature. This is true sovereignty! The very fact that God waits on us to make decisions for Him shows us that He is patient and secure. If He were not patient and secure, He would force us to Him through what many modern Christians call (and embrace) “divine election.”
“Through heaven and earth and sea, through wood and stone, through all creation visible and invisible, I offer veneration to the Creator and Master and Maker of all things. For the creation does not venerate the Maker directly and by itself, but it is through me that the heavens declare the glory of God, through me the moon worships God, through me the stars glorify him, through me the waters and showers of rain, the dews and all creation, venerate God and give him glory.” – St. Leontius of Cyprus