I have been wrestling with something lately. What does conversion look like? In doing evangelism I have generally used a list of behaviors to determine whether someone is ready to be baptized and become a member of the church. Is a list of actions conversion or is conversion more? I was reading the story of Solomon’s request for wisdom in 1 Kings 3 this morning and something stood out to me. In verse 3 it says that God was pleased with Solomon except that he was burning incense and sacrificing in the high places. Now what is interesting to me that it is while Solomon is at Gibeon a great high place that God decides to appear to him. Was Solomon converted even though he was living and acting contrary what God would have him to do? I think that in looking at the story it is impossible for anyone to answer no to that question. Solomon’s response shows that he was converted he could have asked for anything and he would have gotten it. But he asked for wisdom to care for others. His interest was wrapped up in others.
The question I have then is this, is it more important to act a certain way or to hear the voice of God? Even though Solomon wasn’t living out everything according to the High ideal of God, he was listening and God could direct him in those areas of his life where he was off. I haven’t reached any firm conclusions yet but it is definitely something to think about, especially when it comes to evangelism.