Long ago the founding pastor of our church told us it is important, when witnessing to a particularly hardened unbeliever, to “visualize” what that person would look like once the Lord got a hold of him and transformed his life.
Pastor Miller was speaking from real-life experience. His daughter, raised in the faith, had strayed far from the Lord during her college years before returning to God, a story you might like to read in Come Back, Barbara. Barbara’s boyfriend at the time was a non-Christian bartender with other unsavory preoccupations. But Pastor Miller saw his potential.
When I say “potential,” of course, I don’t mean it in the usual sense of seeing something with the natural eye, but what the eye of faith sees as the very working of the Spirit, whose stated desire is to enfold more and more people into His salvation—especially in response to persistent prayer. In fact, Pastor Miller went so far as to tell Angelo he believed he would not only be saved but be in the ministry one day.
Call it the gift of prophecy, or call it what you will, but the young man ended up marrying Jack Miller’s daughter Barbara and becoming our pastor and is still pastoring. Angelo is a man on fire for Christ, who God has used to win many men to Himself.
The Lord, in His mercy, aids us with the “visualization” process. He now and then calls people to our attention who have been saved out of lives, or out of parts of the world, that we would have written off. Take a look at the testimony of an Iranian man touched by Jesus Christ (see video below) and try to visualize a whole nation of present-day worshipers of Allah turning to “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).