IF quotes are from Amy Carmichael, who was a Protestant Christian missionary that served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there.
CAN GOD CHANGE A PERSON'S MIND?
This question is on the mind of many people for various reasons. Often the thought is to see someone have a change of heart towards the Gospel, or a change of mind in a public official, like a judge, to render a decision that is in harmony with Biblical ethics and morals. There are decisions that have to be made whether or not to grant permission for an event to be held or for another event to be banned from taking place. There have been many Christian workers and missionaries who have prayed for "doors to be opened" where the Gospel had been forbidden to enter, or a decision made simply to allow a Bible study to be held during lunch break in an office building. People make decisions. Can God change people's minds so they make the "right" decision? Consider the following examples of God's intervention in these Biblical passages: (All passages quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted).
Proverbs 21:1 - "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes."
God is able to change the course of a river! He can also change the thoughts of a king, or any ruler for that matter. Watch how this is noted in the lives of Ezra and Nehemiah:
In Ezra's time the Lord placed on the heart of a pagan king, Cyrus, the desire that the temple in Jerusalem would be rebuilt.
Ezra 1:1,2 - "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia...the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus King of Persia, so that he made a proclamation to...build Him [God] a house in Jerusalem..."
Ezra 6:22 - "And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them..."
Ezra 7:27 - "Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem."
When Nehemiah heard of the conditions in Jerusalem and the need for the walls to be rebuilt he prayed for God to intervene.
Nehemiah 1:11 - "O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to the prayer of your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man [the king]. For I was the king's cupbearer."
Nehemiah 2:4,5,8 - "Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven, and I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king...send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it'...And the king granted [this] according to the good hand of my God upon me."
What about a person's decision to trust the Lord as their Savior? Consider these two passages:
Jeremiah 24:7 - "Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord..."
Acts16:14 - "Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us...the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul."
Can God give a Christian the right kind of desires to have in their heart?
Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." Or perhaps it could be rendered, "He shall give you the right desires to have in your heart." Is that true? Look at the next passage:
Philippians 2:13 NLT - "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." Paul clearly teaches that God can place His desires in a believer's heart.