February 26, 2019 by Linda Maynard
Romans 12:1-2 was the first Scripture I memorized. In fact, not long after becoming a Christ follower I stood before my church and recited it to them all.
And so, dear Christian friends, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Do not copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. (NLT © 1997)
Why did I recite it? Because I knew firsthand the power of those verses. By God’s grace, I had experienced the joyous conversion from conformer to transformer. And I wanted everyone else to know how to have this joy as well. Let me explain.
Have you ever watched a Transformer movie? There is one out now called Bumblebee, about a battle-scarred robot disguised as a Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle is repaired by a teenager trying to find her significance in life, and through her attentive care, the Beetle is transformed into a powerful warrior. Then the pair join forces to save the world.
My conversion didn’t look quite like that. In fact, if someone wanted to cast my story for a movie, I think the “before” character would be a locomotive and the “after” a simple woman. Wait. Wouldn’t my transformation go from simple woman to locomotive? In the stuff of movies and the wisdom of the world, yes. But not so in the Kingdom of God.
Before I became a follower of Jesus, I suffered from something I call “Just Had” Syndrome. If I “just had” a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood… If I “just had” a better job… If I “just had” a more loving, attentive husband, then… Unfortunately, I never “just had” enough. I was like a locomotive travelling through the most glorious landscapes on earth that I never noticed. All I could focus on was getting to the next stop. Somehow, I had fallen prey to materialism, and I was convinced that the more I acquired the more significant I’d feel. Conversely, all I felt was cold, dark and empty—much like a locomotive with no travel plan or companions.
Then I met a new friend. She told me about her past—what she used to think was important—and how God changed her thinking. Although her past sounded almost identical to my life, there was something different about her. She had a joy and a peace within her that I craved. She told me about Jesus and the sacrifice He had made for me, and she invited me to place my life in His hands. I gladly said yes to her invitation, and I saw changes in my life almost immediately. My “Just Had” Syndrome was replaced with the “Had Justs”:
- I no longer searched for bigger, better earthly homes because I “had just” the one my Savior provided. Not only had He given me earthly shelter, but He promised to build my home in heaven (John 14:2).
- I stopped stumping for a better job, because I “had just” the work God had designed for me (Ephesians 2:10).
- I quit pressuring my husband to be my everything, because the bridegroom Jesus Christ supplies all my needs (Philippians 4:19).
- I ceased worrying about getting to the next proverbial train stop, because Jesus has sealed my destination (John 3:16).
I once was conformed to the ways of the world. The tactics and promises proved empty, and my heart followed suit. But God transformed me through the saving grace of His Son and the power of His truth. The joy of living life His Way surpasses any plan I could have developed for myself. I have significance in the Kingdom of God not because of what I do, but because of what He did, does, and will continue doing for His creation. Today, I am just a simple woman; but by God’s grace, I am filled with the power of His Spirit. He has changed me from a conformer to a transformer—one with a message that can save the world. Will you let Him transform you, too?