Day 3- The Best Version of You-
Welcome to #Write31Days– 10 Things You Can’t Change About Yourself. By now, you realize that I’m in a 31 day series and am wanting so, so, so, badly for you to stay with me and comment on my Facebook page so that folks will see that I had at least one follower ( for goodness sake!). Really, what I want is for you to realize that YOU have a reason and a purpose so please stay with me each day of this 31 day challenge.
The Best Version of You
The best version of you would be that which God has preordained. Right? Wouldn’t you benefit from knowing that the God of this creation had a real reason and purpose for you. That is what this is about. It is about finding out your actual reason for being here and getting to it! You go! Don’t you want to know for sure what God has in store for you? If you know this, you can live it out and reap all of the blessings from such? And, all of those around you can benefit from it as well because of your far-reaching influence.
You’ve probably heard it time and again. “You are important.” “You can be anything you want to be.” “You are special”. If you haven’t heard it from your parents, you may have heard it from a teacher and if not from a teacher, certainly you’ve seen some program encouraging you to celebrate yourself. We’ve more than likely all heard those words of affirmation from some person along the way. “You can do it”. “You can be this”. “You can do that”. Any number of ideas from others have probably come your way over the course of your life at this point and encouragement is good, of course.
During the 1970’s self esteem was thought to be so important that school systems across the nation adopted program after program to boost self-esteem among children nationwide such that awards ceremonies were programmed that every child would get an award of some kind. With this trend continuing, in January of 2010 this comment was posted by “One mom’s take on public education”:
“Years later, as a parent, I am not a fan of awards day. I realize that it’s important to recognize achievement but after sitting through my first one for my oldest child years ago, I realize that awards don’t mean anything. Every gets one now- you don’t want to leave anyone out- so there are “fake” awards for “effort” and “attitude”. I’m not sure what the value of the awards are if everyone gets one.” anonymous
The thing about God’s encouragement is that He created you. He made you, to be you. He gave you specific attributes and gave you a living soul. God made you and wants you to be the very best version of yourself. Every single thing about you tells those around you exactly what God has for you. The important question though is, do you recognize the best version of you?
When we think about being a living soul, what comes to mind? Well, according to the scripture, we are three parts: body, soul and spirit.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis
God created us to have a body; our flesh and outer shell which is often called the “temple of God”. Every person in the universe has one that is unique only unto him or her. There are no two alike; even with twins. Each person and individual is a unique living soul.
Then God created our spirit; that which connects to a spiritual being. The Bible is clear that the spirit of God is different than any other spirit and that when we rest in His spirit, we can be like Him. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor 2:12
That scripture also indicates that to be like God and know His will, we must be in His spirit. Do you know God today? If not, call on Him now. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
Finally, we are a living soul; a personality, in simple terms, who lives and breathes and gives meaning to life. Your personality differentiates you from others. The way to intimate, laugh, gesture, think, behave and more sets you a part from others. Your personality is different than any other one on this earth. You are different, unique and “you”. Certainly, you’ve had someone tell you “Don’t ever stop being you!” Truly, you are unique, and special. The Bible says if you’re in Christ, you are indeed peculiar person”.
Being the best version of you would require that you be “who you are”. Being who you are would require that you know yourself so well that when all of the attributes about you come together, you can recognize what fits you like a glove, so to speak. From your outward appearance, including facial structure, body size, and ethnic components to your mental ability and outside influences, you should know you so well that choices made by you fit with the circumstance for which you are called of God to do and be. Do you really get the gravity of that? If then you are so in touch with what God has given you physically, spiritually, mentally, materially, masterfully, and on a local and world-wide level you are constantly confirming your life’s work and refusing those things which are not yours to do. When a person understands who he or she is, then and only then can that person really do God’s will.
Tim Tebow, an American sports figure lives in my hometown and grew up in the church in which I attend. We’ve all been so excited about the choices he’s made to try out for NFL football teams. He’s been our home-team hero winning national college football titles and winning the Heisman Trophy. We’ve known of his families involvement in the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association and their dedication to a Philippine orphanage over the years. First hand, we’ve witnessed his struggle and felt for him in a special way because he has been a youth growing up in our church. We know his family. We feel a special connection but many of us have seen how seemingly hard the blow of not being selected to continue as an NFL player was for him. However, in listening to his take on it, he continued to intimate that he knew God had a purpose and his goal was to seek Him for purpose and vision while yet moving forward. After his time on the field, Tebow was given a media opportunity in broadcasting and In the fall of 2016, Tebow added yet another athletic goal to his resume- professional baseball. He became a member of the Met’s Instructional team. On his first time to bat he hit a home run to the cheers of those watching and to his teammates. Each of us should so seek God’s will as we navigate life. Sometimes the road is smooth. Other times the path is rough.
Our circumstances do not define who we are. Things happen in life. Problems are really nothing that God can’t work around and through if we give Him our concerns.
Frances Jane Van Alstyne Crosby was born in 1820. Wikipedia names her “ an American mission worker, poet, lyricist and composer”. Born outside of New York City she had quite a heritage of Puritan family members. She eventually learned she was a descendant to a Mayflower family through marriage and kin to the noted Presbyterian minister, Howard Crosby. As an infant she lost her eyesight whereby even mustard poultices could not heal the nerves and by the time she was 6 months old had lost her father. By the age of 8 she had written her first poem and years later came to this conclusion:
“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
Fanny Crosby had, even at a young age accepted the fact of her being blind and was already moving forward to do God’s will in her own life with the circumstance whereby she found herself.
With her mother and grandmother raising her, she was provided the strictest understanding of the Christian life and in time went to live in Ridgefield, Connecticut attending the Presbyterian church. According to numerous records about her life, she was brilliant in the memorization of chapters of the Holy Bible and by the age of fifteen has memorized the first 4 books of both the Old and New Testament. About this time, she became a student of the New York Institute for the Blind. Through a turn of events, she became an advocate for the blind and spoke to congressional sub-committee’s as well as having opportunity to sing at the White House. Even though blind, she was a faculty member of the NYIB teaching grammar, rhetoric and history. Crosby frequently published her work in the Saturday Evening Post and Saturday Emporium. Her first book was titled Blind Girl.
One thing led to another and she married a student and later became a teacher at the blind school.
Over time Fanny Crosby’s life was full of song writing, poetry, music and speaking to and for important and widely known crowds and organizations. By her death in 1915 she had written over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs with over 100 million copies printed. Blindness did not stop Fanny Crosby from accomplishing what was hers to do.
Some years ago, I visited the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City. The old building had been upgraded but the same message was offered as when Fanny Crosby sat in that congregation of people years ago. It was said that she loved attending and had opportunity to share her gifts and talents on that platform to the glory of God. At that time it was called Central Presbyterian Church. How appropriate that those speakers and singers that I heard that night sung songs of faithfulness and praise that she had written.
One popular, award winning song was sung the day I visited the Brooklyn Tabernacle church. Knowing Fanny Crosby had been there to share her beautiful music, I could feel her presence and realized God’s power of gifting His people. Crosby had written one of the many songs sung under that roof being, Blessed Assurance.
Fanny Crosby was visiting Phoebe Knapp, a friend who had a pipe organ installed in her home. Mrs. Knapp, a piano player played a new melody she had written and asked Fanny her thoughts. She exclaimed “ Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine.”
Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight!
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest!
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
My thought was that God was still blessing through yet even another songwriter, Carol Cymbala. It was both their songs to write and share with the masses.
He’s Been Faithful
In my moments of Fear
Though Every Pain Every Tear
There’s A God Who’s Been Faithful To Me
When My Strength Was All Gone
When My Heart Had No Song
Still In Love He’s Proved Faithful To Me
Every Word He’s Promised Is True
What I Thought Was Impossible
I’ve Seen My God Do
He’s Been Faithful
Faithful To Me
He’s been faithful, faithful to me
Looking Back He’s Love And Mercy I See
Though In My Heart I Have Questioned
And Failed To Believe
He’s Been Faithful, Faithful To Me
When My Heart Looked Away
The Many Times I Could Not Pray
Still My God Was Faithful To Me
The Days Are Spent So Selfishly
Reaching Out For What Pleased Me
Even Then God Was Faithful To Me
Every Time I Come Back To Him
He Is Waiting with Open Arms
And I See Once Again
He’s Been Faithful
Faithful To Me
Looking Back His Love And Mercy I See
Though In My Heart I Have Questioned
Even Failed To Believe
Yet He’s Been Faithful, Faithful
Songwriter: Carol Cymbala
You may not be an author, poet, lyricist, doctor, lawyer or Indian chief but you are something that God has created and he has a reason and purpose for your life. If you do not know it, you must stay with me on this journey to talk about the 10 things that God has certainly done for you. Upon knowing those things you will be able to better determine God’s will for your life. I hope to find you here again tomorrow.