Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 5 - Loving God
Many people are surrounded by all the advantages of life. The rest of society may survey them with jealous eyes, but something not easily recognizable is that those seemingly fortunate people have a fervent longing within their hearts. They may have material wealth, but the cliche that indicates money cannot buy happiness is right. Not knowing the real meaning of life gnaws at them just as much as it distresses anyone. Even when people reach a certain level of satisfaction with their social, economic, and political circumstances, they discover a gaping wound still exists in their hearts. People look for something higher and deeper, yet they cannot pinpoint what it is. Even people who seem to have everything-a beautiful marriage, a home and family, a great deal of money and power, or a high position-are not totally fulfilled. They long for something they cannot attain with their talents, money, or personalities. They search for something intangible and unseen. We know that what they seek is God: He is their home, the place they belong and will eventually reach.
Our longing for God will never cease. The incredible thing is that the more we come to know and love God, the greater our yearning for Him becomes. There is an emptiness we often feel, an inner solitude and loneliness; this is part of the longing we feel to be home with our God; it will prevail throughout our lives and not until we live with Him will this thirst be quenched.
If a husband and wife are united and love each other deeply, the wife longs for her object of love to return from work every night. Such a longing is imbued in all creation; it brings about the healthy tension between the plus and minus elements, creating the electricity and energy necessary for the relationship to continue and multiply.
When a person embarks on a spiritual journey, he begins to love God. As that love grows, the individual finds he cannot stay away from Him. Though it be only a moment or two, any separation period becomes almost unbearable. Longing is the evidence that love is flowing. If there is no love within you-for God, for your mate, for a goal-what do you long for? People with no aspirations experience partial spiritual paralyzation.
Although for thousands of years, billions of people have mouthed the words, "God ... Father," and "Our Father who art in heaven," most of them did not know much about the person to whom they were talking. Yes, they felt a longing and tried to fill it by reaching out to this unknown entity. But they stretched out their hands into darkness and found nothing to grasp. They longed into nothingness. Some wave of emotion may have returned to them, but no tangible fulfillment was evident. People in the past have loved God, but how substantial was their devotion? How durable is our love for Him?
The times you are at peace in your heart, you may create poetry I through the words you pray. I found that was one of my experiences during my first years in the movement. My eyes misted with tears as poetic images easily formed on my lips; the instigator was my heart because my relationship to God flowed with a constant current of love.
Once you are attuned, you can form beautiful, angelic words. There is a certain realm of ecstasy you can enter as you draw closer to God. People not involved in the Pentecost thought that everyone concerned was drunk. Yet we know that those who experienced Pentecost were not intoxicated with drink, but with the love of God.
Awareness of both the physical and the metaphysical sides of life is a question of consciousness. It takes concentration to shut off from this world and walk into the realm of God. The next step is to push forward all your love and longing toward Him. The existence and intensity of your longing decides whether or not you have this meeting.
God is melted by love. If you love Him, God listens when you speak and feels the emotions you project. Love unites. When you confront problems in your relationship with God, the way to solve them quickly is to love Him. Love Him until He surrenders and then forgiveness will flow from His heart. His greatest desire is that He can pour out His love to every person. Satan may have the goal to separate people from one another, but God's intentions are opposite. He wants to unite people with Himself and with each other.
The shortest way to come to God is to long for Him to enter our lives and live within us. Once we deeply cherish our relationship to God, a certain growth of heart must have already taken place within us. Such a moment does not arrive without some provocation on our part. We must have already begun to appreciate and love God and True Parents. A person only longs for what he loves deeply.
We long for our lover and may even experience a physical aching when we are apart. A key to finding happiness and stability in our life is to develop this same kind of longing for God and True Parents. But it will take effort on our part. We can know God through the truth, therefore, we should study the Principle. Once we come to know God, we will begin to treasure and cherish Him. After this primary relationship is solidified, we should similarly nurture our relationship to True Parents by using the same pattern.
The reason you long for God is because He first longed for you. You can comprehend the emotion of longing because He initially desired a relationship with you. You know what love is all about because He loved you first. What a wonderful Parent we have!
The word "longing" has an essence of intimacy. Each of us has chosen to undertake a spiritual pilgrimage with the goal of meeting God and discovering who He is. When we pray with a deep longing, desiring to find God, He will manifest Himself within our hearts and through our five spiritual senses. But it is not a question of looking for Him in obscure places. Just close your eyes; He is there. Be assured of His presence. How can you long for Him if you continue to doubt that He exists? Faith in God is the basis of everything; make it solid. Let it be substantiated- love Him with all your heart.
God is our personal partner. When we meet God, we should bring out all the love we feel for Him. Perhaps we have kept it in reserve within the safe of our heart. When we let our love surround Him, He feels valued. But when we don't love Him, we also don't recognize God's value. The word "death" to people in the secular world indicates an annihilation or extinction. If people proclaim that God is dead, He has no value to them. However, when a person perceives that God is alive, heaven rejoices immediately. God and the spirit world feel jubilant when we discover His value. Yet once we come to recognize God's significance, they further entreat us to find merit in each other. This can be done through love and respect.
If you feel love for God, tell Him. Offer Him all that you feel at any given moment. God will accept what you say and He will love you for it.
Your original mind may wonder why you feel such love for Him. The reason you feel tenderness toward God is because He implanted that magnetic element within you. We were created to love God as we love our life, our freedom, our spouse. We love what God has conceived because we actually find elements of the creation within us. For example, we are composed of water and minerals. After the birth of our children, we can also recognize that our spouse has become a part of us through them.
There are people who deny God's existence. We may tend to judge them for it, but we don't see the inner workings of their hearts. We cannot detect how, their original minds move their hearts. We don't hear their muffled cries in the lonely darkness. We cannot hear them desperately call upon Him when they need help-just in case He really is there and just in case He might assist them. These are the whispers only God can perceive.
There is a built-in instinct to call upon our Heavenly Father in times of need. We love God because that is the way He conceived us. We may regard it as something beautiful or idyllic, but it is only natural to be enfolded in His love once we walk the road leading home to Him.
Love is a constant resident of your heart. Acknowledge it; feel it deep within you and then push it out. Rather than expect God to pour out His love to you, push your love toward Him. You will find that the love you propel from your heart comes from God in the first place and that once you do, your container of love is replenished automatically.
If we fall in love with God totally and have the same kind of heart toward the rest of the world, it would be impossible to hurt anyone. If we adore God without reservation, it is inconceivable that we would disappoint or cause Him pain.
To what extent is God within us? How much do we incorporate the absolute truth and love of God? The degree to which we embody God's ideal, God's love, truth, and heart indicates the magnitude to which we can project Him.
When you love God from the depths of your heart, it will seem to you as if the whole universe is vibrating. The relationship that you develop with the universe may just flabbergast you. When your adoration for God reaches such an intensity, your personal maturity and perfection will unfold. You will become one with God and the universe. You will then be able to detect the quintessence with which God impregnated all entities. And then you will feel the pulse of the love of God beating everywhere.
Fall in love with God. Satan is rejected and repelled when you do. And the closer you are to either one of them, the smaller the chance the other one can influence you. Endearing yourself to God and True Parents guarantees the law of repulsion against Satan will function. If you extricate yourself from God and no longer cling to Him, you enter a vulnerable zone. As master of this world, Satan has an incredible hold on humanity and can easily lure people out of that exposed area back into the confines of his world. Yet if you allow this to happen, you may become confused and not be sure whether you love God or Satan.
Longing has continued for six thousand biblical years. But a longing is never completely satisfied until all the hopes and dreams connected to it are fulfilled. All of us are homesick and yearn to return to God. As a whole, Unificationists have received so much of God's merciful love and abundant blessing, but still yearn to live in the mansion of God's true love; we have not yet arrived home.
Even though you may have accumulated many things as a single person, once you are married you may feel that one of your dreams has come true, but at the same time you will face unfamiliar confrontations and struggles, as well as new levels to fulfill. You will have to work at this relationship; once you find a balance, you will step up to the next plateau. Raising children is a joint effort, but there is a certain sense of personal fulfillment seeing facets of your individual character manifested in them. When they grow up and start to live their own lives, you may experience a void in your life. Every person needs security, yet even once this is satisfied emotionally, physiologically, financially, etc. there will still be a rumbling which echoes deep within you. That reverberation is God.
Even though you unite with God before you marry, have children, and attain certain material possessions to enrich your life, you may not sense that yearning so strongly. You may feel it more acutely once you have accomplished these goals however that longing will be most fervent toward the end of your life. You will be nearing the time to meet your Maker and must bring before Him all the results accumulated during your physical lifetime.
When you feel close to God, everything else becomes minor and insignificant. Your mate and children lose importance as the ardor of your longing for God increases.
When you witness to people, your longing for God becomes ever greater. You feel His presence through them, and you desire that He could make them understand His truth through you. Once you have tasted the love of God, you can convey things about Him with a yearning that manifests in your voice, gestures, and vibrations. People will be able to feel that what you are espousing is not a philosophy, a theory, or a scientific analysis of things. When the power of God surges within you, people will recognize that you are attempting to help Him engulf them in His arms.
Longing fills quite a spectrum. It actually denotes something of a tragic nature. The concept of and even the word "longing" generally threads any love story or novel. Yet it becomes abstract when compared to a person's longing for God. Two lovers may yearn for each other and feel only half alive when they are separated. But the longing to find complete oneness with God is a thousand times more intense.
There is a simple explanation. We long for God because He originally longed for us. And we love Him because He loved us first. The longing we feel within the core of our hearts comes from the very depths of God. Throughout human history He has called, "Adam, where are you?" He has longed for the appearance of His true children. This concept of God crying tears and in severe pain may be a new one, one that we can barely comprehend. He has silently endured pain for so long and waits in anticipation until the coin is flipped, and His longing to live with all His children in true love will be satisfied. It is a picture steeped in poignancy. When we are totally one with God, His dream will also be realized in our hearts.
No matter whether you feel deeply, superficially, or not at all, if you act upon the principle of love, something will happen. But make sure you involve your heart when you love someone or something and you will be remunerated. For instance, when you love God, His grace comes back to you.
if you love God deeply and even proclaim this in prayer, you hear this declaration with your own ears and your heart acknowledges it. You may feel a special wave of warmth envelop you. Even though you may have thought and felt it before you spoke it, such a statement becomes a conscious testimony once you actually express it. God immediately responds when He hears it, and your heart is immersed in His love.
If you can't expose your heart to other people, at least unmask yourself before God. Open up. Move the barricade away. Talk to Him to your heart's content.
No matter what they say or do, strangers and even acquaintances cannot hurt you too deeply. However, friends for whom you have a deep love can inflict incredible pain with their words and actions. The more intimate people become, the greater the possibility they may hurt each other. God is not exempt -- if you are close to God but make a mistake which hurts Him, He also feels heartache. And you experience a repercussion; that deep feeling of sorrow you sustain comes straight from God.
We need an intimate relationship with God and True Parents. If that is absent from our lives, what is our source of power? How can we understand other people? If we want to be effective human beings and live in the light of God's love, we have to develop an unbreakable life bond with Him.
It is natural that feelings of euphoria emerge when you are close to someone. Meditate about the word "intimate." Being intimate with God and True Parents involves developing a personal relationship with them. When husband and wife become lovers, they feel inseparable and tend to reveal intentions and emotions they would not normally divulge at other times. If you want to receive revelations from God, be intimate with Him.
The most inner thoughts and feelings are transmitted in the most personal relationships. Relinquish your official or abstract relationship to God and do whatever you can to create intimacy. In such a relationship, both sides open up and convey everything -- both the good and the bad. This may be regarded as repentance, but guard against only burdening God with your feelings of guilt or sorrow. Also express the beautiful things you experience, especially those connected to how you feel about Him. Do not forget to articulate pleasant things, things that will delight Him. But realize that this kind of relationship takes time to blossom, and does not just fall from heaven.
When you have a strong feeling of togetherness and acceptance, the longing for your partner will naturally become more powerful. When you focus this kind of love toward your partner, God, you will want to talk to Him without ceasing; you will want to confide in Him through prayer. Your love for God may not always be manifested in outward expression, but displayed more in thoughts and feelings. Love and admire Him; and tell Him often that you do!
How can we express more love to God? Practice. We should assure Him a thousand times more than we have in the past years. In the past we have lived for God, True Parents, humanity, and also for ourselves. But we didn't do it well enough. Because of our shortcomings, we didn't reach the goals we set for ourselves.
We have analyzed in so many ways what we should be doing in order to become the image of God. We have the True Parents and the Principle, we are well equipped, but it is a question of whether or not we are willing to do it.
Once the spirit and love of God touch you, you cannot do anything but offer to serve Him with your life. Tell Him that all your heart and love belongs to Him. Once you do that, you will feel a tremendous response from God. He cannot do anything but embrace you and call you His son or daughter.
A man who has no dreams is only half-alive. All of us need goals and a vision for the future to help us lead fulfilling lives. By far, the closest relationship we can develop is with God. The connection we have to our spouse is second in relation to the communion it is possible to have with God.
No matter how many years you and your mate live together, your husband or wife will never be able to penetrate the sphere that you can create with God Himself. Through verbal communication, you may be able to convey things about your imagination and heart to your spouse; as a result, you may feel a great oneness and harmony. You can formulate it into enchanting phrases filled with beauty, poetry, and substance. But what you share with God can never be put into words or emotions that your partner can fully understand. God can pierce through your skin, and touch the very marrow of your soul.
If your mate goes to spirit world first, you still live with God. The relationships which you cultivate with God and the Messiah are basic and most important. Father has taught us that a spouse occupies the position of an individual's second messiah, and children become the third messiah. Always put God first. The energy needed to work on your marriage and family is fueled by your union with God. This primary relationship allows the second, third and all others to exist, move forward, and eventually blossom.
There is no quick and easy way to begin building an intimate relationship with God and True Parents; once you pour your foundation, you must work to become adept at hammering beams together in order to truss a framework that will withstand the battering of any kind of spiritual storm. If you work on your building every day, constantly making any needed repairs as well as continuing to remodel, you will find it more and more natural to connect with the master architect, God, in order to ask His advice on method, building materials, and so forth.
You will begin to make "Father" the last word on your lips before you go to sleep. As well, you will think of Heavenly Father when you first awake each morning. You will start to give Him all the love that has been pent up in your heart, awaiting the right recipient. Realize that all external results and internal victories you have accumulated during the day are actually His accomplishments, achieved through you. Offer God the emotions that well up within you; give Him everything.
During the time I pioneered the church in Austria, I was often exhausted at the end of the day. Every evening I had to drive my members home, and crisscrossed Vienna in my VW van. It seems I rarely finished that task much before two o'clock in the morning. I would just stop on the side of the road somewhere, open the window a little bit and then I lay down to sleep for the night. That was my house -- the side of the road. I was always ready-the first "mobile" team in Europe. But I was never alone; my God was always with me.
It is a wonderful thing to be a team with God. It is a tremendously important war we are righting; we are trying to win this world back from Satan and reinstall God as its ruler. It can only be done by God working through each of us. Before we become a spouse and parent, we have the wonderful chance to live exclusively with God; but that time only comes once. After a person is no longer single, he does not relate to God totally by himself. Although no one can supplant someone's individual relationship with God, one's spouse and children must be considered and then included in that relationship.
We believe God is the creator of this universe and all that it contains. Therefore, we view God as the source of all love. Once we fall in love with Him, we will come to feel there is no higher relationship of love we could ever experience because the greatest love lives within God and emanates from Him. When we totally unite with Him, we declare, "I belong to God. 1 am a child of God.." At that time, there is no possibility for Satan to invade through evil spirits or any human being.
Involve God even in the most minute details of your daily life. Talk to Him, feel with Him and love Him. No matter what your mission, invite Him to your place of work and ask His help in whatever you do. Be a channel for Him; allow Him to work through you as you cook, design a building, type, or whatever you do and whatever your occupation. When you talk about Him, He is automatically attracted and comes close. Witness to others about what you feel He is doing through you every day. Tell them how different your life is since He began to live with you. And then open your heart and talk to Him; He is the world's greatest listener.
But let's not forget that God is also a wonderful conversationalist. He may speak to each one us in a different way, but just as much as we want to converse with Him throughout our days, He also wants to express things to us. Can we recognize the sound of His voice?
The amount of love you have for God discerns the distance between the two of you. If you have an abundant love for God, you will naturally feel close to Him. But if you love Him only a little or not at all, you will feel estranged. Developing a vast love for God and True Parents will bring the intimacy you desire.
When you love a person, you feel attached even though you may be miles apart. You find it hard to think of anything but that person. You wonder what you can do for the person, what gift would please him. You can't help ponder about what the person is doing. Even thinking of the person uplifts you. But this kind of elation is not reserved strictly for human relationships. You may feel miles apart from God, but when you find it hard to think of anything but Him, continually wondering what you could offer Him, and pondering about what He is doing, you will feel greater ecstasy than you could ever imagine. He then becomes your bridegroom, the partner you love.
Learn to perceive the love of God and then discover how to love Him in return. Determine how to love other people and forget about loving yourself. Put God at the center of your life and remove yourself from that position. When you do, you will surely experience God.
As His lost children, we have to ascertain how to fall in love with our Heavenly Father. Failing in love with a person nearly guarantees that we long to be with that individual. It is not so abstract to think that God may be this person.
Because we love God, we suffer along with Him; we bear the cross of all humanity. And we begin a cycle which is difficult to avert. The closer we come to God, the more obligation we feel. In this way, it is a great burden to love God. It automatically expands our heart, further exposing us to the suffering of the world and God's pain. That is the cross of love.
The benefit is that experiencing such emotions increases our capacity to function for God. Our container of love becomes ever greater. This allows us to perceive God's love more keenly and in so doing, we naturally want to open up and take the burden of love upon ourselves. As we demonstrate that desire, God transmits His power to us to make it possible.
Jesus went to the cross and offered the ultimate sacrifice. By giving his physical life, he became the incarnation of love. He even loved those who crucified him and asked that God forgive them. He took the full load for the world, providing the potential for all humanity to be spiritually redeemed. Bringing salvation through his personal sacrifice, he bore the cross of love physically, mentally, and spiritually. God was then able to save those individuals who understood Jesus' sacrifice and pleaded for forgiveness. Jesus loved his Father in heaven and gave what was asked of him; we should follow such an example of perfect love.
Love develops through a process. People should attempt to increase the intensity of their love day by day. In order to do this, they have to communicate with the person they love. In the pursuit to love God, it is imperative that we have more give and take with Him.
Two strangers must first accept each other as human beings. After this initial step, they can begin to communicate. They typically come closer through relating and may eventually unearth beautiful things from each other's hearts. They may someday even call each other friend.
A similar situation can happen in the relationship cultivated between God and man. They are as two strangers and must first acknowledge one another's presence. Once they communicate more and more, they may feel extremely close and like best friends. It is after a person falls in love with God that a real relationship begins.
Proclaim your love to God. Never be afraid to say the words, "I love you." God may indicate that He appreciates beautiful words, but He definitely also needs you to prove your love. He may ask whether or not you will represent Him and do His work on earth. He may wonder whether or not you will be able to consistently reflect Him, or whether you might become despondent on occasion. When you can put your words into action, God will begin to trust you.
Realize what it means to love God. Once you invest your heart into loving Him, you become a trustworthy person to God. And once He acknowledges that you really mean what you say, He will respond. All answers are in God. Many people walk through life, their minds and hearts filled with worries. They are dissatisfied, lonely, unloved. Tragedies in this world are far too plentiful. People may be confused about where to look for the solutions. Those who look to God will be ultimately satisfied. When a person connects to Him and expresses the inner suffering, disappointment, and turmoil he feels, God will answer all his questions. When we practice this, any love we accord God is always more than reciprocated.
The longing for God and True Parents induces tears to form in our eyes. The yearning for them wells up within our hearts, and is followed by tears of repentance. Forgiveness of our sins is granted by God. Such a gift causes us to also shed tears of joy, and finally be enwrapped within the loving arms of God. Isn't such an incident powerful enough to want to make us experience it again?
As we converse with God and listen to His response, our desire to meet and talk to Him increases. Recognition of His wonderful qualities taps our respect and love. As we learn to pour out our love for Him, our longing to be with Him escalates. This is the secret of developing a relationship to God.
God led people for generations. He separated them from certain other groups causing them to search for land, freedom, or other such goals. Even if they did not express to one another that they were looking for something, people throughout history have had avid longings. If it goes unspoken, a yearning is not easily detected.
No one can see a longing, but it is something which does not disappear of its own accord. You walk through the streets, peering in one store window after another. Once you have walked down countless avenues and roads and finally wind your way home, you may be alone once more, and continue to think and meditate. You may turn on the television, the radio, or the stereo. Perhaps you read a paper or pick up a book, but you find that nothing satisfies you. You perpetually feel an inner restlessness. Despite filling your time with window shopping, reading, listening to music, or watching television that longing does not wane.
The power created by such longing is magnetic. It is a longing for love. It is a longing to reach home, to reach God. Human beings strayed from God and became totally cut off from Him. They no longer knew where their home was, who their father and mother were. Mankind has been walking through the desert, through the thick of life's miseries. But all the while, they have been dominated by a great desire to reach home.
We try to find so many things that will take away the yearning which engrosses us. Literature, music, and art are some of the common remedies we consume. But it is actually the origin of all those beautiful panaceas that we want to discover. Until we are safely home and live within the love of God, this longing will never be suppressed.
People may declare that they want nothing to do with Christianity because they no longer believe in God or attend church. Yet many of them are merely disgusted with church structure and policy and are not really attacking God. Deep within each person is a tremendous longing for Him. Through witnessing, we have to be able to affect that longing and uncover it. The person we teach may find himself face to face with the love he actually felt for God all along, but thought he could hide.
The longing you feel for God is such a natural thing. The more you search, the greater your desire to be with Him grows. You may even become addicted to God!
God has been standing in front of His mansion for thousands of years. With outstretched arms, He has longed for His children to come home. Although we feel empty when we are separated from Him, His yearning is far greater than the longing any of us have felt for Him. Whether or not they realize it, all of humanity desires to reach the palace of their Heavenly Parent.
History will witness this as the time when the Messiah worked to guide one person after another to discover the path which leads to their true home. That is the core and meaning of the Blessing. Hand in hand a couple can walk back to their Heavenly Father's house. They can become co-creators with Him and as His sons and daughters become lords over creation, bringing heaven down to earth.
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