What does it mean to be an imitator of God?

I have been struggling with this phrase for some time now… It says in Ephesians 5:1-

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.”

In my mind I always looked at imitation as a negative thing…

No one really loves imitation cheese, imitation sugar, imitation leather

or any other imitation thing but we all want the real thing!

So when I would read this passage I would always look at it in an incorrect or negative light.

I still don’t know if I have it right but what God is showing me

is that I have not been walking my life out as an imitator or mimicking Him through my life and walk.

The Message translation helped me with this verse.

” Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.

Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love.

Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant.

He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.

Love like that.”

How can you imitate someone that you don’t really know?

I can’t truly say that I understand or know who God is because I have spent so much of my time hiding from Him, scared that my thoughts, feelings or wants would make him unhappy. I have spent so much time trying to DO what I thought He would want that I have not sought out what and who He truly is so that I can emulate the love and life that He is calling me to.

Since my view of my earthly father has not been positive I still have a hard time understanding what proper behavior is that I was supposed to be learning from my parent. I learned manipulation, anger, fear, unforgiveness and loving someone only to get your needs met.

Yet at the end of verse 1 in the Message translation it says that He loved us, not so that He could get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us. I don’t know or understand that kind of love.

But I want to!

And I want to learn to imitate that kind of love instead!

So where do I start?

“Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.”
― George Bernard Shaw

When doing a word study on the word “imitator” I found an awesome study on the word and it helped me to understand it better.

“In order to add the background to Paul’s requirement, we must go back to chapter 4 and look at his previous argument.  Notice what he says:

Walk worthily of  the calling (4:1), be humble and meek (4:2), be long-suffering and bear with one another (4:2), chase unity (4:3), exercise your ability to provide for the body (4:11), seek perfect completion (4:12), be fully grown in faith (4:13), speak the truth in love (4:15), assist each other (4:16), be distinctively different from the world (4:17), put off the old man (4:22), be renewed in the Spirit (4:23), put on the new man (4:24), be a good neighbor (4:25), do not sin (4:26), give no opportunity for the Accuser (4:27), do not steal (4:28), domesticate your tongue (4:29), do not grieve the Spirit (4:30), turn away from unholy attitudes (4:31), be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving (4:32).

After all this, “then” imitate God.  Like most of Paul’s rabbinic instruction, we are not left in the dark about what to do.  If you want to imitate God, just do those things listed in chapter 4.”

Source: Skip Moen website

 

If you look at it closely it really does match up well with the well quoted 1 Corinthians 13 chapter in the bible, known by most as the love chapter.

I think so many times in my life when I find disunity in myself that it makes it hard to be unified with anyone else.

When I am struggling and wrestling with thoughts, feelings, emotions or life events that have unfolded, it keeps me distracted from walking this out. It keeps me from walking in unity with others and therefore keeps me from being an imitator of God to others around me.

I want to seek to know Him more,

to be content with the place He has me,

to learn from the past and let it go,

to look to the future with hope and thanksgiving,

knowing that as I continue this walk with Him,

He will reveal more and more of Himself

to me.

So I might mimic my perfect Father,

And even though His steps mammoth

compared to mine,

He will lovingly slow down His pace

so that my tiny feet can keep up.

 

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The heart of life is good

I had found this blogger a couple months ago and really love her writings! This post brought me to tears and helped me to realize that the things in life that hurt and are painful aren’t bad things but are just things that help me to know, identify and be thankful for the great things in my life! I hope her post will bless you as much as it did me.

The heart of life is good.

Daily prompt photo challenge

Quick Tip: The Best Camera is the One You Have With You

PICK A PHOTO CHALLENGE AND SNAP TO IT
Looking for some inspiration? Here at Daily Post, we publish weekly photo challenges using photos we’ve taken ourselves. We enjoy coming up with new imagery each week to encourage you to capture pictures that reflect the theme as you see it through your lens. Here are a few suggestions on getting started with phoneography:

Go out for a walk around your neighborhood and do a study on the color “red.” Take a few photos that say “red” to you. Maybe it’s a candy wrapper, a bird, even a street sign, perhaps a wreath — what did you find that was red? Snap away.

rocks

Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

verse

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve. To give His life as a ransom for many.

fence

Psalm 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

rake

Psalm 126:5
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

birdfeeder

Matt. 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

bench

Psalm 62:5
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

cross

John 19:17
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull

Do not worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-34

Many times in my life I have needlessly worried about the above things. I have thought that God wasn’t interested in my every day life enough to provide for my every needs. A dear friends close friend prayed for me yesterday and in her prayer God spoke through her to tell me to remember that He is in EVERYTHING! He loves details!

God could have easily just made a world for us to live on that had plain basic food for us to live on, a light source that was just enough for us to survive and had a plan that didn’t include saving us from ourselves.

But he didn’t do any of those things!

He made a world that we could enjoy, snow in the winter that we could play in, fields of wild flowers that we could run through and beautiful autumn leaves that we could marvel at! He made stars in the skies at night making them not only with a purpose but also making them beautiful so that his creation could stand in awe of their beauty! He gave us such a variety of food that each person could use and make things according to their own taste.

And best of all He made a plan for us when we stumble and fall. He doesn’t want to leave us where we are at but has a deep desire to see us draw near to Him, fall deeply in love with the creator of the universe and become sons and daughters of the most high through adoption.

If He has taken care of all of these details that we can not even begin to fathom. That science has yet to discover. Then wouldn’t it be even more awesome for our minds to wrap around the fact that He has every detail of our life in the palm of His hand if we give Him the control He so yearns to have in our lives.

Like I have stated in previous posts, God is a gentleman. He will not take control over someone that doesn’t want Him. He is not like men of earth that use their power and control to manipulate and use others for his own gain. He will not take your weaknesses and use them against you! Instead He desires to make your weaknesses stronger through His presence and Spirit in your life.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

 I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Revelation 3:20

As a women who has never really had great role models of men, this it is a new concept for me. It is a constant struggle to consciously remind myself that God has my best in mind and that I don’t have to be fearful of what that best may be. His best is not anything compared to what man’s view may be for your best. Its not a controlling, manipulative “best” that doesn’t think of your feelings, well being, or emotions.

I am so thankful that God is teaching me this! As I step out in faith to move 2,195 miles away from “home” I am learning to trust Him for every detail of this new adventure!

As people started asking me questions about my new adventure, I realized how much I didn’t know about the details of what I would be doing day to day, down to the details of what my room would be like. The “old” me would have had to know all of these details so I could stress about them and how I would adapt to this new environment. Yet, I have found that I haven’t necessarily pursued finding out these details because I am trying to learn to leave the details up to God. I am learning that He will prepare and give me what I need to get through each day if I am continuing to look to Him each and every day.

We can’t say to God.. “Ok deal with the details!” And then sit back lazily and expect it to all unfold! BUT… we do have to daily remind ourselves that the details are His, ask Him to use you that day in whatever way He sees fit and then go on the adventure of walking out each step and have the faith that He will direct each step! Notice the word “step” is an action word while “sit” is a stationary word.

I have fallen prey to this misgiving as I know many others have. I wanted to be patient, sit and wait for God’s plan for my life to unfold but God wants us to be doing His will daily, learning to be faithful in the little things (steps) while He is preparing us for the big picture of our life!

If we first SIT in His presence then we will be able to effectively STEP out in faith!

I am so excited that God  is willing to use me and I pray that I will continue to first sit in His presence and then walk out what I can be confident He wants me to do each and every day!

Focus on each and every day! Because…

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.