I read a quote by G.K Chesterton describing how God brought someone to repentance: – “I caught him with an unseen hook and an invisible line which is long enough to let him wander to the ends of the world and still bring him back with a twitch upon the thread”
This is surely reassuring for anyone with a family member who has strayed from the path, however far they may be from God at this moment, it’s not out of the reach of His mercy. That said we must play our part in seeking out the lost.
I read the autobiography of Joshua Blahyi , a Liberian Warlord and pagan priest, once described as the most evil man in the world. He would certainly be a contender for that title as his life was truly horrific. As a pagan priest he was required to offer human sacrifices (usually children) by his deity to give him more power, cannibalism also formed part of this ritual. As a Warlord he earned the moniker “General Butt Naked” as that is how he ran into battle with bands of child soldiers he had recruited. He claims to have been responsible for 20,000 deaths.
A group of Interdenominational ministers in Monrovia (Liberia’s Capital) felt led by the Holy Spirit to start to pray and fast for Joshua. They prayed and fasted for 54 days before one of them visited the military compound and spoke with and even prayed for Joshua. Later they moved into a building opposite the compound and held prayer meetings every night inviting him over to join them. In the midst of one battle Joshua even had a vision of Jesus who told him to ‘repent and live or refuse and die’. After all the prayer, fasting and intercession to win his soul, Joshua did surrender to God and was delivered of his past and set free.
He had much to atone for, seeking out his victim’s families to ask forgiveness, rehabilitating child soldiers and of course sharing the good news of the Gospel.
The ‘twitch upon the thread’ involved a mighty spiritual battle to wrestle Joshua from Satan’s grip and consistent intercession on his behalf by those who loved him enough to make the effort.