In a situation where you desire that a person should be changed and you have made several attempts to this effect, being friends with them is not the answer to this. Understand that God is the one who can change people, you can only influence and create roadblocks around the to guide them to the truth, by your words and actions and ultimately via the wisdom of God, but you are not solely responsible for their ultimate change, rather God is. Please understand that you can be friendly towards a person without necessarily being a friend to that person. As grace agents on the earth, we are instructed by our example, Jesus Christ, to let our light shine before men. How? By our good works of love we show to others Matt. 5:16, whether believers or unbelievers, we owe this love walk to ‘all’ humans on the planet Rom13:8. Thus as you walk in the Love of Christ towards people you are putting the seed in the ground for the Lord to water in the heart of whosoever it is you desire this positive change for. But as you engage in this, you do not have to commit yourself to the friendship of this person else you would be dragged down the same level of immaturity of this person without Christ, because He that walks with the wise will be wise; but a companion of fools will be destroyed Prov. 13:20. I once went forth to evangelize and as I walked round a street, I was led of the Holy Spirit, to a young lady, she sold food at a canteen and no one was buying anything as at then. After preaching the love of Christ to her, and leading her in the salvation prayer, I felt led again to give her some money which I did, at that instant her countenance lit up and she became more open to listen to whatever I had to say. I got her number with the hope to communicate with her some other time, encourage her in Christ and follow her up. To my greatest surprise, the number never went through, I tried severally but I was never able to speak with her. At other times, if it did ring, she was never there to answer, I wanted to go look for her again as I turned the matter over to the Holy Spirit, but He asked me to hold my peace, so I’ve prayed for her ever since. I share this experience with you because zeal must be accompanied with knowledge, else you may become a victim without knowing Rom10:2. By the Grace of God, I have had many successes in the area of soul winning, but I have also encountered cases where I am cautioned of the Spirit to stay off, I’ve had to give up a child hood friend based on this convictions and to tell you the truth, it has paid off.
Secondly, prayers goes a long way in bringing the hand of God to bear in a man’s life, without much contact with a person through prayers, you can intercede for a person’s change of belief and religion and you would be shocked at the move of God in the life of that person and even the instructions He would give you concerning that person. It is all about being yielded to God and being open to His leadings and directions, because He is most eager to help you and to shield you from destruction if you will let Him. There is the story of a great man of God, who had tried to get someone saved for a long period; after many trials, he turned the matter over to the Lord, praying that the Lord would send the way of that person, someone, who he would listen to. Just like a dream of the night, this great man of God, received a call from this unbelieving brother a week later testifying of how an old time notorious friend had come his way to testify of Christ Jesus and he received Christ that day and now he is saved. That is the power of prayer, it connects us to God to do the unimaginable and unthinkable on our behalf.
2. A Disciplined Believer and an Undisciplined Believer- we must have heard the saying that our Spirit has become born again after the salvation prayer, but our body and mind must be trained to think and act like a believer. This saying is so true that it reveals the relationship between the Spirit, soul and body. Because this is true and requires a continue effort on every believer, we realize that not everyone actually prunes their mind and body to fit God’s word, thus we find many carnal Christians today 1Cor.3:3 who have left themselves to continue in the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life 1Jhn.2:16. This category of Christians are very corrosive. Like an acid, they are soft to the touch but destructive in an instant to a spiritual Christian. When the Lord says do not be unequally yoked, this category also falls into the equation, because it is easier for a man in the pit to pull down the man standing on the mountain. For one thing, the law of gravity in itself is working to hasten the process of the fall of the man on the mountain, rather than the man on the mountain to pull up the man the pit, he would be pulled down, if he isn’t careful. This is so because evil communication would always corrupt good manners 1Cor15:31 therefore severance is not only called for when it comes to an unbelievers but when it comes to carnal believers also. In the case of carnal believers, the advise is to stay clear of them completely, 3 months is even too much to hang around d them because they quote Scriptures back wards to support there carnalities, they judge you for trying to advise them in another direction, deception is their second nature and most importantly they try to drag you all their carnal life style. I remember a day when someone said to me in a discussion that God helps those who helps themselves, so you should use what you have to get whatsoever you want, I remember asking “where is that in the bible” she said “oh, it is there” then I said “No it is not, please show it to me in the Bible where it is actually written or insinuated” she couldn’t and I went on explaining to her how many believe system of that nature has affected the body of Christ in the world today.
You need to be firm on what you have truly encountered in the word of God, don’t let off so easily on the truth. I am not saying you should get in people’s faces trying to correct or judge them on your convictions, no, that would be wrong, rather be like Isaiah who said I have set my face on the Lord like a flint Isa. 50:7, this advise. Thus when distractions comes and undisciplined Christians come your way, you are not moved nor swayed from your Convictions, rather with love and studded resolution, you gently explain to them the truth and leave them to God and to their conscience, to judge themselves, come right with God or continue up in their carnality.
to be continued….