Heaven Down To Earth - Words of Spiritual Guidance
by Rev. Paul Werner
Chapter 15 - Witnessing [Part 1]
Who are we living for? God and His nature have remained an unsolved mystery to mankind. Throughout the Old Testament era He appeared as thunder and lightning and burning bushes. His fury and wrath were something people feared. But when Jesus came, he taught us what a loving father God is. He brought us the understanding that God is our Parent and encouraged us to emulate Him.
People have been estranged from God for thousands of years. We witness to bring people back to God and to do that, our hearts should mirror His. When we can capture that essence of God, the hearts of people can be moved. Feeling His heart can inspire them to commit their lives to Him, and in turn they can touch the hearts of many others.
Witnessing is the way the heart of God is being extended from cosmopolitan cities, to thatched-roof houses in Africa, to Chinese junks, and beyond.
Saving souls is equivalent to saving lives. Just as a person's physical body might need medication or surgery, similar treatments must often be administered when doctoring a spiritual life. If a person constantly complains to you and doesn't solve his resentment toward his parents, employer, spouse, etc., you have several options. You could join him in bemoaning the situation, however a better course of action would be to expose his spiritual wound. First point it out, then help disinfect it by listening to his confession, and finally apply needed medication and a proper bandage by showing him possible solutions.
However, before you can doctor a person, you first have to love him and gain his trust. If you erect a foundation of mutual confidence, you will be able to tell a person many things, and he will be able to receive them from you.
Look at situations and people through God's eyes. If you properly assess people according to His will, you naturally become a second messiah when you speak out. You become a messiah to the person to whom you witness. Witnessing is an action that includes talking to people about what God has revealed to you, the change in your heart and intellect. Give witness to the greatness of God; tell others of His beauty and love. Talk straight rather than philosophize. You can ignite and open any heart if you use a burning torch of love. People will be awed by sincere love which is willingly given from your heart as well as the profound impact of your statements. Even if you never see the person again, he will be unable to forget meeting you. Listening to the words you spoke, he experienced the very essence of his conscience; until that moment, his heart had been longing to find others who had the same ideas you presented to him.
The yearning to be loved and cared for is within every person. The desire to meet God may be buried under layers of doubt and insecurities, but it still exists within each individual. Coat an arrow of truth with love and as you shoot it, aim for the person's heart. Whether the individual rejects you or rebels, the arrow will have pierced and stuck. He may succeed in pulling it out, but the tip might stay wedged in his heart, not allowing him to forget. It is just a question of time before he desires to meet you again and hear more.
However, if your own heart does not burn with a fervor to testify to the love of God, you will have limited power to penetrate the steel encasement around the heart of another person, and your witnessing will not be so effective.
We should not witness out of duty. Witnessing should be a spontaneous outpouring of the heart. This can best be motivated by an inner drive. If your heart is full of gratitude and love, the Holy Spirit might even inspire you to share your testimony with a stranger. Revolve your conversation around the miracle of God's presence in your life. That is true witnessing.
in order to be a powerful witnesser, you have to yearn for God. Create a solid foundation and then continue to offer conditions to God so that He is able to work through you and live within your heart. This requires not only that you fall in love with God, but that you place Him above all things. Do not just do this in the realm of your intellect, but also in your world of emotion. On the basis of your heartistic experience with God, share the Principle and by doing so, you will more easily be able to communicate with a person. And when you do, the power of God will emanate from you. Your success in witnessing actually depends upon the strength of your relationship with God. When you are with Him, He will surely be with you.
I feel the greatest factor inhibiting witnessing is fear. We are often more afraid than the people we meet. We allow ourselves to be talked into feeling afraid of them. We become hesitant and feel inferior to them. The little doubt we harbor is enough of an opening for Satan to enter. His is the voice telling us that we are not worthy enough to talk to people, not strong enough to bring the love of God to them. When our minds become steeped in such negativity, we become more wary to reach out to people who hold high positions. Yet if we tuned out the voice of Satan and became aware of the voice of God, we would naturally hear a positive message: "Don't worry. You can do it!" When we can place greater trust in God, we will understand that indeed we do possess the inner strength enabling us to approach people in all levels of society.
God must feel frustrated when we bar Him from reaching certain people. He deeply desires them to hear the Principle as well as understand the significance of this time. He must want the opportunity to speak to their hearts and elicit a commitment. We are the ones He depends on to be His arms and legs, His heart and mouth. In order to help Him, we have to be aware of His desires. To do so, we must be active and connect with God through prayer. Ultimately, prayer and action are the means which will help alleviate the burden of fear.
By sharing the right words, emotions, and vibrations, a person will recognize what you say is true and he will yearn to hear more. Prick his conscience and uncover his heart. Most people are wrapped in many layers of self-defense, fear, guilt, and insecurity. Keep opening the package until you sight a person's original mind. Explain to him things which until this point he may have only felt and not yet consciously realized were missing from his life. Elements of the Principle evoke certain emotions because our hearts are somehow familiar with the vibration of these truths. That is because the essence of God -- His love and His truth -- is imbedded deep within each one of us. And we ignite a person's heart by stimulating the original mind.
There is a kind of satellite dish within the heart of every person. It waits to receive certain signals before transmission can take place. It is our job to send the right signals for this to happen. Assume that a spark of God is hidden within every person and aim to kindle it.
The fuse attached to a piece of dynamite must be lit in order for it to explode. There is a tiny bit of gunpowder in the capsule of the detonator secured to that string. The little capsule is like the center of a person's original mind, the point through which God can reach him. A kind of dynamite surrounds a person's heart. The piece of string that trails out is the expression of the person's longing to discover the answers to his questions. Ignite the longing, and as it burns to the core, the heart will eventually explode at the moment of impact with the heart of God.
From the time a woman falls in love with a man, she does not want to live without him. She may previously have thought that since she has not needed a man thus far, why should she look for one after all this time. She may even prefer to spend her money exclusively on herself. Yet once she experiences the totality of love, she develops an entirely new understanding and viewpoint.
Many people in this world feel they do not need the Messiah. They are unable to appreciate him and his sacrifice, and therefore think they can easily live without him. Human beings have not developed a full relationship to God, yet if we knew how good it is to live with Him in complete and total love, we would grasp His hand and could never let go. Because they have no appreciation for God and the Messiah, and don't know the beauty which intimacy with them reveals, the majority of people do not strive to nurture a very close relationship with either their Heavenly Father or Christ. We cannot blame them, but such an attitude on their part makes our witnessing work all the more challenging. Therefore, we need to convey something real about God. We must encourage them to hear God, see God, smell, touch, and taste Him. When their curiosity is stimulated, God will have the base to use His senses and touch them, too. An entirely new world they never knew existed will unfold before them. As this happens, instead of pulling away from us, many people will begin to love us and eagerly seek our advice on developing their relationship to God and the Messiah.
Even though each of us may witness to many people within the span of one day, statistics disclose that not all those we speak to join our church at this time. One of the factors which might contribute to this is that we individually do not generate enough power to arouse their interest. In order to be successful witnessers, we must evoke spirit world to work behind the scenes. We may feel that we must continually go from one person to the next, but yet may forget many things about the first people we met. We must hook our heart onto another person's heart. When we do, he will be pulled by a powerful magnet of love and will want to listen to what we have to say.
God has definitely prepared many people; He has specific reasons for wanting to reach them and desires that they hear the message of the Principle. Even though Saul of Tarsus had persecuted many Christians, God wanted to reach that man who ultimately became St. Paul. And God won him. Tremendous pressures bore down on this man and miracles encircled him until he surrendered to God.
I am absolutely certain that God wanted me. He did win me, but not because the people who originally met Christel and me were fabulous witnessers. They simply brought the idea that Christ had returned. But from that point on, God took over. The many spiritual experiences and the intimate relationship I developed with both Heavenly Father and True Parents convinced me that God Himself is my spiritual father.
Activate the spirit world to such a degree that the person to whom you witness can feel the love of God through you. It will be such an unforgettable and extraordinary experience for both of you. If you have not sufficiently mobilized spirit world, nothing may happen. People are approached daily by countless individuals for any number of reasons. Sales people of all kinds are hoping to interest the public in their products. What you give to a person you meet must be more attractive to him than what he already has.
Many Christian ministers have a great longing to know God and come close to Him. Although many may doubt God's existence, some still have a solid belief in Him. Search them out; they are the ones to whom you should talk. Perhaps they are more lonely than you can imagine. Some of them must constantly ask questions of God, but may not have had many chances to actually dialogue with anyone about probable answers. Despite their own theology, they may be ardently searching for an ideology to adopt.
You may feel that because they have a mighty position, you are not worthy to tie their shoelaces. Yet just as with anyone else, nurturing them with parental love is the most important thing. Witness to the beauty and clarity of the Principle; simply let God's love shine through you.
Unless we make a connection to the spirit world, nothing will happen when we witness. God has prepared people in every neighborhood, city, and nation to hear this message. Yet so often we tend to complain that the neighborhood, the city, or the nation lacks good people. We must repent for such a feeling; God longs to speak to people through us, but He is blocked from doing so if we insist on viewing people through our own eyes. Instead, we must listen to what He is trying to tell us. In my own experience, God has directly led me to speak to people I personally would not have considered witnessing to. But I am sure He had a specific reason and no doubt had been preparing the person for years.
It is up to each of us to open ourselves up and link our hearts with His; by doing so, our effectiveness in witnessing will increase.
Compassion is a source of sensitivity. When we can truly be sensitive to others, we will discover the suffering they endure. It is a very fine science; we are like doctors who have the task of diagnosing patients. If we make the wrong diagnosis, we will give our patient the wrong treatment. Yet we are here to heal people, and therefore must learn how to make a correct analysis of the person's condition and then administer the proper surgical techniques. However, spiritual surgery must be performed on the basis of heart rather than intellect.
Good doctors ask patients to clarify where they are experiencing pain. We should do the same. Just as the medical profession uses an x-ray machine, we should spiritually x-ray a person by using our hearts. Through sensitivity, we can determine the illness.
We often confront things within people as we witness to them. That confrontation actually drives out many evil spirits. Whether or not a person accepts the Principle, your action of witnessing expels many negative spirits that surrounded him. One important fact to keep in mind is that at the same time we witness to an individual, we actually talk to hundreds, even thousands of spirits that live around him.
Through the Principle of Resurrection we understand that based on their desire to quickly elevate their spiritual level, some spiritual beings choose to influence or assist certain people. They listen to and observe all things happening to the person with whom they cooperate. Spiritual beings realize that through learning they can cooperate and then be raised up. As they help us in witnessing, they themselves can grow.
If you are full of fear and feel uncomfortable when you go witnessing, my advice is to talk to the first person you meet. Once you become involved with a person, your fear will dissipate. Yet if you procrastinate and don't talk to anyone for an hour or more, you have stored up an hour's worth of fear. If it takes you ten hours to approach the first person, you have to combat the mountain of ten hours of fear. And it continues to increase all the time.
Why do any of us fear witnessing? What makes us afraid? If you are posed at the end of a diving board and three people who also want to jump stand in back of you, you either take that leap in faith or retreat. If others are also waiting to jump, you cannot procrastinate. If you choose to retreat, you may never dive again. It takes only one second to make your decision. If you decide to jump, you will feel happy because you become the victor.
It does not matter what you say when you witness to a person. Both of you will always learn something. The other person learns that even though you may be full of fear, you did have the guts to approach him; this automatically evokes a certain kind of respect. This will make him unconsciously listen twice as hard to what you say. Even if there is no immediate result from your conversation, you always plant a seed. God will harvest it in His own time. You may meet this person again when he is more ready to investigate the Principle, or perhaps later he will meet another member. So often we feel that when we do not have tangible results in witnessing, we have unequivocally failed. It is a question of how much you give out to the person; you can do a good deed even if you speak a single sentence. God does not measure success in the same way we do.
We must live exemplary lives. If we only use theories and practice the external rituals of our faith but do not express love, people will have a difficult time believing us. When any of us finds a person who matches his words and deeds, we are naturally drawn to him. When we do the same, many people will be drawn to us and consequently our ideology; it is impossible to withstand such a magnetic force.
It is not necessary to view witnessing as only an official type of confrontation. The simplest and best method is to make friends wherever you go. As you look for a person to witness to, you may search for a long time. However do not waste that time just walking; walk the most populated road and talk to people along the way. If you talk to one hundred people, there will be one hundred possibilities for people to be interested. Try not to lose any more time using precious minutes or even hours just to compose yourself enough to approach a person. Be naturally friendly and begin talking to people about ordinary things.
Whether it is weak or strong, each of us has a prayer life. There is incredible power in prayer because the motivation and determination we express in our daily devotions often directly correlates with our results, no matter what our mission. For example, if you make a concentrated effort by praying several hours for a particular person you met when witnessing, the spiritual world will cooperate and influence that person to think about you. Pray a prayer of longing for that person to come home to God. If you do, the next time you meet him God will have a greater chance to speak through you.
In general, become more sensitive and attune yourself to people you meet throughout the day. Learn about Heavenly Father and True Parents in order to better share your insight with others. If we don't work to save the world, who will? God desires to bestow the gift of the Principle to the world, but if we don't witness to the importance and truth of this revelation, nobody will.
Usually people you meet on the street do not instantly trust you. In fact, most of the time they may avoid you or make excuses to end the conversation because they may be wary of you and your motivation. Revealing your heart and establishing yourself as a trustworthy person in a short amount of time is a real art. But it can be learned and developed. Try to be so sensitive to others that you become able to capture a person's heart immediately. If you cannot do this, you may lose a valuable chance to convey the heart of the Principle.
There are many aspects you need to consider when developing human relationships. You must be able to burn through the shell surrounding a person's heart to enable him to open his heart and mind.
Since the fall, humanity has been cut off from God. Inter-human relationships have been severed as well. It is the process of restoration that allows us to reconnect with God and permits a bridging of human relationships. The Principle teaches us the importance of this amalgamation, and it is God who encourages us to use the tool of witnessing to accomplish it.
You will be most effective if you talk to people in a down-to-earth manner. You need not rehearse lines or talk to people as if you were reading from a book. You don't usually watch what you say to a friend but simply pour out whatever is in your heart. Why not adopt the same method when you witness? So many people are incredibly lonely; people long for good friends and for someone to take care of them. Be the kind of person that can fill that need.
Instead of being inhibited or intimidated by the circumstances, take certain things for granted. Talk to someone as if you had already known him for several years. The fact is, you may become great friends and then your assumption will be true.
People have basic insecurities both about themselves and about meeting new people; therefore, they may be reluctant to talk to you. Realize that and help them conquer their fears. It is not an easy job to become triumphant in the war against anxieties. But look at those apprehensions for what they are -- blockades that impede natural growth and development of a person's relationships to both God and others.
Since the fall of man, Satan has continued to implant fear into the minds of people. As a result, individuals are generally insecure and afraid of anybody and anything. Many are terrified of religion because it touches the most intimate part of the human soul as well as the most significant aspects of life. People do not want to be misled or risk involvement; this causes them to mask their fears and often just turn away.
When you appear friendly and your disposition is like the sun, your personality will definitely make a positive impression upon a person. If your face is long and your disposition ugly, people will not bother with you. What kind of an example will you be? Witness about what God has done in your life. The vibrations you emanate have the greatest impact; the actual words you say are secondary. Can a person believe your words about heaven if your face displays unhappiness? The philosopher Nietzsche told Christians, "if you want me to believe in your Savior, you will have to look a little more 'saved' than you do."
When you go out witnessing, you may feel overwhelmed by the burden of your individual responsibility, worried about the worldwide predicament, or sorrowful about God's plight. But even if your heart is heavy, it is essential that you go out with a spring-like nature; if you don't, you will not be able to attract anybody.
Whenever you meet a person and talk to him, first discover the points you have in common. Why look for and magnify the differences between you? There may be only a few points that are similar but center on them: "You are a human being, I am a human being. You want to have a good life; so do 1. You have a God? I have the same God. I believe in the same Jesus, too." It is not necessary to delve into small points of theology the first time you meet a person. Gain his acceptance and become friends first. Eventually you will be able to tell him other things.
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