Captivating the heart of another person is God-sized work. We are entirely dependent upon the power, timing, work and wisdom of the Holy Spirit in this call to win peoples’ hearts. Our mission is impossible without the Spirit! [Acts 1:8] Apart from Him we can do nothing. [John 15:5] God calls us His co-workers – sent by Him to plant and water peoples’ hearts with grace and truth. He is the one who causes the growth. [1 Corinthians 3]
Think about the enormity of captivating the heart of a person who has been deeply wounded by trauma. Distrust has become this person’s necessary coping mechanism. Think about trying to win the heart of a very successful person in the eyes of the world – convincing them that they, too, need a Savior. Pride blinds the spiritual eyes of the man or woman who has “everything.” Or what about the atheist you know who denies that God exists. The material universe is their god.
Is it even okay to win souls? It sounds kind of controlling, or worse manipulating. Nonetheless, God calls us to “capture souls.” This call is given in Jesus’ words in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Christ’s mission was to set captives free [Isaiah 61:1-4] by transforming them, freeing them from the dominion of darkness to the light of the kingdom of God [Colossians 1:13-14]. Paul says in one of his many court appearances recorded in the book of Acts that he was sent by Christ “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” [Acts 26:18]
Fishing is such a challenging thing. The parameters change from day to day. Fish move. Wind, temperature, barometric pressure, current, tide, moon, etc., all change. Bait works one day and not the next. Someone else gets to our spot before we do. Fish are governed by nature. People are subject to natural laws as well, but are also driven by their emotions, cognition and volition. Fishing for fish is a science. Fishing for people is complex. Fishing for people is an art.
Check out Proverbs 11:30
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.”
The first and foundational key to our success as God’s co-workers is that our own hearts must continually be captivated by the beauty and goodness of our Creator and Redeemer. Then, as God’s captivated kids, we are transformed, confident, empowered and unleashed to go fishing successfully for the soul that is imprisoned by the power of Satan, sin, fear, etc. Could there be a more meaningful life purpose than to be loved so deeply by God and commissioned by Him to invest in our lives for the eternal benefit of other human beings? He inspires and empowers us to be ministers of reconciliation. People who have been reconciled to God by God are His ambassadors of reconciliation. In Christ and by the Spirit’s enabling we can do our part in setting captives free. Does God have you? Does He have all of your heart? Does He have your emotions, will and intellect? Are you experiencing life captivated by His power, love and purpose for you?
Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, I love you, remain in my love.” He also said, “As the Father has sent me, I send you.” [John 15:9; 20:21]
Let’s join God and together set captives free by the boat loads! What is impossible for us is possible for God!