Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Imitate God




 

Scripture


How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD.
(Psalms 119:1 NASB)
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.
(Psalms 119:2 NASB)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
(Ephesians 5:1 NASB)
and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
(Ephesians 5:2 NASB)

 

Observation


The question of discipleship is one that is frequently discussed. Paul was concerned about the new believers in Ephesus, that they would learn how to grow in their spiritual lives. He didn't expect them to simply go to church on Sundays and think that this was enough for their new-found faith. Instead, Paul had some pretty lofty expectations for them, that they were to be imitators of God. We may or may not want to admit that we are imitators of our earthly parents. There are certain characteristics that we have learned from them and we literally mimic them. Children often try to grow up and be like their parent. Soon after Chuck and I were married he looked at me and said, "I thought I was marrying someone that was like Alice but now I realized I've married Jerald!" He was teasing me but it was after an incident in which he could see my dad in me. The same must be true for followers of God. He is our heavenly father and we are to be imitators of God because we are his dearly beloved children. "I want to grow up and be like daddy!" What does Daddy look like? He is a God of love and therefore we are to walk in love just like Jesus. As a parent there are moments when you're excited to see your children doing things that you would do (let's hope good things) and it makes you feel good.

God feels the same way about us and when we imitate him it becomes a fragrant offering to him.
The Psalmist speaks the same as Paul. Even in the days of the Old Testament humanity was encouraged to walk in the ways of the Lord. By being imitators of God we become singularly focused, seeking him with all our hearts. The result is a disciple who looks like his/her Master.

 

Application

Our spiritual discipline must include becoming imitators of God. We are not supposed to live in some kind of a vacuum where we simply wait for God to transform us but we are to participate in the process. We are to follow after him, we are to imitate him, we are to seek him with all of our hearts. When we do that we grow spiritually and in that spiritual journey we become partakers of the divine nature. We actually begin to take part in him -- and therefore he is in us! The result is an incredible synergy in which God and human come together through the power of the Holy Spirit and there is transformation here and now, in this lifetime. This is the hope that we all find in seeking him with all of our hearts and walking after his ways.

The question before each one of us is whether we will put forth the effort to be an imitator of God, and if so, what does that look like? Our spiritual life must be a priority. Being transformed must be a priority. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives must be a priority. Imitating God must be a lifestyle. This is true discipleship.

 

Prayer


Lord, please help me to imitate you today in all of my interactions. Amen.

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