How does God view those who make steps towards Him, but have not verbally confessed Him as Lord?

Hi!
@Gerson_Mercadal thanks for this opportunity. My husband comes from a Hindu background and over the last ten years we’ve had many positive dialogues about the differences between our beliefs etc. Most recently I have seen an openness to be part of what I do for the Lord, eg. He is actually doing a partial fast today because he wants to join me. ((Yeay!)) Hence my next question: I know God is doing marvelous work in my husband, things I can see, feel and hear during our times together; however, when it comes to laying down our bodies in sacrifice to the Lord in such a discipline as it is fasting…
(1) Is my husband’s effort truly meaningful in Gods eyes when there hasn’t been a verbal acceptance of Jesus? I believe it probably isn’t, but I still see it as a step in the right direction. And yet, that brings me to another question;
(2) Should I encourage such sacrifices even when he hasn’t have a conversion?

Thanks for your time. Very much appreciated.

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Hello Lilibeth! Thank you so much for asking your question (the first one! :D) and sharing a bit about yourself.
And let me start by saying that I think it’s really awesome that your husband is, not only happy to have dialogues with you, but willing to even share some of the really important things in your life. I don’t think all spouses are always willing to do that when it comes to something this personal, and I want to join you in your happiness and thankfulness to God for your husband’s openness.

Let me try and share some thoughts about your questions, and if you don’t mind I will try to comment on both at the same time as I think there may be some relation.

Having said that, I want to be cautious not to rush too quickly into saying anything about what may or may not please God. I think too often in the past well intentioned Christians (and unfortunately sometimes some that aren’t so well intentioned) have erred in going to one of two extremes, and as you know very often (I wouldn’t say always, but very often) extremes aren’t a good representation of the full picture.

Some have wanted to insist that God would accept anything and everything, thus diluting His character and holiness into little more than people-pleasing.
But the other extreme can also be seen, and I’ve certainly encountered it many times: People who would doubt and limit God’s grace and who would “draw the circle” as close home as they can. Sometimes I think we can be so much more narrow than the narrow path that Jesus spoke of.

I have to make to continuously make the effort of making sure that my thinking is not going to either extreme for the sake it. Some have commented the irony in that often the chosen extreme will mirror the person’s own cultural and political inclinations, such that we end up with an image of God that’s basically an expanded version of our own image.

I would want to make sure that I try as much as I can (and I recommend this of course) to draw our view of God from the God that’s revealed in the Bible and most clearly in Jesus. He is a God who’s grace and holiness are so much deeper than we can even comprehend; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Jonah, amongst many other people.

Let me try to focus on your situation. I am so glad to read that God’s doing marvelous work in your husband. I pray that this may continue and that he may get to know him intimately and personally.

I have found myself with one particular parable in my heart this past year, and it’s the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, in Luke 18. We read of a man who goes home justified, not because of his right appearance or words or intellect, but because of the humility and trust in his heart. We worship a God who can read our hearts and cares about that.
Let me complete the picture: I think the Bible speaks clearly, and it is obvious in your words that you know this too, that Jesus is the Way. He is the Truth and he is the Life. We read that “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

I think the trust that matters is in God, the God of the Bible, through Jesus (although I believe that may look different and be more or less defined for different people). I believe and pray that your husband gets to know Jesus, for I think that’s what he needs. That’s my prayer for some of the members in my immediate family who are not christians as well. And my heart hopes in the God that can draw people from the most unthinkable situations.

I can’t fully tell to what degree God may be pleased with the sacrifices your husband may be doing. But I do believe he can see that and that he’s not forgotten him. No one will be saved because of the sacrifices we make, but because of the trust in our hearts, and ultimately only God can see that. This is a huge and complex topic that would require a much lengthier response.

You asked if you should encourage these type of efforts from your husband: I certainly don’t think you should discourage them. They are an incredible opportunity for him to reflect and also for you to engage in conversation and questions with him. Some good questions can lead to fruitful conversation and even to a place where you can invite him to take a step forward: “It’s so great you share this with me. Tell me, why do you do it?”; “why do you think I do these things?; “you know I believe in the God of the Bible. Tell me, how do you think he feels about you?”, etc. These would be a few examples, although I am sure you’ve had many deep conversations with him and already covered of some of these routes of conversation, but if not they can be helpful. Something else that can be useful to mention at some point is how you don’t think that just by “doing some things” he is earning any favor with God, but that Christianity is ultimately about a relationship with Jesus and invite him to consider that relationship and whether he knows who this Jesus is. That could be a good lead to do a “bible study” (you don’t have to call it that!) and discover together the type of relationship that Jesus wants.
If he continues joining you in these important aspects of your life, that will provide many opportunities for you and for God to bring him closer and I think that’s very exciting.

This answer has become so much longer than I wanted and expected. I know I haven’t given a direct answer, but I do really hope these thoughts help you as you keep reading your Bible and praying, with your husband in your mind and hearth. I hope they can also be helpful in conversations with him. Let me know if you have any more questions or any comments about this.

Greetings,

Gerson.

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