Friday, October 03, 2008

Imitators of God

Ephesians 5:1
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

God has blessed me with two children – an 8-year-old little boy and a 4-year-old little girl. My son looks like me and has my temperament, but my daughter is almost an exact reflection of me. She copies my every move, looks exactly like I did at her age, and acts at 4, just like me at 32 in many ways. She’s a well-behaved child, but very mature in her thinking. She’s literally like a mini-Joy walking around. Every day, she wants to carry my purse, play in my shoes, and do her hair like mine. She studies me, prays like me, and even tries to preach like me in front on the mirror. She tries to imitate my worship and dances like me. She is such a student of everything I do, and while I want her to have her own personality, it is quite an honor to have someone who admires me the way she does.

As I look at my daughter, I understand more our Father’s desire for us to imitate Him. As believers, we often claim that God does not want to change our personalities. We often teach that He can use us just where we are. Well, that’s true to a point, but repentance does both merit and require change. The church is in a season where we have simply spiritualized the FLESH. Everything is “deep“ these days. Very simply put, God wants us to imitate Him as His children. That means we should love Him and take on His character, His fruit, His way of doing things. Flesh has to die!

So many of us are claiming that God is our Father, but we simply don’t look like Him. We don’t speak the way He speaks. We don’t act the way He acts. We say we have accepted Christ as our Savior, but we haven’t modeled our ministries after His. We don’t share His priorities. We don’t consult the Father as He did, and most of all, we refuse to suffer for the Gospel’s sake, though we have been instructed to take up our crosses and follow Him!

Whose shoes are we really walking in? Children do imitate their parents, both spiritually and naturally. Who are we really reflecting in this season? Imitating the flesh is not of God, but imitating God is His desire for us. Preaching like your pastor doesn’t make one look like God. Wearing the same suit as the elders in your congregation doesn’t make one look like God. It’s bearing the fruit of the Spirit that make us look like God. As Christians, have we become more patient, more loving and more kind? Or, are we still hateful, attempting to cover up our meanness as a deep prophetic judgment? Are we really more patient and longsuffering, or are we impatient and demanding, covering up as a leader trying to train others for service? Father, help us to see ourselves as YOU see us! Selah.

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