People Don’t Convert People, God Converts People

In the story of the prodigal son (beginning in Luke 15:11) we find a young man who took his inheritance from his father and then went far away to a foreign country and spent it all on wild living. He ended up so low that he could only find work taking care of pigs and nothing to eat for himself. He finally realized that he could return to his father’s house where the servants lived better. He decided that he would ask his father to hire him as a servant. The story then switches to the father seeing his son from afar and running to him and rejoicing that his son, “who was dead and is now alive.”

We know this story well since it is a story that we’ve heard from our years in Sunday school. One fact that the story does not tell us is how long it took the son to return to the father. This time period could have been days, weeks, months or years. We do not know how long it took the son to return to his father. This is something that we should pay attention to. We, as people, will never know how long it takes someone to return to God. The son did wrong but he turned to the father. This is a process that included God and the son alone. When this type of “conversion” happens we see that it is God alone who is converting the son. Sometimes we struggle thinking that we actually play a role in changing someone’s heart. We do not; we can only share the message that God will lovingly accept you when you return to Him.

Our mission work in Togo is based on this principle. We as missionaries are not capable of “converting” the Kabiye people. We can only share the message of God’s love for all and His willingness to accept anyone no matter how far they’ve had to come. In Togo we have been able to achieve the goals that were laid out for this mission and now we can see the Kabiye themselves sharing the Gospel with others independently of the missionaries. Because of this we know that the mission work among the Kabiye will continue long after the missionaries have left the mission field.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Self-Esteem - Ross Thomson

My Impaired Imagination - Nic Dunbar

Straight Lines - Beau Davis

Passion - Jabbarri Jones

P.U.S.H. - Jabbarri Jones

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