In chapter 14 of The Ministry of Marriage, Jim Binney points out a very important fact. "You are not capable of changing your mate; therefore, you are certainly not responsible to do so. Since only God can, your responsibility is to appeal to God, who is able to change the mind, the heart, and the will" (p. 163). To support this idea he appeals to Proverbs 21:1, 1 Samuel 10:9, and Philippians 2:13. God is definitely able to change people’s hearts and can do so today.
Later in the chapter, Binney compares this to his experience with high pressure evangelism. As a young Christian, he was taught to manipulate people into saying a prayer by asking questions that they could only answer "yes." This and other questionable methods led to a large number of decisions, but he later questioned whether many were truly converted by God.
After the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sinful methods, Binney changed his goal. Instead of seeking to "save" a certain number of people each day, he sought to present the gospel clearly, leaving the results to God. This resulted in "fewer decisions but a higher percentage of public professions and of faithfulness to Christ" (p. 164). That’s the way it should be with any spiritual endeavor–do what the Scriptures say and leave the results to God.
I don’t think this negates the need to be passionate in our appeal to people about the gospel or other spiritual needs. But after doing what we ought, this way of thinking should encourage us to put our confidence in God instead of our own efforts. True change comes when we rely on God to do it (Matthew 11:28-30 and John 15:5).
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