I so often reflect upon the passage in Ephesians 5:1-2 that says, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” This has become a mantra of what being a disciple produces as I live out my identity and calling.
This seems like a logical starting point to me…that I first need to receive this gift of being God’s child for myself before I’m going to be able to share His love with others. The scripture talks about imitating God, but let’s be honest. Would you ever want to imitate someone that you don’t really know…or trust? Why would we desire to replicate another’s character when the nature of whom we would be replicating is unloving or even tyrannical? I stop and reflect on the truth about God- how holy, loving, sacrificial, servant minded, giving and just our Father is, and that He made a way for an undeserving wretch like me to be His daughter. This adoption came at the price of His very own Son.
I’m reminded of how vast and complex He is…and yet how known and available He makes Himself to us. He reveals Himself to us through His word, the person of Jesus, and the gift of communication with Him called prayer. That sounds like a really good Daddy to me. He has also given us the indwelling of His Spirit to make Himself, His word and His will further known to us by guiding us to all truth. This is how personal He gets! That He would choose to live in us is amazing! When who He is and who He has said that I am (undeserving yet dearly loved daughter/son) begins to sink in, I cannot help but love Him back and want to imitate that kind of crazy love.
It is so often the temptation to think of all the reasons why He would want to reject me instead of claim me. The enemy is so crafty and lures us into doubt and confusion when God has clearly set His seal on us as believers that WE ARE HIS. To let this all soak in brings about a freeing trust in who our God is and why we can trust Him. As we accept who we are in Christ, then we can walk in the sacrificial love and mission of Jesus to serve the people around us. The realization of what we’ve been given in Christ will create a beautiful response of gratitude that can’t help but ooze out on others.
Whether our life’s mission feels big or small, seen or unseen, applauded by men or applauded in heaven, the work God chooses to do through us is up to Him- not us. We only get to choose whether we will joyfully accept His divine plan or continually fight for our “right” to choose what the plan is and how it will look. When we trust God and surrender to Him to be used by Him, we no longer grapple for others attention, approval and acceptance. This is already settled. We are no longer afraid or fearful of the messiness of the unknown. Our loving Father has a plan for us that can be trusted (Jer. 29:11). We no longer need to control and set our own agendas. We can trust that He is working for us and for our good (Psalm 143:8,10). We can love others without the burden of changing them! Only Jesus can do that (Exekiel 36:26).
May the words of this song (a new anthem of mine) bless you as it has me, a prayer that my life would be laid down and that I would BE a disciple who then imitates our loving Father.
Holy, there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder
Show me who You are
And fill me with Your love
And lead me in Your love to those around me
(Build My Life, House Fires)
By Jada Shock