Standing In The Presence Of God (different version)
Sun Myung Moon
November 7, 1982
How have you been? Have you been well? It has been 39 days since I went away. It seemed like an eternity, didn’t it? When you are living together, time passes quickly, but when you are waiting, it goes very slowly. For two people who love each other, time passes like a fraction of a second. The more intense the love, the more quickly time passes. But waiting for such a loving person, time passes slowly.
Imagine the spirit world, living day in and day out, within the love of God. How quickly ten thousand years will pass!
Will people living happily with God in the spirit world ever think about getting old? Spirit world has nothing but goodness: good beginnings, good days, ending of good days, beginning of more good days — an endless continuation of good days. Everyone will be joyful and happy — no waiting, no anxiety. Hope is fulfilled, so we will continue living happy days. Heaven is full of love, nothing but love and loving life. Can you imagine that? Of course, we are not there yet. We have to prepare.
Tell God, ‘I Really Like You’
Let me ask you a question. Have you loved God? Do you like God? How much do you like God? When you stand in the presence of God, tell Him, “God, I really like You, I love You; I want to live together with You and never be separated.” You say that to God, and He will respond to you. God is the most important element in our religious life. You don’t think of God as a concept — just as you don’t think of your spouse as a concept. He is a fact, a reality. We have to feel that, just like breathing in and out. Those who have only concepts of God’s existence are unstable. We can intensely imagine Him right with us, and pretend we are living together.
I can say that I like God. Do you feel a realistic love towards God? Can you feel that God is like Heung Jin Nim? Sometimes the saliva comes out of her mouth, her nose runs, she wets her diapers — whatever she does, it doesn’t make any difference — you cannot help feeling love towards her.
Do you really like God? If you really like God a lot, are you always pleading with Him to help you? Who is supposed to be the helping one — the one who likes you, or the one whom you like? Which is a more normal attitude to have: “Since I like that person so much, I will help him,” or “Since I like him so much, he should help me”? The first one, right? If you really like someone, you don’t expect help from him, but you want to help him. If you help the one you like with the hope of getting something in return, your liking has the least value; you can hardly call it real liking. If you give someone a hundred dollars and don’t remember having given it, that liking is more valuable; your liking then is worth a hundred dollars.
So far, we have talked only about liking. How about loving? If we really love God, how much have we done to show that love? That is a really serious question to consider.
What Can You Give For God’s Love?
Whom have you loved in the past, with a love comparable to your love for God? Do you love God like you love yourself? When you are cold, you put on a coat; when you are hungry, you feed yourself; when you ant to look pretty, you put on makeup. You take good care of yourselves, but do you take as good care of God? Have you ever loved God as much as you love yourself?
The question of how much we love God was already raised in the Bible. Jesus said clearly, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10:37) There is a certain standard we have to meet before we can say we have loved. Where are we in relation to that standard? When Jesus said we had to love him more than anyone else, he meant more than anything that belongs to us — our family, our environment, our society, even our love itself.
Let’s say you own a country, an immensely precious and valuable one. But if you love God, literally love God, should you forget that country in your love for God? If someone loves God that much and the citizens of that country hear about it, they would say, “Oh, please love God at the sacrifice of us and our country.” Or suppose there was a person who loved God so much he would be willing to sell a country and all its citizens, but the citizens didn’t want to be offered. Could God be happy if He were loved with those proceeds? He is not a greedy God, demanding that you offer something or somebody who doesn’t want to be offered.
Suppose you own a company that is doing very well, turning a profit. Would you sell that for the love of God? Some of the employees might say, “Yes, please sell us and love God,” but others might object, “No, I don’t want to be sold.” Even on a company level, you would find such responses. Then do you think God would say, “Go ahead and sell the company, even though they don’t want to be sold”? No, He wouldn’t.
On a still smaller scale, in your own home, you can do anything you want. Perhaps you want to sell your possessions, including your house, and love God with them. But suppose the house would say, “I don’t want to be sold, especially not to a black man.”
Back to the standard. When you say you love God, what do you mean? By what standard do you love God?
We want to do anything that we physically can do in order to love God. But we have to realize how difficult it is to carry it out. Everything put together could not equal the value of God. If not a single person loves God more than anything else, then God finds Himself reduced to the value of small things. Even if He has a potential universal value, He cannot claim it or feel it. In other words, God doesn’t have that value unless He has someone who loves Him that much.
When we do many things in order to love God, maybe later, when we are in a difficult position, we can ask Him to do something for us. But if we have done nothing for God, it makes no sense to ask Him to do something for us. You think you are willing to do absolutely anything for the sake of the love of God. But can you do that? And are you doing that?
How Much Have You Loved God?
When God calls out to me and asks me, “Do you really love me?” I say, “Yes.” And then God asks, “How much have you loved Me?” God, of course, wants me to love Him with a huge love. While I am giving God huge love, what are you doing? Helping me give love, right? Or maybe you feel that the process of giving love brings too much suffering, and you don’t want to become involved.
Suppose I want to offer you to God, but you don’t want to be offered. “What about my family?” you might protest; “I belong to my family as much as I belong to you, Father. I have to ask my wife, I have to ask my children.” As long as God does not have that offering, He can never say; “I have been loved by even a small group of 200 to 300 people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for Me. So rather than that of the entire universe, My value is reduced to less than the lives of 200 or 300 people.” In other words, God has not received a love which is worthy of Him.
If you want to go somewhere, your eyes, ears, hands, feet, etc., must go with you. If they object to the direction you choose, you become tired very quickly. Don’t you think God must be very tired, because He knows the right way for all mankind to go, and He wants you to go that way, but sometimes you not willing?
Recently 6,000 couples were married. But for whom did this event take place? If they got married for God, then they have to dedicate everything to God. You might say, “Oh, Father, I will dedicate my wife (or husband), but after we live together for a year or so.” How many of those 6,000 couples are willing to say, “Okay, Father, go ahead and dedicate me to God”? How many do you imagine would?
Let’s turn our focus to the spirit world. Spirit world is immense; large numbers of people live there. If God goes in one direction and someone turns his back on God, that person will drift off in the opposite direction and perish. Before he can turn around and follow God’s direction, he has to repent and cleanse his mind of his differing opinion. “Oh, God, I was mistaken,” he should think; “from this time on I will forget about my own thinking.” But in spirit world it is more difficult to turn around than in the physical world. The spirit mind wants to turn around, but the feet don’t budge. Even though we shed our bodies, we cannot change our minds so easily.
Suppose God were to ask you to sell everything you own, for the love of God, and dedicate it for the sake of the broader world — say Africa. Then how would the Unification Church members respond? Would you say, “Oh, Father, let me think about it a bit more, before I decide,” or “Okay, right away”?
Preparation For The Real Heaven
As you are growing up, you go to a chain of schools — kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school, college. You go to kindergarten to prepare yourself for the next step, primary school. Why do you go to primary school? So it will be easier to go through middle school. Why do you go to middle school? To make the foundation for high school work. This holds true up through the doctoral level. Inevitably, you must go to school in preparation for the real, absolute heaven. How far will you get before you quit?
The Ph.D. standard of love is, “I love God above anybody or anything else, more than anybody or anything.” If you do that, then you have true love.
What level of school are you at now? When you go before the presence of God in the spirit world and He says, “Have you loved me?” you can’t just answer, “I wanted to love You, God, but my wife wasn’t willing, my son wasn’t willing, so I couldn’t love You.” We have to be not only willing to do something, but make sure that we are able to do it.
One of Jesus’ disciples came to him and said his father died, and asked what he should do, whether he should go to his father’s funeral. Jesus said. “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matt. 8:22) Suppose someone was walking down the aisle, getting married, and God called him at that moment, saying, “You come to me now.” He might reply, “Yes, I will, but first let me finish this march and exchange the rings.” Would you respond like that, or would you drop everything and go?
This was pretty much what happened to me in 1946. I was going out to get some food for Sung Jin Nim’s mother, to take care of my family. Without that food, starvation was imminent. But God said, “Go directly to North Korea.” I knew I would be arrested and treated badly there. But that was where God told me to go. That was a time of crisis in my family. If I had said, “Please wait; I must take care of this one matter. In just a few minutes I will go,” then today’s Unification Church would not be as it is. I dropped everything. When I responded to God without conditions, dropping everything, I won His recognition that I loved Him and the universe more than my own wife and my own son. After that, God was free to give me the best wife, and best children.
The same principle applies now. I am ready to dedicate this hard-won, flesh-and-blood Unification Church for the sake of God. If I do that, then it stands to reason that God may give me better than what I had. The church is just a handful of people, but you are people of all races. If I do that, imagine how much approval God would give me! In all history, was there anyone who carried out such a thing? Billions of people have lived on earth, but not a single soul has met God’s expectation. This happens to be the first time in history that we know how, literally, to love God.
A New Exodus
The Israelites, during their Exodus from Egypt, headed straight in to the Red Sea. They felt that it was better to drown in the Red Sea than not to obey God’s command. So if they were really willing to give their lives in trying, they would make it to Canaan. The Red Sea event was a testimony to their decisiveness to carry out God’s command. This was to be a victorious ground, where a race responded to God’s command and loved God on a race level, such as not one previously had done.
The Unification Church is making an exodus from the satanic realm; obedient to the command of God, we are heading for the world-level Canaan with all races included. Your friends and relatives urged you not to join the Moonies, but you paid no attention to them, resolved to go to God’s side, no matter what.
Why did God assemble all these people to go to Canaan? Why couldn’t He leave them where they were and work things out from there? God wanted to choose a people and have them come and form a country which God could call his own. God’s intention was very clear: to form a people, a country, which loved God more than anyone or anything else on earth. That was the reason for the Exodus and journey to Canaan.
Engrave this in your memory: God had a clear purpose in bringing then out of the satanic country and into Canaan: to form a country and people who love God more than anybody else on earth.
God had been planning for such a long time, with high expectations for His people. But what does history record? They complained; they were wishy-washy; they faltered in the wilderness, became the prey of eagles and hawks. Why through the wilderness, you might ask? Why didn’t God bring them directly into Canaan? It was their responsibility to go through the wilderness, to establish the condition that they could go through difficulties and win the victory by themselves.
For 4,000 years, what has been the hope of the Israelites? To meet the messiah. And then what, to live happily ever after? No, their job was to unite with the messiah, and bring about the country unsurpassed in love for God.
Moses was their leader. When he told them to go in a certain way, there should have been no complaint. At one command of Moses, everybody should have moved, regardless of the difficulty — and then they would have entered Canaan.
Today is an exact replica. The 40 years in the wilderness is now repeated; however, no longer is it on the national level, but on a transnational level. All nations and races are going through the wilderness, in order to arrive at the world-level Canaan. Then where are we supposed to go? What is our destination? Home church is not the universal church now. Where we are going is not a peaceful country. Why is God making us do that? Because we have to go through our portion of responsibility, to set the record of accomplishing our goal by going through opposition from all the world — by our own valor, our own faith. Then God will credit us with having won our own victory. This is exactly like what the Israelites did.
So the 40 years wilderness period of the worldwide Unification Church is to establish the record that we have loved God more than anybody else collectively on the face of the earth. Four thousand years ago, the Israelites faced the Red Sea. Our Red Sea today is a sea of ideology, communism. We must clearly realize that we have the historical task of going through 40 years in the wilderness, under the command of our leader, and then to establish the country God desires. This is our whole purpose. This is why I came to America. God wanted me to come to America and do this in a worldwide setting. America is not welcoming our Exodus and our wilderness period, but is trying to prevent it from being successful.
The Israelites sprinkled the blood of a lamb on their door posts as a sign. We need that offering today, too. That is home church. You are Americans, but you are treated as aliens when you go to home church. Still you are undaunted. That is exactly what the Israelites went through 2,000 years ago. When the Israelites made their Exodus, they brought everything with them — jewelry, gold, which they dedicated for this new cause. This is why when people join the Unification Church, they bring everything with them to help this new movement.
Soldiers Of Heaven
When we stand in the presence of God, would He want us to make a small dedication or a huge one? A little one, then a little larger, still larger, etc., until it reaches the level of the universe.
We are the soldiers of heaven. A good soldier doesn’t worry about his life, he has no fear of getting hurt. No good soldier worries about dying. He concentrates on the objective. This is the way the Unification Church members around the world would have to be.
Actually, we don’t have to go through each step. We can take off like a rocket and land right on the target. But people sometimes get cozy and no longer want to move ahead. They have their family, a cozy apartment; they feel comfortable where they are, and when they are asked, they will say they won’t go. They then become the prey of the eagles in the wilderness. If you are not confident enough to win over all these temptations, authorize people to bind you and drag you on to your goal.
We are doing this to fulfill God’s desire that somebody accomplish this on earth, that somebody dedicate his life to the huge love of God, for the sake of the world. The only people God can pin His hopes on are the Unification Chine members. We have a reason to be thankful to God for giving us this opportunity to fulfill His hope. This situation is the first such in human history. How proud we should he!
You have to be clear about this. When soldiers march, they don’t march like stragglers, but in ranks, with their colors in front. When there is a command all Unification Church members will be mobilized into this one final activity. How proud God will be! “My proud people; my victory on you,” He will say. He will give His blessing at that moment.
Don’t think about these things only when you come to hear my sermon. When you are kissing your bride or bridegroom, when you are nursing your child, caring for your babies, you have to think about this fundamental underlying purpose in our lives. That is exactly how I came to the point where I now am, leading up to it all throughout my life.
Since I know that God wants so badly to set up the standard that we have loved Him more than anyone else in the history of the world, I am going through these steps. What if we don’t make it’? Even dying in jail, we should want to reach the goal, be proud of it and die.
This Is Difficult For Americans
While I was crossing the Pacific Ocean in the airplane, I thought, “It is going to be difficult for Americans to go this way; nevertheless, this is the goal; they must go. Whether they are awake, asleep, eating, they should not forget this.” In this prayerful mood I flew back to America. While you are fundraising, while you are witnessing, even though everything is difficult, yet you have to go through that barrier. Even if you falter and collapse, it is better than forgetting about this goal. Even though your load is so heavy that you want to untie it and rest, we cannot. Once you lay it down, you cannot pick it up again. That is why, no matter how hard, we must keep going.
It is important that you don’t go this way because I oblige you to do so or because your leader stimulates you. Our only chance of success is if we ourselves want to go, regardless of whether there people are watching and advising us, or opposing us. No matter what, God is watching, and each of us should think, “I have to make it my philosophy to go.” It is up to you, and no one else — including me. If you want to do it, you will do it.
That attitude is so important. Look at examples from history. People who had different ideas from Moses, people who hesitated, didn’t make it.
Now we see the opposition all around. We have to go through this opposition. After that, will we be peaceful? No. Perhaps there will be another fight waiting, but we will worry about that at that time. Many people have complimented me on being a success in Korea and America. But we have to think that our victory as of today is still tentative. Formidable potential enemies remain in the place we must go. We can never be complacent. We can never have a moment’s rest today. Instead, time we could use as a moment of rest we should invest as preparation for a serious fight ahead.
The story of David and Goliath is a supreme lesson for us. No ordinary thought would have allowed David to overcome Goliath. He was not swayed by the presence of the giant. As a soldier, he fought the inevitable fight. As soldiers, we must determine, God willing, to win and not worry about anything else. Then our Goliath, which are the communist countries, will look much smaller than they look now. Only that determination can win.
Then would America welcome us? After we win over Moscow and the whole world sees the victory, Americans will stand up and applaud, “Oh, Moonies, you did it!” Never expect America to help us in the meantime. We will do it.
Opposition Forces You To Prepare Yourself
Opposition is not altogether bad. People oppose us because we are not yet worthy. We have to be better. When Americans oppose you it is not because they hate you, but because you are not yet worthy. When they kick you, realize that it means, “Please become one step better than you are now.” Use opposition as a lesson. People kick you to make sure you prepare for Moscow. You may object, saying “I am an American. I will do only the American dispensation. I cannot go to Moscow.” If you say that, you are trying to rest along the way to the goal. America is no place to rest. We have to reach the goal. Are you confident?
Many of our members in the satellite countries are in prison; they have already spent two, three, four years in jail. Some have died. That is the inevitable course. I went through this typical course; you should resolve that it will be your course as well. I reached this point by risking my entire life. You have to protect me in your prayers too.
I have always taken risks. The higher the dispensation goes, the greater the risks that accompany it. You should realize what kind of level I have come to, so you can go with the same rhythm. It is your responsibility to set up your condition of faith, on your level, which will be in unison with my level.
Do you really believe in me? [In English] I don’t believe you!
I have many burdens on my back too. I have to do all the planning. Also, is much of the persecution I get because of me, or indirectly because of you? If a person gets drunk and walks down the street and somebody says, “That’s a Moonie,” people conclude, “All the Moonies are like that. Rev. Moon teaches that kind of behavior.”
How heavy is my burden? Greater than what I can carry on my shoulders. But when we go beyond the national boundary and reach the victory, then all the injustices of the past have to be indemnified.
Is God victorious today? Just spiritually, God can never be victorious. Unless the victory is with the body, God has no victory. That is why He is not victorious now. We have to make Him a victorious God; I have to make him a victorious God.
You have to make every part of your body good — eyes, ears, etc. Always think about whether God would do a certain thing; if you think He would, then go ahead and do it.
So should we launch ourselves and land at the goal? Once you get here, will you rest for eternity, or will you come back and, if need be, do it all over again?
Would You Go Back To Egypt?
The Israelites stopped before fulfilling everything, so our example ends at a certain point. But what would have happened if the Israelites had successfully entered Canaan? Would they have lived happily ever afterwards? The chances are that God would have sent them back to Egypt, to save the whole of Egypt as well.
The same applies to your own family. When you become victorious, God may send you back one day to your own relatives, no matter how fiercely they oppose you. God would say, “Now go and love them.”
We are determined to reach the goal; whether with eyes open or closed, whether asleep or awake, we must get there. Then once we arrive, will we return? If God tells us so, we will.
I can feel free to leave this country any time. Our members can remain in America, but I probably wouldn’t. It depends on where God’s will is. Where God’s will is, that is where I will be. What about you? Where will you be?
When Lot was told to flee Sodom and Gomorrah, he obeyed God. But what about Lot’s wife? She had accumulated such wealth, she didn’t want to give up everything overnight and go, even though it was God’s command. What happened to her? [She turned into a pillar of salt.] This is a lesson, too, for the Moonies. You may have a husband or wife, obtained a position which you had wanted for a long time, and are just about to become successful in some project — but you may have to drop everything to fulfill what God has in store for you.
Prepare To Adapt To Spirit World
Man has three desires: first, to own something; then, to love; and then to eat. How do we differ from other people? We differ because we can overcome these desires, if we want to. You have to be different from other people on that point.
If you have two almost identical things, which would you give to God, the better or the less good? If you don’t even see God, to whom would you give these things? God wants you to give what is better to others, in His place. But people usually keep the better things for themselves and give the lesser ones to other people. The desire to own things and the desire for the opposite sex are very strong.
Keep a record, like a diary, about the daily fight against your weaknesses. Today I was victorious, write; today I was defeated, write on another day. At the end of the year, 365 days, count up how many days were victorious and how many were days of defeat. I already told you that we go from nursery school through the doctoral level to prepare ourselves. We challenge ourselves and put forth all our effort every day, in order to adapt to spirit world.
This is why there is nothing I cannot do. There is no part of society where I cannot go. I can meet boat captains, I have no limit. So don’t limit yourselves to a certain level of society.
I always choose the most difficult way, the way of revival. We are reviving the foundation of Christianity. We are reviving the moral foundations of society. The foundation is always the most difficult part to restore. What are the most difficult problems on earth? The situation of Christianity and the problem of immorality. I have chosen to solve these. Are you going to follow my way? It’s the most difficult course, but also the most valuable. Jesus was described as the lamb who bore all the sins of the world. Jesus himself was carrying all the sins of the world, for all mankind. Can I be different?
In front of God we have no complaint, we make no excuses, we offer no disagreement. God certainly knows better than we do. When God does something, we have to jump in without thinking twice.
Suppose in one army the soldiers are looking at the general to see what he commands, and if he doesn’t say anything, they do nothing. In another army, some soldiers already know what the general would do in a given situation; sometimes platoon leaders and squad leaders are almost as good as the general — perhaps even better in minor areas. Which of these two armies would be the strongest?
So If I am away, can you resolve to follow me even better? Then we will be a stronger army, won’t we? Would a general reprimand a soldier because he listened well to his platoon leader? He would commend him. A general feels proud and can rest a bit better at night, when he know that the soldiers are following their platoon leader.
I want you to be worthy people blessed by God. Would you resolve to do that? God bless you.
Col. Han, the translator, prays:
Oh Heavenly Father, we welcome our victorious Father and Mother back from around the world. They face such deep antagonism in America; still they bravely went to Korea and won such an exciting victory. We are thankful for what they have done for us, for mankind and for You.
Father, we have paid such unserious attention to Your words, and we repent to You for that. We repent that we have never understood our True Parents, we have never understood enough about You. But Father showed us clearly the pattern of our life.
We thank You very much from the bottom of our heart. Of course, we cannot just say it with words, but we must carry out our mission, even when Father is not watching over us. Oh, Father, let me decide myself that I want to follow Your way of life, not just because Father tells us to. When Father tells us, it makes it relatively easy, but eventually, Heavenly Father, I have to do it on my own.
We regret deeply that we have been so unworthy in the past. Heavenly Father, again we deeply repent because we thought we loved You, but we did not really love You. Oh, Heavenly Father, all the words You spoke this morning, and every other morning, are literally our life. Without adhering to that word, without carrying out that word in the flesh, all of our actions have no meaning.
Heavenly Father, You are pragmatic, and we are good at that, too. Thank You from the bottom of our heart, and we love You, too. We may die for You, we love You that much.
Also, Heavenly Father, protect our Parents in America and wherever they are in the world. Protect them at the price of our lives. Sacrifice our families and preserve Father’s families, and all the other families of the world.
We pray these things, unworthy things, but we will do everything for You.