Imitating God Series
In Christian circles, you frequently hear people use the word "Christ-like." Unfortunately, this biblical description has become a Christian-ese word that mostly means being a nice person. It's tragic because the biblical concept behind being "Christ-like" should be the initiation of every Christian's sanctification journey.
But let me warn you, "Imitating God" is not for the faint of heart. It requires radical obedience and a daily dying to self that most professing Christians shy away from. Like most teenage boys in the 90's, I was obsessed with Michael Jordan. My walls were literally covered with MJ posters of the G.O.A.T. dunking on his opponents. You seriously could not see the color of the walls for all the posters. I had a couple of jerseys, but I couldn't afford the shoes. Which seems much less critical now than it did back then. When I played basketball with my buddies, I tried my best to do what Mike did, because I too wanted to "be like mike." I attempted to emulate his moves, I stuck my tongue out when I was driving the lane. Looking back, it is pretty comical, but that is what it means to imitate someone, to be so completely enamored with them that you try to do everything in the same way that they do, even making a fool of yourself in the process.
Paul says, "Be imitators of God (Father), as beloved children". Ephesians 5:1 Peter reminds us, "Christ (Son) suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21 Again Paul tells us, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives IN me (Holy Spirit). And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me." Galatians 2:20
If you have mostly focused your imitation on the person of Jesus Christ, that is a good start. But I would like to direct your attention to some of the most apparent traits of every member of the trinity so that your imitation can be more full and life-altering. My Michael Jordan obsession was relatively short-lived, I still like watching his old games, but I don't try anymore to "be like mike." I would definitely hurt myself if I did. But our obsessive imitation of God should be a life long commitment. We imitate what we love. Previously, we loved the world, and we imitated what we saw there. But once we met Jesus, we repented. We left the road that was leading us to death and destruction, and we began our journey to abundant life, who better to follow than the Author of life? Jesus said "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24) So, let's talk about the "follow me" part and focus on how we can imitate God in our daily lives. Over the next four Sundays, I will be taking a more in-depth look at what it means to Imitate God. Join me and we can learn together.
Imitating the Spirit
Imitating God: Bonus