BE IMITATOR OF GOD (Part 2)
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NKJV)
God does not want His children to merely believe in Him; God wants us to behave like Him. God’s children are called not just to be mere believers, but also to be imitators of God.
1 John 2:
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (NKJV).
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (NKJV).
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (NKJV).
36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (NKJV).
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV).
A call to be a Christian is primary a call to follow Christ’s examples and be fully conformed to Christ in all things.
Sadly, Christianity today is becoming synonymous only with material prosperity and not anymore with Christ’s lifestyle.
How we have missed our highest call and goal in life!
God’s highest call and goal for all His children is to be fully “conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom. 8:29 NKJV).
Therefore, your greatest pursuit should be to attain Christ-likeness – the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ – manifesting and expressing God’s life, nature, glory, love, power, and character as Christ did while in the world (Eph. 4:13, John 1:18).
As lofty as our divine call to walk and live like Christ (to attain Christ-likeness) may be, it is not an impossible or unattainable one for God’s children. Why?
Because through the New Birth we have shared in God’s life and nature (2 Pet. 1:3, 1 John 3:9)! Because God has sent for the Spirit of Christ into our hearts at the New Birth (Rom. 8:9, Gal. 4:6)!
Why then are many children of God today not imitating or behaving like God in the world?
The Unrenewed mind!
First, many believers today are completely ignorant of God’s ultimate desire, purpose or expectation for them in this world, which is to attain Christ-likeness.
Many unbalanced teachings on prosperity, wealth, and success in our churches today have negatively affected the mindsets of many believers.
Many believers now erroneously consider, esteem and pursue material prosperity and success in career, ministry or business as their highest calling or goal in this life.
If you don’t set attaining Christ-likeness or conforming to Christ in everything as your highest goal in life, you will never pursue or attain it (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 4:13)!
Second, many believers today who are pursuing Christ-likeness are failing and getting frustrated in life because they are only striving to walk and live like Christ in their own wisdom and strength, but not appropriating God’s provisions for them in Christ to imitate Christ.
The Christian life is not only difficult but absolutely impossible to live without appropriating God’s provisions in and through Christ Jesus!
God has given every born-again believer all that it takes to live a godly life in this ungodly world. Sadly, many believers today are not appropriating God’s provisions to live the Christian life.
2 Peter 1:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. (NKJV).
Until you begin to know, acknowledge, believe and appropriate every good thing that God has put in your born-again spirit, you cannot imitate God effectively.
Paul reveals this truth in his letter to Philemon.
4 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers,
5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints,
6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (NKJV).
Many believers today have been erroneously taught and made to believe that they still retain their old sinful and corrupt nature after the New Birth experience.
You will remain bound to sin and continually strive in vain to overcome sin and live a godly life until you know, understand, acknowledge and believe that you are already dead to sin through the body of Christ (Rom. 6:7-11).
It is only those who are dead that are free from the dominion of sin!
Paul clearly states this truth.
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. (NKJV).
Therefore, if you fail to understand, acknowledge and believe the truth that you are now dead to sin, having been crucified with Christ, all your efforts to live a godly life will always result in failure, futility and frustration.
Living right starts with believing right!
The Scripture amply affirms this truth.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. (RSV).
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (NKJV).
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (NKJV).
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (NKJV).
Therefore, the born-again believers are not expected to be striving to die to sin, for they are already dead or crucified with Christ and resurrected with Him as a new creation or self in Christ.
All that is left to do is the renewing of the natural mind, presenting your members to God as instruments of righteousness, and denying self daily – refusing to yield to, indulge or gratify the lusts of the flesh (2 Cor. 5:18, Rom. 12:1-3).
Many believers today are not living a holy or godly life because they are striving to die daily to sin by their own efforts rather than acknowledging and reckoning themselves to be dead once and for all to sin through the body of Christ and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV).
Third, many children of God seeking to imitate God are failing because of their unrenewed, unsanctified or carnal mind.
While your born-again spirit is now entirely conformed to Christ, your soul and body are yet to. This is why the Scripture speaks of the redemption of your body (Rom. 8:23) and the salvation of your soul as the end of your faith (1 Pet. 1:9).
Therefore, if you want to be Christ-like in your thinking, mindset, perception, emotions, actions or character; you must constantly, consistently and continually renew or reset your natural mind according to the words or teaching of Christ (Rom. 12:2, Jam. 1:21).
It is impossible to follow Christ with the mind that is still full of the values, goals, ambitions, desires, thoughts, principles and mindsets of the old man.
This is why the Scripture commands that you should “put off concerning the former behaviour the old man, that is corrupt according to the desires of the deceit, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man, which, according to God, was created in righteousness and kindness of the truth.” (Eph. 4:22-24 YLT).
You must also not be tired of denying yourself if you want to imitate Christ!
Unless you continually discipline your body and keep it under control through the help and power of the Holy Spirit, it will hinder you from walking in the footsteps of Jesus; for your flesh is always weak and unwilling even though your born-again spirit is always strong and willing to obey and follow Christ (Rom. 7:22, 1 Cor. 9:27, Matt. 26:41).
Fourth, as a believer, you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you both to show you how to and empower you to walk in the footsteps of Christ.
Imitating God is simply walking in the Spirit or yielding to the Holy Spirit at all times. You are walking in the footsteps of Christ when you let your steps be guided by the Holy Spirit and the words or teaching of Christ.
Paul admonishes you to “Let your steps be guided by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16 MNT).
Lastly, you cannot imitate God without staying in communion or fellowship with God.
The Lord Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus Christ imitated God His Father perfectly while in the world because He always stayed in communion with His Father.
While in the world, Christ had His eyes fixed on His Father, His ears inclined to His Father, and His mind focused on His Father, so He was never ignorant or unaware of what His Father was showing and saying to Him, or doing and would have Him do in any situation.
Beloved, it is absolutely impossible for you to imitate God without you seeing, hearing or knowing what God is showing, saying, or doing.
But you will never see, hear, know or understand what God is showing, saying, or doing without you staying in communion with God (in prayer and in the study of His Word) as Jesus did while in the world.
Therefore, turn away from all distractions today and have your eyes fixed on God and your ears inclined to God, and your mind stayed on God so that you may see hear, know and understand what God is doing in every situation and then imitate Him, just as Christ did while in the world.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me today my highest calling in life. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to fix my eyes on God, to incline my ears to God, and to stay my mind on God so that I may see, hear and know what God is doing in every situation and then imitate Him, in Jesus’ name. Amen.