Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 15 - Witnessing [Part 2]
Not every person is strongly bound to his theology. If new ideas are presented which make sense to him, inwardly he may feel drawn to your words even though outwardly he seems to reject them. He may be the kind of person who needs a great deal of evidence before he will admit the possibility something could be true. Learn to be patient with such a person; if you continue to treat him with respect even if he persecutes or rejects you, God may still be able to work through you to reach him.
When you witness, you are the one who should direct the contents of the conversation. Of course it is a process of give and take, but don't forget that you have a great truth to share. A person needs time to adjust to you, but avoid allowing him to steer the conversation into a heated argument over any differences he may find with our theology. If you become affected by his words, you may lose your confidence and become afraid, spiritually and emotionally impotent to continue your discussion. As a friend, fill him up with God's love and truth.
If you enter a house or church, remember that you bring the blessing of God. Jesus said to his disciples that if someone asked them to leave, they would take the blessing out with them.
Make sure to leave the door open; eventually you may want to revisit that house or church. God wants everyone to be led back home to heaven.
When witnessing we should strive to project a pure heart. It is not necessary to exhibit super intelligence, a beautiful physique, or a handsome face. We should ascertain that we are revealing the unique characteristics of God's nature endowed only to us.
We have to convey God's heart and plan. We need to give out the essence of God, which is love. If we speak beautiful words but have no love behind them, our words will echo emptiness. They will not have meaning or life. Before we go out to talk to people, we need to find ourselves by developing a pure relationship with our God. We should cultivate our desire to come so close to God that we can mutually embrace. At the same time we need to explore the vastness and breadth of God to help Him fulfill His goal of living on earth in the hearts of all people.
Every person longs for peace and freedom. Individuals want to live happy and fulfilling lives. Although the expression of their own inadequacies may take the form of resentment or hatred for other people, these emotions fight the desire of the original mind to love and be loved. At all costs, they defend themselves, even by wearing the mask of anger, in order to survive. No one has taught them anything different. Yet teaching them is exactly what God has called us to do. When He can use us as an instrument to stimulate their innate desire to develop their relationship with God, and He in turn can touch their hearts, they will experience a love of unparalleled quality. This will make it very hard for them to leave Him again. There is no greater love than that which comes from God through Christ. We were created to reflect and glorify Him. Therefore, we must witness to the effect God's love has had on our lives.
Not all medicines taste good. In fact, many leave a vile and bitter aftertaste. On the basis of his diagnosis, a doctor will prescribe medicine in hopes that it will cure his patient's illness. We could be considered spiritual doctors and must be careful to prescribe the right medicine as well as administer the correct dosage. We often have only a split second to decide the treatment, but we must realize that if we make the wrong decision, the patient may die. We are responsible for the result therefore we should guard against making our own decisions and call upon God to impart us with His wisdom, asking that He recommend the best medication.
Look at the total person. Absorb everything he has to offer, not just what you want to see or what you want to project into him. If you project your own image into a person and psychoanalyze him after only a five minute meeting, you run a great risk. That person may simply turn around and walk away with tears in his eyes. If that happens he most likely felt that you did not recognize or understand him. But if you uncover more of his personality, you will always find something good in a person, even if at first glance what strikes you most are his undesirable characteristics. Don't be discouraged by a person's self-defense mechanisms. Underneath is a heart that ticks just like yours. Seek to discover it with the diligence you would have if it were buried treasure, for that is actually just what it is.
Our witnessing will be more effective when we ourselves become more efficient, focused, and inwardly organized. Our witnessing work must do more than simply pay indemnity. We must carefully measure our words with wisdom, knowledge, and love. It is important not to unfold your beautiful love into nothingness. None of us would knowingly throw a handful of pearls into the trash. Through organization and self-control, use wisdom to determine where the jewels of your love should be distributed. Learn what to talk about. Know when you should speak, and learn when not to speak. If you are a person who cannot finish sentences, work on perfecting that. Assemble the vision you want to convey and then describe that vision step by step.
Witnessing bids each one of us to step into the shoes of God and True Parents and walk the world, searching out their missing children. And witnessing involves showing those lost children the way back home. It is a lonesome job. But no one knows that better than God; He has been doing it throughout history.
In order to be a successful witnesser, we need to feel the burden of God's heart, His feelings of desolation when He was forsaken. Adopt the attitude a father would have looking for his child; a father whose child is lost will stop at nothing to find his offspring.
When a beam of spiritual light shines into the depths of hell and catches the eyes of even one person, that person begins to change. He may pour out his heart and share the misery of his life. He wants to be liberated, and you want to offer words of salvation. The most beautiful sight to behold is the spiritual evolution of a human being leaving his cocoon. And one of the most memorable experiences you could ever have is crying together with a lost soul as he is being spiritually resurrected.
Experiencing the love of God in the church community or in family life should inspire us to willingly go out and search for those who have not yet been able to perceive that love. We should use the branding iron of God's pure love on their hearts to ensure that they can feel it. Let us go out like torches to enlighten their path, warm their hearts, and then melt away the curtain of uncertainty surrounding them.
You walk through hell every moment you witness. You see the human dilemma and detect the intense suffering of the people of the world. You pour your heart out and exclaim, "Can't you see the light? Look, you can even touch it. Just reach out your hand." They respond, "What? I don't see any light. I just see clouds and darkness. All I can see is that the world is coming to an end."
It is hard to convince people who reside in hell that there is a heaven. It is even harder to get them to climb out of that hell and walk into heaven.
They think that your world is hell and their world is heaven. In other words, there may be great differences between the lifestyle of a Unificationist compared to that of people living in secular society. Satan has turned around the hearts and minds of people for too long; as a result, many people cannot recognize God's true nature.
If a child has an old rag doll with only one eye and a dirty dress, but you try to take it away with the intention of replacing it with a doll that walks, drinks from a bottle, and even says "Mama," the child will probably cry. That doll is a central element of the child's world, representing security and comfort. Take it away, and most likely the child will cry until it is returned. People of this world defend their security and do not want anyone to grab their objects of love away from them, even though those articles will be replaced with greater security and peace of mind. We want to give them God; they still clutch their dirty rag doll, Satan. That is the world today.
We become a people-magnet when we love, serve, and sacrifice for others. The spirit world cannot but help support us and even direct people to us. Once people experience their first taste of the kind of love God wants to express to them, they will find it hard to leave us. Everyone wants love; everyone needs love. Therefore, God has commissioned us to witness and love. He asks us to concentrate on the value of raising and nurturing the hearts of many people.
People want to avoid getting hurt and therefore at the first sign of that possibility, may pull out their security devices. They have been disappointed many times and may initially feel suspicious of your motivation. Burn through this protective shell they have carefully constructed around themselves. The best way to do that is to ignite them with the spiritual fire of love.
You have to talk with authority when you witness. But you can only do that if God speaks through you. The person has to feel that what you say is valid. The spiritual world must confirm it as truth even if the person does not initially understand or accept it. There is no way to convey the entire scope of the Principle in a few short minutes therefore the spirit with which you project your words becomes very important. You have to leave something with the person so that he will want to see you again. Spirit world has to work to make a deep impression on a person and to do so, God must be able to use your voice and personality.
Millions of people are arrogant and prideful. When you meet people who emanate such vibrations, keep in mind that they are covering up their deficiencies and fears. What you see during the first few minutes of your meeting may not be their true personalities. If you can make a person feel comfortable and relaxed, more of his genuine character will emerge and then you will be able to make a connection of heart.
Unless you are in concordance with the heart of God, you will not easily perceive the vibration given by the hearts of others. When you tune the instrument of your own heart with God's, the result is that your heart will begin vibrating and other people may be able to spiritually detect the reverberation. Once such harmony is created, they will feel more at home with you and be more willing to listen to what you want to share with them.
Father asks us to join him in working to save peoples' spiritual lives. But when working on this task, we must guard against condemning the people and their present lifestyles. It is best to go witnessing with the desire to bring people back to God. To do so, we must bring forth the compassionate side of our hearts. People need kindness and empathy which springs from divine love. Nothing less than true compassion will pull people closer to God. Pouring out and investing your whole heart into someone else's life will help to heal his wounds.
Most people develop a number of love relationships in their lives -- parents, brothers and sisters, spouse and children, employer, and friends are all givers and receivers of love. People also love their homes, cars, television sets, and many other such things which make their lives more easy and pleasurable. How can we compete with such strong forces as these intimate objects of love? These passions are presently the recipients of their love and attention however we must exemplify a greater love for the people than those passions of love do. God must pierce your heart and through you, spiritually caress people with affection they have never felt before. The power of God's love is mighty, but can reach another person only when we allow ourselves to be His channels.
Humble people will eventually gain much ground. When you witness to a person, offer him a heart full of love. If you can do this, you will not need to worry about strategies or methods. Be yourself, be humble; even before the race is finished, you will be the winner.
Just to proclaim the words of God is not enough. When we witness, we also need to be active. We have to manifest the God we talk about. When we do so convincingly, God will become believable to the people. People will be touched when we talk about a God that is good and loving; that is exactly the way they want God to be. Learning about Him may even ignite them to start to live a life of faith.
Go witnessing with the power of God. Carry the staff of God with you at all times. When you toss it on the ground in front of others, a miracle may happen just as it did in Moses' time.
People are critical and negative toward such a new ideology as ours because they are still blinded by Satan's ideals. He has instilled the world with many unrealistic and unfounded fears; therefore, people often use those fears to strike back at you when you witness to them. Cats may attack an unfamiliar person who comes too close. A person may do the same thing, which is basically an act of self-defense. If this happens to you, see the situation for what it is: people are insecure and afraid of change and things that are new. They may not be able to sense your motivation for approaching them. It is important to let them see your sincerity; establish eye contact with them. Offer people the heart of their invisible Parent. By showing them the door to God's house, you may be able to eliminate the greatest part of their resistance. They may simply have forgotten where He lives.
When you witness, you must show your genuine sincerity and concern for the unification of all religions. People need to feel that you don't necessarily want to convert them to Unificationism, but instead that you are crying out for all people to come back to God, no matter which religious path they follow.
There is such a danger that Christianity will be destroyed by communism, humanism, and liberalism. Convey to people that this is the time God is calling them to do something to save Christianity and redeem this world.
It is not so important that we speak lovely words. What is most crucial is to evoke the spirit of God to work through us. It is when that spirit manifests in our own heart, that we can transmit it to others.
Be a fascinating person and you will naturally attract others. The number of words you speak is of little consequence. Embrace an individual with your energy and spiritual love. We have an unlimited source of power in God, but we ourselves must first desire to tap that unlimited reservoir.
Our strongest weapon to bring people back to God is an inner one. If we try to use our intellect and knowledge of the Principle without the support of heart, we will not accomplish much. But when our heart is full of spiritual fire, the Holy Spirit will be involved in our witnessing.
Witnessing entails the art of inspiring people; in order to do this, you have to pour out your heart. You will never find complete success until you do this. You may feel wary about exposing yourself and all your vulnerabilities but a person of integrity would never attack those most delicate areas; there is no need to be afraid.
We must do everything possible to abate the evil forces surrounding an individual. Part of the job is to crack and remove the shell in which Satan has encased the person. When we peel back the layers, we will no doubt uncover someone beautiful but whose inner charm has been hidden. Witnessing is the first step to such a discovery.
If you pour out everything you have and your words still do not reach the hearts of people, there is only one conclusion to make: you are talking to the wrong people. Seek out those whom God has already chosen. Millions of people have been prepared, but be aware that God is not the only one who leads people to us; Satan does the same thing.
I urge you not to argue with the people you witness to. God does not employ that tactic. People are not our enemies; there is no reason for bickering. We have something to offer them. Just let God speak through you. If the basis of your motivation is to win an argument and you begin to quarrel with a person to prove you are right, you can be sure God has ceased talking through you. Watch your pride and make sure it does not get in the way of bringing a person back to God. You may want to test yourself, to find out if you are somehow better than the other person. Yet this is not only a waste of time, but it succeeds in cutting off God. If this is your motive, readjust your attitude before He stops using you as His vehicle altogether.
If you truly connect with God when you begin to talk to a person, you will be like a fountain of spring water. Some people will absorb your words yet remain silent. You may not know what impression you are making, but continue anyway. Rapture a person's heart. Spiritual life and death is decided in the space of a few minutes. Witnessing is that serious.
Sometimes we fail to leave a deep enough impression and fail to give God the chance to penetrate the heart of a person. Sometimes we are too cautious. Sense what makes the person tick. Is he a sensitive person? Is he a bit gruff? Is he prepared or not? You can know quite a bit about a person through even a few minutes of conversation. Father has explained to us that spirit world does forty percent of the work involved in witnessing. Call upon the spirit world to explain to you something about the person's character.
We all have had moments when we feel depressed and then complained about certain circumstances. We may even criticize the people we meet, but those are the very moments we need to reflect and see ourselves in a different light. As we go out to witness, we often cannot find God. But that is the fault of neither the people nor God. At those times, we should focus on becoming a container of love and a channel for God to speak through. When we do that, many things will happen.
Do not depend upon a memorized speech when you witness. Rather than concentrate on creating a memorable performance, let your message come forth naturally from your heart. You will be in trouble and now and then lose a line if you only try to learn certain words and sentences by heart. But no one will be standing in the wings with cue cards, able to show you the rest of your speech. If you recite lines from a book, you may say words more beautifully than a poet, but what would you say after finishing the text? Could you go on improvising or would you politely excuse yourself because you cannot think of anything else to say. The best thing is not to speak with the sophistication of a philosopher; learn the Principle inside out and then incorporate it into your heart and intellect.
Know the master plan of God; even though you may not have the actual blueprint in front of you, once it has become a part of you, you can dig within your mind and heart and re-create this pattern for another person. You can thereby revitalize his life. Envision the details of God's plan and verbalize them. The whole creation can be replayed right before the person's spiritual eyes. When you become the incarnation of truth, you have already succeeded in building a true man or woman within your being. After you have done that, it will be easier to express details of your life experience and make your God come alive in the heart of another person.
As you witness, let yourself love people with great force; as your dynamism grows, your waves of love will automatically become larger. The waves near a beach tend to be quite choppy because the water is very shallow. As you move out to sea they become broad and great swells of water come to pull you along. Small talk is often very shallow and superficial, yet most people usually start off in choppy waters when they begin conversations. But soon enough you can move into deep and profound topics. The swells of your emotions can carry you along and even if you encounter gigantic waves, swimming with the current will buoy you and you will not be towed under.
An object of love will be relinquished only if it is replaced by a greater love. If you want a person to return to God, you must offer something much more powerful, profitable, and inviting than what a person already possesses.
Sometimes people look so serious or grave, you might feel they are not interested in what you are saying. Yet in reality, they may agree with everything you say, but outwardly not appear overly excited. Discern what is going on inside the heart. When I was told that Christ had come, I became highly indignant. I spewed Bible verses in defense of my belief for an hour; the behavior of those witnessing to us aggravated me. Those people could never imagine I would join. They felt I was married to the Bible and thought they should just give up on us. In fact, they never returned to our house and we had to pursue them. They could not figure out that God had touched my heart with the revelation they brought. This example just goes to prove that you cannot always perceive what is going on inside a person based on his external behavior. How many people have we consciously or unconsciously neglected and ignored because we felt they were not prepared or would never unclutch their present set of beliefs?
If there is a person who seems to be highly critical, try to view him as God does. God has compassion for such a person because He can see his suffering. That person is in his own prison without realizing it and there are many invisible reasons why he fights back or aggressively hurts people. He himself aches and any outburst is a reaction to that pain. His words may even create more agony within him than you.
Most people are internally suffering and sick. As a doctor, assign yourself to their case and work your hardest to take away their pain. If you can pour out love, you appear as God's representative with a heart of compassion, not wanting to teach or preach to them, but desiring to relieve their discomfort. Love is a great pain killer, and a person will be less likely to fight back if the anguish in his heart can be dispelled.
Many people come from broken families and then experience love relationships which have also dissolved; they feel as if they can no longer trust anybody. You have to be able to wash away their defense mechanisms and head straight for the heart.
A doctor who has performed hundreds of heart by-pass operations is a specialist. People who need such an operation tend to seek out those with the most experience and who have become authorities in a certain field. Highly successful specialists in any field are always in demand. Become a well-known spiritual surgeon and an authority for God. Help people through diagnosis and surgery. Discover a person's general health and then question him about the symptoms of his illness. When you become genuinely interested in a person, your words and actions naturally express that you value him. If you appear to have forgotten everything he told you before, it will reveal to him that you did not cherish your previous meetings.
Witnessing means much more than talking to people on a one-to-one basis. Our whole movement witnesses to the world. our behavior is a very definite witness to what God has done in our lives. For example, the missionaries sent to over one hundred twenty nations are the extensions of Father and our movement. They run schools and businesses; operate clinics; bring foods, medicine, and clothing through relief agencies, as well as begin many resourceful projects.
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