When you were a kid did you ever try to mimic someone's every move?
Number 1, as hard as you try, you couldn't get each facial expression or sound from the one you are mimicking anywhere near perfect. (But it was fun trying).
Number 2, Usually the person you were mimicking was frustrated that you were copying their movements and sounds. (Of course the more frustrated and madder they got, the more you wanted to continue.)
We are to mimic or be imitators of God. What does that mean?
First we want to look at the word mimic and it's meaning. It is the Greek word mimētēs, (mim-ay-tace') and is where we get our English word for mimic. It means one who is a "close follower." The word is only used 7 times in the New Testament.
It means to be imitators, to mimic someone’s speech, to mimic someone’s walk, to mimic someone’s accent, and to mimic someone’s manner of life. So since we are God’s children we are called to mimic our heavenly Father who is peace and joy. We are to mimic His words, His acts, His nature, His ways, His graces, and His Spirit. And know this, God will not get frustrated with us as we mimic, imitate, and follow Him and His ways.
We have in the New Testament, the picture of all that God is in character and holiness in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact Jesus said if you have seen Him you have seen the Father.
Paul told the believers to follow or mimic him, as he is a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul understood the responsibility of living a holy and Godly life. People are watching, and our lives should be an example that others can follow.
1 Corinthians 4:15-17 ESV (15) For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. (16) I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (17) That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Paul understood and taught that the One we should mimic our lives after, the One we should follow is our heavenly Father.
Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. (2) And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
FOLLOWED/MIMICKED PAUL, THE APOSTLES, OTHER BELIEVERS AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST:
1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 ESV And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, (7) so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. (8) For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
1 Thessalonians 2:14 ESV For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,
Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, (12) so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
In one place the word mimic or follower is translated zealous. You can place the word follow or mimic in 1 Pet.3:13 for it is the same Greek word in this verse.
1 Peter 3:13 ESV Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
Being a follower or mimic of our Lord Jesus Christ means that we learn to stay in His peace and joy while in the storms of life. Some storms of life by faith and prayer the Lord will deliver us FROM, which is truly an act of the Father's mercy and grace. However, most storms of life by that same faith and prayer the Lord will deliver us THROUGH, which is still an act of the Father's mercy and grace. Both are a call to us to walk in His character of peace and joy.
WARNING: We can learn through our religious experiences to say the right things and do some of the right things when our heart is still far from the heart of the Father. This is being a hypocrite, or one who wears many faces. The mimicking and imitating we are speaking about is a constant change of heart from being around the Father and Godly saints.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.