His transformation was as radical as it gets: He went from being a Christian-hater to becoming one of Christianity’s greatest voices for God.
“Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.” Acts 9:18
The one who was dead in sin became alive to righteousness. The one who was blind could now see clearly. The one who hated Jesus so passionately now loved him with all his heart, mind, and soul. Saul the persecutor was transformed into Paul the preacher, and his case was far from an exception. His transformation is a model of what God can do with any sinner—you, me, all of us. No one is beyond God’s abundant grace.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,” Paul went on to preach, “but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
The apostle was amazed that God would entrust him with the most powerful story of all—the Gospel of Christ. His past did not disqualify him from serving the Lord of Heaven and earth. God’s mercy and grace covered that completely.
Early in my faith walk, I was “waiting to be faithful” when conditions “were just right.” It was an absurd dance with unreality. So, what would it take to transform my heart? How could I become more faithful, more Christlike? How could I, too, experience what Paul encountered on that road to Damascus? Here’s what I learned: Only God can transform a heart. All we need is faith.
It was a matter of faith for Paul and it’s the same for us. We do not have to be smart or possess a certain giftedness to be faithful. We can all be faithful with what God has given us … exactly as we are, right where we are. Renewing our minds is a means by which God chooses to perform his transformative work.
“We were all created to be God’s image-bearers,” Christian scholar J.I. Packer once noted. “We are made in such a way, I believe, that we are only at peace with ourselves when it’s God’s truth that our minds are grasping and consciously obeying. Human life is lacking dignity until you get to that point.”
I ask God to transform my heart and renew my mind. I want to be his image-bearer.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Has your faith moved from Destroyer to Defender?
“I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him…” 1 Timothy 1:12