Imitating GodOctober 26, 2023 2023-10-25 17:41
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)
Some commands from the Bible are hard to take. Jesus commands us to be perfect as our Heaven Father is perfect. He also taught us to bless those who persecute you. None of these are easy. And when we hear the command to imitate God, it can be overwhelming. Many Christians have a sense of pressure to be good enough. Some overwhelm themselves, trying to be perfect, and beat themselves down when they fall short. But our passage today reminds us that these commands, as difficult as they may be, are not intended by God to create pressure.
When we read Paul’s words in Ephesians today, our eyes go to the command, but a better understanding is had when we focus on the reason for the command. We are to imitate God in everything we do because…we are His dear children.
You are dear to Him. He cherishes you. When we truly cherish another, we want what is best for them. We want to see them succeed, beat the odds, overcome all that can overwhelm them, be healthy, joyful, healthy, and love life. If we feel this way, how much more does God want this for us? His heart pines that our well-being would exceed our greatest imaginations of a good life.
The command comes from a heart that desperately wants good for us. And the pathway to what is good and best follows the wisdom, understanding, heart, and behavior of the Lord. This command is not a heavy weight laid upon our shoulders as much as a light illuminating a path to what is always better. God is not motivated that we imitate Him because He is concerned about His reputation. His concern is our tomorrow and the direction our life is taking.
Shouldn’t this change how we carry this command in our bodies? If this command shackles us in pressure, every failure heaps condemnation. But if the command works to show us a better way, every failure is met with encouragement to return to that better way.
A good father doesn’t put their son or daughter on a bicycle without training wheels and shove them into the street. No, a good father walks alongside, helping their child to balance, leading them to the better way that He already knows.
Prayer: Lord, let me receive all your commands as a light unto the path You have prepared for me to have life more abundantly. Amen.