Standing In The Presence Of God

Standing In The Presence Of God

Reverend Sun Myung Moon
November 7, 1982
Belvedere
Translator – Sang Kil Han

It has been only 40 days since I was here last, but doesn’t it seem like a much longer time? Why should such a short time seem so long? The time you spend while you are together with someone you love passes quickly, but the time you spend apart seems to go very slowly. The more you love someone, the more this is so.

We can imagine the spirit world where we will dwell within the love of God. There we will live for tens, thousands, millions of years and the time will go so quickly; you can imagine how quickly the time would pass. Would people who are living in the love of God in spirit world ever pause to think about getting old? There is nothing but goodness in such a place; the days begin with goodness, progress in goodness and end with goodness. People always feel joy and happiness; they are free from anxiety or need, since every desire is fulfilled. Therefore, life in the eternal spirit world can be simply described as happy.

Can you imagine such a place as Heaven which is full of love? When you are in God’s presence, you naturally say, “God, I really love You and I never want to be separated from You.” Let me ask you, do you love God? How much have you loved God? This is the most important element in our religious life. There is nothing just conceptual about God; God is as real as your own spouse. You have to feel that with every breath you take.

Those whose relationship with God is only within the realm of concept are inevitably unstable people. Since we don’t normally meet with God constantly, there is nothing wrong with keeping God in our thoughts and dwelling with the concept of His constant presence. But if you just think about God once in a while and maintain a totally imaginary concept of Him, that is not enough.

Is your love for God a realistic love, the same as I feel when I hold Jeung-Jin-Nim and love everything about her? Sometimes she drools, her nose runs, and she has dirty diapers but it doesn’t make any difference; she can do anything and I still love her. Have you ever felt that way for God? Such a love has no room for any rejection; whatever the beloved does is just fine.

What kind of prayers do you pray? If you love God so much, do you pray to Him, “God, please help me!”? Who is supposed to offer the help, the one who loves or the one who is loved? According to human relationships, when you like someone you automatically want to give him whatever you can; you want to help him. How would it sound if you said, “I like you, so please give something to me.”?

Which is the more normal way of relating: “I like him, so I will help him,” or “Since I like him so much, he should help me.”? Certainly it is the first. The person who has the second attitude is really saying, “I don’t really like you but I want your help.” This is because if you really like and love someone, you don’t expect anything from him; instead your desire is to give to him and to help him.

This is actually a very simple thing. When you really like someone, you want to continually give to him; after a while, if he wants to give to you, that is fine. However, your desire is not to receive from him in the first place. Similarly, to like someone and give to him with the secret desire to receive repayment from him eventually is hardly a true attitude of affection. Such an attitude has very little value.

There are some people who count up all the benefit they give to others and expect 100% return on their “investment.” If you gave someone $100 with the expectation of receiving it all back, then your love is worth only $10O, or even less.

The question is, then, how much do you love God? Ten thousand dollars times ten thousand is $100 million. Do you like Him that much? What about one hundred times that? Ask yourself seriously this question: have you ever given anything to God that had real value? Do you really love God? Whom have you ever loved in the past in a comparable way? Do you love Him as much as you love yourself?

When you are cold, you put on warmer clothes; when you are hungry you feed yourself. You take really good care of yourself, but do you do the same for God?

You should know that this is a very important matter for your life. We all have only one lifetime; at the end of your life, the serious question you must answer will be how well did you actually love God. The question has already been raised by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. He demanded of people that they love him more than their own spouses or children or anyone else.

Love is of all different qualities. What is the standard for loving which we must be able to meet before we are actually qualified to say to someone, “I love you”? You must know where you are in relation to that standard. Jesus’ standard of loving included everything in a person’s life: his loved ones and his precious belongings-everything. Each person has a claim on his own environment, his family, his country and his world. All of that had to be abandoned, if necessary, in order to love Jesus; this was the clear-cut standard which the Bible records.

Perhaps you think about these things and you pray with that attitude, but the true test is in how you live your life. Suppose you owned a whole country. If you really loved God, shouldn’t you be able to sell the entire country and dedicate the money to God’s service? When the citizens of your country heard about your dedication, perhaps they would be so inspired they would encourage you. On the contrary, perhaps those citizens would protest, saying, “No, we don’t want to be sold!” Could God be happy with such a gift? God would tell you not to sell that country.

Perhaps such an idea is impossible, so consider if you owned a company which was very profitable and successful. What if you decided to sell the company? Some employees would encourage you, saying, “Yes, please sell the company and love God,” but others would protest, saying, “No, I don’t want to be sold.” Would God say, “Go ahead and sell them, anyway, even though they don’t want it”? No. God would not want to force them to be sold.

Coming down to a smaller level. suppose you decided to sell everything you owned, even your home, and dedicate the money to God? What is your standard for loving God ? Each of you may want to do anything at all for the love of God, but you must realize the difficulties involved when you actually try to carry out your wishes.

The value of God is greater than all the rest of the world; everything put together cannot equal the value of God. However, there has not been one single person who has had a love of such magnitude for God. For that reason, God has found Himself reduced to the value of just another small part of a person’s life. God’s value cannot be fully realized unless He has someone who can love Him according to the fullness of His true value.

If someone has done nothing at all for God’s sake, yet freely asks His help at any time, what kind of sense does that make in terms of love? Perhaps you think you are ready to do absolutely anything for the sake of God. However, thinking is very different from doing. Thinking is very easy; acting is very difficult.

When God calls out to me, saying, “Reverend Moon, do you really love me?” I answer, “Yes.” Then God asks. “What kind of love have you shown?” God wants to receive a huge love, in accordance to His true value. While I have been giving that kind of huge love to God. have you been helping me?

Instead of talking about a country or a company. Let’s talk about our church congregation. Suppose I decided to hire out every one of you and dedicate the money to God? How would you respond? Would you say, “Yes, go ahead,” or would you protest, saying, “No, I don’t want to go!” Would you say, “But, Father, I belong to my family as much you, so I have to consult with my wife and children”?

If those of you here cannot agree to such a possibility, then God can only say, “I have never had a group of people who were willing to be dedicated to me. My value isn’t even as great as a group of 300 people.” In other words, God hasn’t even received the love which was worthy of 300 persons.

Unification Church members constantly think and say that they are willing and able to give up their homes and their countries, but the problem is that they are only saying the words. You have never done anything like that. so it is a problem.

When you decide to go somewhere you must have the cooperation of your whole body-your feet, hands and faculties. If you don’t, it is impossible to move and you feel very tired. What about God? He knows the right way for mankind to move, but sometimes you are willing and sometimes you are not. Doesn’t God feel tired when you are not willing to cooperate? This is a serious problem.

Recently 6,000 couples were blessed in Korea. For whom were those couples married? It was for the sake of God. That means every aspect of their marriage must be for the sake of God, not just the ceremony. Will you say, “I will dedicate my spouse and marriage to you, God, after we have had some time together”? That is not true dedication. Out of the 6,000 couples, how many do you imagine are truly willing to be entirely dedicated to God? That is a serious matter, too.

Certainly God is worthy of having the entire universe dedicated to Him, not only 6,000 couples. Imagine if God told Jesus, “Dedicate the entire universe to Me.” What would have been Jesus’ response? Suppose Jesus had been able to gain Heavenly dominion over the Roman Empire? Would he have been willing to give it up if God demanded? Certainly, he would have done it willingly, in spite of the great difficulties involved in gaining dominion.

Consider the immensity of spirit world. If God gives a direction to someone in spirit world, he must obey. If someone refuses to do what God directs, he must repent and then turn in the direction which God has directed him to go. If he had a different opinion from God’s, he must empty his mind and then follow God. However, it is very difficult to move or change direction in the spirit world. Even though a person’s mind desires to move somewhere, the feet might refuse to budge. Once we shed our physical body, it is much more difficult to change our minds and move in a different direction.

Suppose I directed you to sell everything you owned and dedicate the proceeds to helping Africa. How would you respond? Would you jump to do it immediately? It is very easy to say yes, but doing it would be another matter.

The schooling process involves many steps: kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and so forth. Kindergarten makes it possible for you to enter elementary school and each step does the same for the next step. Now you must attend the school which will enable you to live in the Heavenly Kingdom. How far do you want to go in your schooling? You must go all the way to the highest level, the Ph.D. level for Heaven. The standard for that level is that you can love God more than anybody or anything else in the universe.

At what level of schooling are you now? Suppose you went to spirit world and God asked you, “How much did you love me while you were on earth?” Could you answer Him, “Well, Heavenly Father. I wanted to love You but my wife prevented me from it.”? Such an answer is not acceptable. You must be sure while you are living that you are not only willing but able to love God.

Jesus’ teaching was crystal clear on the standard of loving God. When one of his disciples asked him if he could go and assist in the funeral of his father, Jesus told him to stay with his mission and “Let the dead bury the dead.”

Suppose someone were walking down the aisle to be married, the Wedding March was playing and God called him and told him to go somewhere else. God would not expect that he would go ahead and finish the ceremony, but instead would want to see him drop everything and obey His direction. Could you do such a thing?

As you know, I was called by God to go to North Korea at a very crucial moment when I was on my way to get food for my wife and child, who were hungry. Regardless of my situation, God told me “Go now,” and to go to a dangerous place. If I had hesitated and tried to finish what I was doing before I listened to God, the Unification Church would not be anything today. Because I responded to God immediately, dropping everything else and doing what He directed, God could recognize that I loved Him more than anything else in the universe. Even though my first wife left me, God was able to give me a better wife and thirteen good children because of that early condition.

By the same token, I am ready and willing to give up all that I have accomplished so far in the Unification Church; therefore, God would be able to give me even greater things. The entire universe would appreciate such a thing, as well. There has never been anyone who was able to meet all the expectations of God but we are about to accomplish just that.

You must have a clear determination for your own life. You must think, “Even if I drop dead on the way, I will be so much better off than if I never began the journey. My descendants will be able to finish the task because I started it for them.” When you have such a clear vision of your goal, you will achieve it; but if you don’t, you might as well forget about it.

A dramatic example of this was seen in the history of the Israelites, when they were traveling in the wilderness toward Canaan. They should have been so determined to escape Egypt, because it was the will of God. that they would have been willing to rush forward into the Red Sea. even if it didn’t open and they all drowned. At this time the Unification Church is engaging in an exodus on the world level-out of this secular world and into the Heavenly one. Therefore, each of you must face obstructions from your families and friends who try to hold you back, saying. Don’t go to those Moonies!”

What is God’s purpose in leading people into Canaan? Why couldn’t people just stay where they are and try to create an ideal from there? It is because God needs to be able to call some place His own. God wanted the Israelites to go to Canaan and establish a nation where He could say, ‘This is the nation in which the people loved God more than anyone else on the earth.” That was the reason for the exodus. They had to know very clearly that God had such a clear purpose in leading them from Egypt. But we have learned from history that the Israelites complained and faltered and died in the wilderness; they became the prey of eagles.

Why did they have to go through a wilderness before entering Canaan? There was a good reason-it was the responsibility of the Israelites to establish the condition of enduring difficulty and gaining victory by themselves.

The Israelites hoped and waited for 4,000 years for the messiah, but were they supposed to just live happily ever after once he came? No, they had to work together with the messiah to establish the kind of country that loved God more than anyone else in history had ever done. Moses was their leader and he gave them their directions. There should have been no complaints; it was difficult enough. If they had followed faithfully, they would have successfully entered into Canaan.

Today we are repeating the exact same process. We are repeating the 40 years of wilderness at this time on the world level, to enter Canaan on the world level. Canaan was occupied by 31 enemy tribes of Israel. Where is our Canaan and who occupies it?

Moscow is where we “must go.” It is not a peaceful place which will welcome us with open arms, so why is God directing us to go there? It is because we must also go through our portion of responsibility on our own; only in that way can God give us the credit for winning our own victory.

The 40 years of wilderness on the world level for the Unification Church is the time in which we must establish that we have loved God, collectively, more than anybody else in the past. What is the Red Sea of today? It is the red ideology of communism, far more formidable than any body of water. We must clearly realize now-and remember-that we have an historical task ahead of us. We must complete our 40 years in the wilderness, reaching our destination safely by following the command of our leader and establishing God’s nation. This is our whole purpose for being here.

I came to America for this reason. God wanted me to come here and accomplish this on the world level, in a country which represented the world. America is not welcoming our exodus or our efforts to establish God’s country. The efforts of communists are strong, but we must be stronger.

The Israelites slaughtered lambs and put the blood on their doorways as a sign that they belonged to God. By our doing home church, we too will have such a sign on our doorways. God certainly realizes that although you are Americans, you are treated like aliens when you go to home church. People do not consider you one of them, but instead call you “Moonie.” This is exactly what the Israelites had to endure. They took all their possessions with them on their exodus and we are in the same position. They dedicated everything to their new cause. This is why many new members of the church dedicate their belongings to help the cause of the church.

When we stand in the presence of God, what would God want of us? Certainly it is clear that God wants to receive the largest dedication, the entire universe. We are the soldiers of Heaven; good soldiers do not think about whether or not they will get hurt. They just work for their victorious objective.

As you know, you can jump forward and land on the target. However sometimes you can become too cozy at different stages on the way. Sometimes you feel so comfortable with your family, your home and so forth that you forget your purpose has not yet been achieved. You are still in the wilderness and you will become the prey of eagles if you stop moving forward. If you are not confident of winning over all the various temptations, you must authorize someone else to drag you to the goal. You should determine, “It is better to die along the way than to stay where we are.”

Why must we do all this? We must fulfill God’s fervent desire to see someone on the earth willing and able to establish the condition for God to claim the entire world. As Moonies, you must be strong soldiers willing to fight on the world level for the sake of the love of God. Do you have that kind of clear-cut purpose? Moonies are the only ones who can give God true hope at this time.

We have a reason to be thankful to God because He has given us this opportunity to be the ones to fulfill His hope. Our situation is unique in all of human history; therefore, you must be proud soldiers with the ability to go over all obstacles, no matter how difficult. God is asking you, “How far will you go? Where will you stop?” You must tell Him that you will go all the way to the goal. Can you do that?

When good soldiers march. they never straggle and wander; they keep straight lines and proudly display their colors. When there is a command all the Unification Church members will be mobilized. God can look down and be so proud and say, “My victorious people! Amen!” and He will bless us.

These things must not be considered only when you are attending Sunday sermons. You must have this kind of determination even when you are kissing your bride, or when you mothers are nursing your babies. Always your basic purpose in life must underscore all your activities. This is the way I have lived my entire life. I know clearly that God wants you to set the standard of those who have loved Him more than anyone else in history. Even if we must land in jail or even if we die, it is better to do that with our Heavenly pride intact than to give up. Of course, we must achieve our goal here on the physical plane before we go to spirit world.

When I was flying across the Pacific Ocean on my way back to this country, I was thinking, “Accomplishing this goal is going to be difficult for American people but nevertheless this is the goal. They must go this way regardless of how difficult it is. They must not forget their goal no matter what.” This has been my prayer since returning to America. Although your fundraising and witnessing work is difficult, you must be able to go through it. If somehow you die before you achieve your goal, it is better than just giving up. You must not drop your responsibilities, even though the burdens may be so heavy; once you have done that you cannot pick them up again. We must simply keep going, now as in the past.

More importantly, your activities must not be motivated out of obligation-because your leaders or I say you must. This is truly the only path and you must feel the desire to go, on your own. Our only chance for success is for each person to want to go, on his own, regardless of who opposes us. God is watching each of you, so you had better make this your own philosophy. When the Israelites lost their perspective and desired a different direction from Moses’, they all perished. Above all, you must do what you do because you want to do it. This is the most important element of success.

Twenty-one years ago I predicted that there would come a time when the whole world would come against the Unification Church and that would be the sign that our time was drawing near. Today we see that such a thing is happening and opposition is all around us. We must go through these barriers, ready to face more opposition in the future. Although many have complimented me and called me a success in Korea and America, we must continue to consider our situation tentative. We still have the formidable goal of Moscow. Therefore we must never be content or satisfied; any moments of rest we have must be used as preparation for the fight ahead.

When David stood in front of Goliath, he could not have ordinary thoughts and still win over that giant. We, too, must take the position of David and with the attitude solely of serving God, we must win the victory. With that determination, the Goliath country of communism will appear much more vulnerable.

America will only come to our aid when we have won over Moscow and the whole world can see it. Have no wishful thinking that secular America will help us accomplish our victory; we must be able to do it on our own. You must realize that our opposition is not altogether bad; they oppose you because you are not worthy enough. When they persecute you and kick you, you must determine to become better than you are now; use your opposition as a lesson. In fact, they are kicking you to prepare you for going to Moscow.

Can you say, “I am an American and I will participate in the American dispensation, but I can’t go to Moscow.”? That means you are resting here in America, but this is no place to rest. If you stop here, everything will come to destruction; you must have the attitude to go all the way to the end.

We must go to communist China and the communist satellite countries too. We have many church members who have been imprisoned and even died in those countries, so how can you confidently think you are an exception? You may have to be next. I myself went through such a course, so you must resolve yourselves to take on that way, too.

I have never thought I was in a safe place when I did my dispensational work; the higher the dispensation, the more the risk has grown. You should realize what level we have achieved and align yourself with my movements. It is your responsibility to set up your own condition of faith on your level which will agree with my level.

What will be your attitude when I go to Africa? Will you just want to stay behind here. or will you say, “No matter what, if Father goes to Africa, I will go, too”? What if I had a big, huge ship located in the middle of the ocean and I called for you to join me there. Would you do it, determined to live the rest of your life there? Would you complain of seasickness and excuse yourself? You must determine that even if you died of seasickness, you would go on that boat in order to remain with me.

If you were on that big boat. you might have to dwell down in the cargo area and couldn’t see anything outside. Only 1, as the captain. would be able to read the compass and determine where we were going. Therefore, you would have to trust in my judgment absolutely, isn’t that correct? Do you really believe in me?

You do not know exactly what I did while I was in Korea the last time and what kinds of instructions I gave. The professors on college campuses and many organized Christian groups were astounded by the impact I had there. Just the assembly of 6,000 couples for the blessing was an incredible testimony to the Korean people, more than any words could be. After that, I was able to give guidance to many people. even those who were not members.

Do you like to receive directions from me? Perhaps you feel burdened by these sermons. But in no time at all, you will receive word that the battle is finished and the victory is won. Then you will ask, “Where is my heavy load?” Don’t you think I have many heavy burdens to carry? I must take responsibility for hundreds of millions of dollars of expenses for the church around the world. Do you know why I receive most of my persecution? It is indirectly because of you. If even one of you behaves in a shameful way, such as getting drunk and acting wildly in public, automatically the shame is transferred to all the members of the church and Reverend Moon. Ask yourself how you have eased the burdens I must carry.

Once you have gone beyond the national levels and ,rained victory, the injustices of the past can be redeemed. This is what I expect. Do you think it is good or bad to carry a heavy burden on your shoulders now? It is good. God is contained within that goodness. Can we say that God is truly victorious at this time? Only when God can claim His victory on the level of the physical world, man’s body, can He be truly victorious. God will be a substantial reality in the substantial world. Every part of your body must be that of goodness-your eyes, your legs, your arms. Always guide your actions by what God would do. If God would do something, then you can, too.

What do you think would have happened had the Israelites successfully entered Canaan? We have no way of knowing, but chances are good that God would have sent the Israelites back to save Egypt. The same applies to you. Once you win victory, God will want to send you back to your hometowns and families, no matter how much they oppose you.

God wants me to go to the communist world to win the victory there. My plan is to leave America, win the victory elsewhere and then return here to share that victory with the people here. At that time Americans will finally understand how wrong they were. God himself will be able to share in that victory.

What do you think will happen once we have won this court case in America? The war will be finished here and I will feel free to leave at any time. Even if members beg me to stay here, I will follow God’s will and go wherever He directs. What about you? America” could be read “A merry car”-this country certainly has lots of beautiful cars and everybody wants to enjoy life and ride around in their beautiful cars. Do You want to stay here and enjoy the good life? Or will you be different from the rest of the country? You are Americans. but very far from the mainstream of secular life because you are anchored to the teachings of Reverend Moon.

You must focus on goals, even at Christmas time when everyone else becomes very sentimental and wants to go home. When Lot was told to leave Sodom and Gomorrah, he obeyed immediately. However, his wife was much more reluctant and she turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back. The same principle is true of the Moonies. When Reverend Moon is told to leave Belvedere, East Garden, and Barrytown behind, what must be my attitude? I will go forward, never looking back. Sometimes my wife might call to me, “Look back here!” but I tell her, “No! You must follow me!”

You have your spouses, your current responsibilities and projects, and perhaps you have some material possessions, but you must be able to drop everything the way I have described and follow God’s direction. The only thought we must have is how to accomplish the expectations of God.

There are many Ph.D. candidates in the audience today. Do you share my viewpoint like the rest of the members? Perhaps you have already decided that you will work as a professor after you graduate in order to restore other professors? Or do you think that the Ph.D. doesn’t really matter, that the only thing important is to become a worthy child of God, pure and unstained your whole life? You must think, “Because I have a Ph.D., I will love God on the highest level.” Do you love God more than your Ph.D.?

Have you loved God more seriously and earnestly than your new husband or wife? Your relationship with God is more fundamental and important than that of your spouse. If you were desperately hungry, would you be able to think of God before food? Sometimes you men might have thoughts of an old girlfriend or lover and you feel an intense desire taking over a certain part of your body. That is the moment when you must command your body to subside and remember that it must love God first and foremost. This is a serious matter. It is not really your fault that as men you have strong appetites for love-God made you that way. The three strongest desires in human beings are for personal ownership, love, and food. The only way we are different from other people is that we are able to overcome those desires when we want to.

If you owned two things, would you give the better or the lesser one to God? Actually, you would want to give God the better, but God would want you to give the better gift to someone else. People usually are greedy’ however, wanting to keep the best things for themselves Also people have tremendous desires for the opposite sex which can become obsessive. In your daily fight against yourself and your appetites, you ought to keep a diary and record each day whether you were victorious or not. At the end of your year you can tally up how many days of victory or defeat you had; each year you have to improve. This is not abstractions we are talking about but daily reality.

We must live this way because we must prepare during our lives on earth for our eternal lives in spirit world. I have experienced every honorable occupation in order to understand what they are like. When God directed me to do that. I could only obey. I worked as a farmer because God told me to. I even fought with my fists, hunted’ etc. Certain members told me that drinking the blood of the deer was good to do, so I had to rise to the challenge and do it. Suppose God was watching me, observing that I could do anything challenging for the sake of His providence, but I faltered when it came to drinking the blood of deer. I would have stopped just one step short of doing everything God directed.

The point is that I had to be willing to do anything for the sake of God and not limit myself according to my own concepts. I could go out and captain the fishing boats. As a result of that I have had an unlimited realm of activity and I can associate with a unlimited number of people. But if someone limits himself, he must be confined only to certain society.

Therefore, for the sake of God’s dispensation, there must be nothing you cannot do. How would you like to be a spy for God? There are lots of spies in the secular world, so how about God’s world? Shouldn’t He, too, have spies? As you know, Moses sent Joshua and Caleb into Canaan to spy for the Israelites. Our members in the communist satellite countries are inevitably in the position of spies; they can never proclaim their religion openly without suffering certain imprisonment or death. Each of you must think that if something is good enough for God, it must be good enough for you. Do you understand?

Moonies must be able to choose the most difficult way, the way of liberation for God. We must revive the foundation of Christianity and overcome moral problems. Will you follow my way, even though it is most difficult? That which is most difficult is also the most valuable.

Whenever God gives a direction. we must be able to respond without hesitation. Are you going to continue the struggle upward now, choosing the steepest, roughest slope? It is going to be very difficult, so are you confident you can do it? In some armies. the soldiers are helpless without some command from the general. However, the better army can rely on the lowest level commander, such as a platoon leader, when the general is away because they already know what the general would desire. Certainly the second army would be the most successful.

In the Unification Church. Reverend Moon is the general. Even when I am away, you must have the willingness to obey any other leader’s direction. That will make us the strongest army. Do you think the general would ever reprimand the soldiers for totally obeying their platoon leaders? Not at all. He will appreciate that and will be very proud of them; perhaps he can rest better at night because he knows he can trust his soldiers. Raise your hands if you only came to Belvedere today because you heard that l had returned. In the future, you should come to Belvedere whether or not I am here. Will you do that?

I want each of you to become worthy of receiving all of God’s blessings. Do you resolve to do that? Thank you.