The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You

The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You (Zondervan, 2010)

John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, wrote The Me I Want to Be in 2010.  First, John explains that the most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become.  In other words, there is a me you want to be (emphasis author’s).  Therefore, to complete that task, you need to flourish.  Pastor Ortberg defines flourish as receiving life from outside yourself, creating vitality within yourself, and producing blessing beyond yourself.  However, a battle rages between your flourishing self and languishing self.  John’s book, then, follows this battle as it moves from deep inside you to a world awaiting God’s redemption.

At the core of a flourishing soul, one finds the love and peace of God.  Since God uniquely designed you to delight in your actual life through the process of becoming you, only God gets the final word.  In fact, God’s working every moment to “help you become his best version of you.”  And when you primarily focus on being present with God, everything else falls into place.  In any given moment, your sincere desire to be submitted to the Spirit’s leading is all that’s needed.  Thus, the Holy Spirit never just flows in you.  He always flows through you.  Most importantly, sustainable spiritual growth occurs when you actually want to do what you ought to do.

However, we often equate surrender with defeat.  In reality, though, surrender provides the only way to victory.  For our willpower’s easily fatigued.  But in the long run, ingrained habits beat willpower.  As a result, true growth always proceeds in the opposite direction of self-righteousness.  Also, self-righteousness births a joyless life, leaving you most vulnerable to temptation.  So the Spirit desires that His presence establish a river of life, joy, and peace throughout the day.  Stated differently, the Holy Spirit wants to function as a non-anxious presence in every life.  And the intersection of what Scripture teaches and how your life unfolds = a never-ceasing stream to willingly do what Jesus says.

In conclusion, Pastor Ortberg reminds us of this important reality with God.  We never speak or act in His absence.  Therefore, John identifies the goal of prayer as living all your life and speaking all your words in joyful awareness of God’s presence.  This means, to stay in the flow of the Spirit, you need to monitor your soul satisfaction as well as know you signature sin pattern.  Once you know your signature sin, you also know what it takes to make you fully spiritually alive.  It’s also crucial that you find your special, private place to be yourself before God.  To become the me I want to be, God’s best version of you equals – a hoper.  For the Spirit of life is a Spirit of hope.  The Holy Spirit wants to make you a dangerous person, dangerously noncompliant in a broken world.  So, ask God for a mountain.

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Dave Henning

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