We have an obligation to fulfill. It is much more important than all the things we have, even the indispensable things as well as our family. For in fulfilling it everything we have, whether the material things or the greater ones will continually give us joy and comfort. Everything and everyone we have at the moment or in the past are the blessings of the Almighty God. There’s no other way to it. Yet, having such knowledge we often place our focus on the things and people at hand than on the One that made them possible. This can be due to many factors such as pressure from day to day demands, competitive life style, inept prioritizing, negligence, forgetfulness, apathy, etc. Avoiding these is a huge task, but still not impossible as we assume. The apostle Paul gives a simple rule to it and it is our obligation as believers of Christ. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1).
Though his statement is petite, it nonetheless carries utmost value. The Spirit through Paul has put deep meaning and significance in it. To imitate God is no small thing. Yet, it makes one live with heavenly attributes on the earth and among sinful beings. It is as if God Himself is living on earth, i.e. we reflect Him. An important point Christians must not set aside is that salvation has a purpose; it is not just about being saved. It is also living godly or like God. In simple terms to imitate God is to be devoid of anything and everything relating to our former life and all things the world is. This means we are to live as aliens with qualities not possible in mankind. Such is the task of being imitators of God. As believers we can attain to that task by simply following the steps from the Word of God.
- Hearing God’s Word. It is not the same as hearing it on every Sunday or on other established days, though they play their part. But more particularly it is hearing from Him for His delight and our joy. In it both His work and ours is fulfilled. “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,’” ( 3:7). As much as we delve in the Word and practice speaking to Him we experience it. We get to know His will that allows us to comprehend His unique nature so that we can imitate Him.
- Not just readers. It goes in tandem with hearing God. We must also be able to hear Him. Thus, we must first remember everything we heard of Him. As often as we face circumstances challenging our imitation of God we must be able to overcome by applying God’s wisdom and righteousness from memory. Then we can actually fulfill the obligation given to us. “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:17). The writings of the apostles are not their self creation, but God-breathed. They reveal to us the things we must apply, practice, use and follow.
- Defining our goal. “But he said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God” (Rev. 22:9). Besides all the responsibilities we have our one true goal as believers is to worship God. Obviously it does not just mean worshipping Him on Sundays. Otherwise, John being on the island of Patmos has failed in his duty to God. So, it has to mean more. It is something like Paul’s dialogue in Rom. 12:1. This would truly imply we imitate God. The idea of worship is broad and it calls us to action in all circumstances. To worship means to bow down in reverence. Its outside appearance is a certain posture, but its true form is from within.