This verse has a very interesting and weighty preposition.
Young children generally like to imitate their parents especially at a young age. This comes from a built in love and admiration of their parent wich translates into a desire to be like them. I have seen my kids try to (literally) walk in my shoes (which from their perspective are oversized feet) and attempt to do many of the things I do. And my reaction? No matter how clumsy or funny it may be, I react with joy as I reach for the camera and click away before helping them in their quest to impersonate me.
We are dearly loved children of our heavenly Father and that being the case, it is built in us a desire to be like Him.
But some may say, ‘I dont seem to have that desire’.
If ,over time, we become unattached from Him and become wise in our own eyes , we are then acting like spiritual teenagers thinking we know all there is and seeking to gratify our passions and expend our energies on hopeless pursuits. This skewed view of ourselves (as self sufficient ) and of our father (as one who is out to limit us instead of love us) causes us to drift from Him. In that case we grieve our father who never ceases to love us despite our rebellion. And so if our desire to imitate/follow is waning as aforementioned, begin with an examination of your proximity to Him along with a realization of you dependance on Him. He has not moved.
You may go to church, be a member of a Bible Study group and even serve once a month in a given ministry. The question is this; Are you auditing or imitating?
In college, I had an option of auditing a course or taking the course. Those who were auditing were not required to turn in assignments, take test or actively participate in class presentation.
I am afraid that many in the church today are auditing sermons and studies with no intent of participation in the teaching and are glad and relieved to leave the fellowship with no assignment for the week!
We are to imitate God.
What better example to have than Jesus Chrsit, the image of the invisible God. Consider his Priority for the Word (as demonstrated when he resisted temptations in the Wilderness) the Primacy of Love for God (in obedience to His Father’s commandments) and for others (as demostrated in healing many, feeding multitudes and- most amazingly-dying for me), the People he associated with (from the despised immoral sinner to the influential Centurion, from the unpopular tax collectors to the woman at the well – no class, racial, political or social constructs limited him) the Philosophical positions he procalimed and protrayed ( preaching that power is to the least not the greatest, possesion are secondary, popularity is not to be sought and peace will only be found in Him).
So, with much noted above that is actionable, I ask you, are you auditing or imitating? Are you only sampling and discussing the life of Jesus or would you say that you are intentional about attempting to imitate Christ even if you stumble over His big footprints while he takes a heavenly picture of you and sends the Angels to lift you up.
Let your love for the Father and our desire to be like Him prompt you to act like him and we will find that we will not merely be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word.