They say, "Imitation is the best form of flattery".
We all do it... imitate!
We copy hairstyles, and home decor and speech patterns and ideas...
Imitation can be both good and bad according to the example we try to mirror.
Today let's talk about who we imitate the most and what that has to do with our eternal destiny...
Right now, right under our noses and all around us is a huge cosmic battle for our very souls!
It is the ultimate battle of good and evil!
A battle between God, our creator, and Satan the fallen angel who is hell bent to steal, kill and destroy us.
I've read the back of the book (the Bible) and I know who wins the war... and wins BIG!
Do you know the word Satan means "adversary" and Devil means "backbitter, slanderer, accuser".
"He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies". John 8:44
Satan's goal is to murder us... his goal is to lead us eternally away from life... from the source of life which is God! We are God's prize and his masterpiece and nothing gives Satan more pleasure than forever separating us from the Lover of our very souls and plunging us into eternal death!
He does not... can not... speak truth. He will even use the truth to build great lies! Satan's goal is to have us believe lies to lead us to destruction. I think he is doing a pretty good job! Just look around!
Satan's very nature is to lie! Jesus says that he is the father of lies! A very strong and very true statement!
Today... right now... this very moment, Satan has control over the world we live in. Let me make this very very clear... GOD is sovereign! He could take back control at any instant. But, because of sin God is letting Satan be the "price of the this world" (John 12:31) right now. God is working out His magnificent plan of salvation and our glorious victory over Satan and evil and death! It is a total and glorious conquest for all those in God's family!
And here's where we come in... we have a choice to make. We must choose for ourselves. Not choosing is really choosing in itself!
We can be imitators of Satan and this world OR imitators of God and life! We can chose to belong to the family of the adversary or to the family of the All Powerful King. If we don't think we are choosing sides, we are! If we don't choose... then we choose to align ourselves with Satan... the destroyer of our souls! It's that simple... it's that true!
We can be caught up in all the shiny deceiving things of this world's system or look to Jesus and follow Him!
"Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children". Ephesians 5:1
God goes on to say that we are to go about the course of this life looking different than all that is around us because we are to walk in God's sacrificial love... living like Jesus.
Love, and the love that only can come from God, makes us different. Accepting Jesus' free gift of salvation makes us different. The Holy Spirit in us, makes us different... and able to walk as little children imitating our Father!
Ephesians goes on to say that NO ONE who is immoral (sexual immoral... sex outside of marriage), impure (doing anything that makes one unclean by God's standards), greedy, filthy ( using obscenities, indecent or base), spends time in silly talk (speaking useless things, coming from a sluggish mind),and course jesting (crudeness) or idolater (one who put ANYTHING above God) will not inherit the Kingdom of Christ and God!
And that is not the complete list! God wants us to act in a way that protects our family name!
Those are some of the behaviors of the "sons of disobedience"... those who belong to the family of Satan! Eph 5:6
They are behaviors that are unfitting for the "children of light". Eph 5:8
When my children were growing up I would very very often remind them that their behavior reflects upon us and our families' character. Being a part of our family, they were to act in a way that would be fitting of our family name! It was a very woeful thing to act in a way that would bring shame to our name. Our children had a choice. As long as they were under our roof they had to follow the house rules. They had to reflect that they belonged to our family!
God works the same way! We have to follow His rules... we must belong to His family... His way!
But how can we... simple human beings... with all our faults and foibles ever even dream to attain God's standard of behavior when the world around us pulls us hard to imitate it?
Again, by putting all our trust in the belief that Jesus shed His blood for us!
Your sins... your behaviors that are in direct opposition to the word of God... were judged by God and paid for by Jesus on the cross! At that moment you went from the family of Satan into the family of God!
And the Holy Spirit, God's very spirit was given to you ... to live inside you and to guide you in all truth and more! It is by the power of God's very Spirit in us that we can change our lives and be imitators of God as His beloved children!
WOW! What an exchange.. what a change!
If you are living like the devil, I lovingly say to you... stop! Turn around and ask God to forgive you. Accept the saving blood of Jesus' sacrifice for you! Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit! RUN back to your Father, your Father of truth and life... He has His arm open wide and He is waiting for you! He loves you so much!
If you are already a true child of God, live a life that looks like your Father! Live a life marked by love and goodness and life! Be obedient and filled with joy! Live up to your heavenly potential, live to protect your family name... and live out the Kingdom of God right here... right now.
It's your choice... who are you going to imitate?