Being an Imitator of God
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. We are to live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Okay, so how can we be imitators of God? Can we do the best we can? Can we emulate God if we don’t strive each day to know Him?
No, we can’t. Therefore, it is so important that we spend time with our Lord daily in prayer and in study of the Word of God.
In this world of tyranny of the urgent, this go, go, go mentality it seems like we don’t have time or opportunity to study God’s Word every day. I assure you that you do. You can listen to sermons on the way to work in the car or while you are doing tasks around the house or yard. Whenever possible listen to God’s Word, or a sermon. I can tell you it really helps to draw you close to the Lord. Drawing close to the Lord is the only way, I repeat, THE ONLY WAY to love you spouse fully as God has intended you to do so.
How can I say this? Because we are called to be imitators of God and further in Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul begins to tell us about how to love our spouse. The only way to love our spouse as God desires us to is to imitate Him in our mannerism, in our speech, in our thoughts, in our submission to God through the Holy Spirit.
Now, each of us has certain habits or characteristics of behavior that are far from imitating God. I know it is true of me. You know it is true of you, too. These can often be a cause of hardship in marriage. They are routed in our own strength, our own understanding (which is foolishness), our own flesh. They cause problems because they are of us and not of God. We can’t change any character quality of our personality on our own. Only through a relationship with God that is growing and developing in the Lord, in prayer, in study, in submission to God can you ever hope to change the pattern in your life that is causing issues. The Holy Spirit works in us when we draw closer to the Lord. He changes our attitude and our heart to desire to be an imitator of God in our life and in our marriage.
If you are married, this can’t be a solo journey. As you draw closer to God, you naturally draw closer to your spouse. As you draw closer to God, you understand the necessity of praying for your spouse, of praying with your spouse, reading scripture together, and discussing the truths of God’s Word together. This will all happen naturally as you strive to submit to God, draw close to Him and begin to imitate Him.
If you notice in your spouse a tendency to drift back into old, worldly habits of actions, words, or attitudes, get on your knees in intercessory prayer. Your spouse is struggling in their walk with the Lord. This is not something that you can change in them or for them. You can’t tell them they are sliding backwards in their walk. Conviction is a gift of God. We cannot convict. Only the Holy Spirit can do this. You can pray fervently for them, though. God will draw them back to a reconciliation with Him and help them to walk with Him again.
Being imitators of God requires a direct link to God through a growing walk with Him. It stands to reason that the command to be imitators of God requires you to be walking with the Lord daily. It will also require an attitude of submission to the Lord in all you do, in all your relationships, in all your talk, in all your thoughts. Thankfully, this is not something that we are supposed to do on our own. Thankfully God gives us direction on how to imitate Him. Take a look at Ephesians 5 to find out all the wonderful instructions He has given us to imitate Him.