In my last message, I told you what Meishu-sama repeatedly said just before his ascension. That was “From now on, we enter the world of sonen. Johrei is not so important anymore. Sonen comes first, so pray in your hearts.”
I understand that this statement of Meishu-sama is something very difficult for us to accept, because Johrei has been our main practice for such a long time. But do we have a choice—do we have a choice to deny and ignore it? We do not. There is nothing for us to do but to accept it.
I heard some people say that it was Kyoshu-sama who is saying that “Johrei is not so important anymore,” that it was Kyoshu-sama who is saying that sonen is more important than Johrei, and that Kyoshu-sama is denying Johrei. Make no mistake, this statement regarding Johrei came from Meishu-sama.
Yes, you could criticize and deny Kyoshu-sama. Yes, you could criticize and deny me of course, but never—never ever deny Meishu-sama and his sacred words.
I will repeat this as many times as necessary: it was Meishu-sama who said that “From now on, we enter the world of sonen. Johrei is not so important anymore.”
The only thing left for us to do is to confront this statement face to face—confront Meishu-sama face to face—and wholeheartedly accept his will.
We should never come up with our own interpretations of what this statement could mean with an intention of wanting to place Johrei as the most important practice for our Church and act against the words and wish of Meishu-sama.
Another thing I told you in my last message was how God is always illuminating our hearts. Because He illuminates our hearts with His light, a shadow is formed within us, and that is why we feel negative thoughts and feelings. And I said that “our task is to obediently surrender what we feel into the hand of God.”
It is difficult to be obedient, isn’t it? It is difficult to do something obediently, isn’t it? Well, it is, at least for me.
But let me say this: Yes, we could defy and disobey Kyoshu-sama’s words. And yes, perhaps we could defy and disobey Meishu-sama’s words, but we should never defy and disobey God’s words.
We can be disobedient to everyone except God. He is the only One we have to answer to. He is the only One we have to offer our total obedience.
So, if you are feeling something negative or having negative thoughts, that is the very moment when God is saying to you that “I am making you sense those feelings and thoughts in order for Me to save them, so offer them to Me obediently, and yes, offer them through the name of Messiah.” This is what God is saying to each one of us.
I believe we have to learn to be completely obedient to God in our life.
Meishu-sama said that we must pray in our hearts. Kyoshu-sama is saying that this means we must surrender our thoughts and feelings to God in our day–to–day lives.
Now, the questions we must ask ourselves are these: Do we have the power and authority to surrender our thoughts and feelings to God? Is it us who surrender them? Do we have the power to “practice” our faith—practice anything?
The answer is no. Unless God gives us permission, we cannot surrender or practice anything. It is only with God’s permission that we can turn our hearts to God and surrender our feelings and thoughts to Him. In fact, we cannot do anything unless God permits us to do it. We do not have the power to think, feel, pray, surrender, express gratitude or even have faith in God.
We believe in God only because God makes it so. Some do not believe in God because God does not make it so.
Or do we want to go back to that old faith where we judged ourselves and others by how much we practiced or how much faith we had? Of course, the act of surrendering our thoughts and feelings to God in itself is nothing to be denied. But once we think we are the ones who are practicing it, forgetting that it is only by the will of God that we are allowed to do it, then we start thinking things like, “I practice a lot of Johrei through sonen. How about you?” or “I receive so much Johrei through sonen. Do you?” Are those who do not practice below us? Are we better than those who do not surrender their thoughts and feelings? Are we going to boast of our faith, of how much we practice? And judge those who do not? Are we closer to God because we practice more than others?
It is not us. It is not by our will that we can surrender. If you feel like you want to surrender something, it is only because God says to you first, “You may surrender the feeling you now have to Me.” The only problem is that we cannot hear the voice of God, can we? So we make the mistake of thinking that it is by our own freewill that we surrender something.
We say that we pray this and that, that we pray many times to God during the day and so on, but, to start with, are words ours? Is the heart that makes us pray ours? They belong to God, don’t they? Words are God’s—accepting this fact is much more important than coming up with beautiful phrases to pray, thinking that prayers belong to us humans.
Another example: we hold morning and evening services daily at home and at our church, don’t we? Do you think we are holding these services by our own will? Do you think we are the ones who decide to hold services? No, we are not. Every morning, every evening, God is saying to us, “You may turn your hearts to Me.” That is the only reason why we feel like we need to hold services. That is why our feet carry us to the front of the altar—in front of God our Father—every morning, every day.
Without God calling us, without His permission, we can do absolutely nothing.
Hasn’t Meishu-sama warned us of how weak human power is compared to God’s?
We are truly powerless in front of God, and remember, it is not our practice that justifies us in front of God. We are justified by God only through admitting that He is in control of everything and through serving Him with all our hearts.
As written in the Bible, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).
So when you feel something negative or have negative thoughts, all you need to do is to simply say “Yes” to God in the name of Messiah, because even though you cannot hear His voice, God is saying to you, “Can you surrender them to Me?”
How fortunate we are that God deems us worthy to talk to.
Now, if we are powerless in front of God, does this mean that we are then excused from doing our utmost in this world? If God is in control of everything, can our laziness, our not doing our best be forgiven and overlooked? Not at all and actually quite the opposite!
God works so hard within us, talking to us always and wanting to guide us in the right direction. If God is working hard, aren’t we also expected to do so? After all, we need to be closer to God, don’t we? We need to be one with God to attain true salvation!
Do not underestimate the power of God: He will renew our hearts completely and let all nations know that we are predestined to be born once more to be His children. Even those who have condemned and denied Kyoshu-sama this time around or those who now believe in other religions or those who do not believe in God at all—they will all accept this gospel that we are now being made to know. Regardless of what we do and believe, God will achieve this one day, and the day is coming when all humanity will be united as one in the name of Messiah.
All we need to say is simply “Yes” or “No,” whether or not we want to serve God and take part in this great project of God, of saving all humanity.
So let us repent that we thought we could, by our own will and power, pray, practice, surrender, minister Johrei, talk and listen to somebody, think, feel and live. And with that repentant heart, let us serve God with all our heart and strength through the name most powerful and holy, through the name of Messiah.
To God, to Him only, may all praise be returned.
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