Many of us have heard or read the apostle Paul’s directive, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
Have you ever thought that Paul meant we’re just supposed to read our Bibles? Read ‘em more, read ‘em better, because then we’ll know what to do? We make a costly mistake if we believe and approach this transforming act as one that will result primarily in a smart mind, a head crammed full of wisdom and what to do.
In his outstanding book, “Birthright,” David Needham writes, “…the renewal of our minds is far more than simply exercising brain power. A crucial ‘how’ of holiness is inseparable from knowing the truth of God’s Word, but it must be more than simply quantitative information. It must involve a participant, relational type of knowledge, which in the Bible is inseparable from the power of its Author. Instead of simply telling us to ‘memorize the Bible,’ Paul prayed,
‘I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…’” (Eph 1:17-19 NIV, italics mine.)
What do I do? Well, no longer do I make it my point to commit scripture to memory in order than I might not offend God, in order that I might not make Him mad or disappointed in me because of my actions. Sometimes I do memorize a verse or two, but I don’t read the Bible so I can be a “good Christian,” with ample spiritual brownie points growing in my heavenly file. I memorize and think about certain passages and verses so that in my day, whether beginning, middle or end, I’m thinking about Him. Reflecting upon what He has done for me and what He has made of me, does something miraculous—the real me, the newly created son of God me stands up and is noticeable. I can tell.
In short, I’m transformed, and I know it. The lie of my earthly citizenship and belonging is removed, and there I am, a heavenly creature. The decoy attractions of this world appear as the ludicrous seductions they are, and true delight and freedom invigorate me.
And things are as they should be.
Needham writes, “Remember, God did not save us simply to use us. He did not save us to get such and such quantity of holiness produced. He saved us for love…”
He loves you wildly…and that’s transforming.