Paul said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” Can you say that? I know that I shudder when I think of saying that to people. I want to… I want to be able to say that. I see I am so far from who Paul was at the time he wrote these words. I pray that I won’t have to wait until I am old and grizzled before I finally put off enough of my flesh to be able to encourage people to imitate me as I imitate Christ.
What gets in my way? It is those sinful desires again…my heart lusting after forbidden fruit that is as temporary as a ice cube on an August afternoon. It gives me some pleasure, maybe even some relief but all too soon it is gone and I am more miserable than I was before I had it, because I want more. My flesh is never ever going to be satisfied and why I don’t get that on a permanent basis I don’t know!
How can I encourage you to imitate me when I see the crud that is displayed in my life and is a revelation of what it is in my heart? When I hear the words coming from my mouth that are not edifying, or loving, or patient or kind? When I know my temper flares with impatience and I see myself behaving so selfishly?
(I cannot help but wonder if Eve had the same thoughts as she looked longingly back at Eden. Did she sit picking weeds in a field pondering what her life was like before she ate from that tree? How simple it was then, how delightful, how free she was before that blasted serpent made his appearance? She had actually been sinless!)
I want to encourage you to be better than me! Surrender now, all of it. Don’t wait another moment, or another day! Don’t play around with your sin for it wants more and more of you. It desires to master you and wants you to believe it owns you.
God is graciously allowing me to have those little glimpses inside my heart that I speak of from time to time on this blog. He is using various things right now to show me –again- how much change still must take place in my heart. I am hearing each cutting word; I am knowing each thought that does not bring Him glory. The Spirit of God is so very powerful and faithful to show me what must change! That quiet and non-condemning “voice” that “says,” “Ahh, Julie did you hear what you just said? Is this what I am teaching you about right now?” I am so thankful! I am so humbled, and it is very good. Believe me when I tell you that seeing me in the light of His holiness is a very humbling experience.
It is my most fervent prayer that one day I will be able to tell you that it is OK to imitate me, because I am imitating Christ and have a clear conscience in doing so. I believe one day I shall because HE is faithful to finish this work that HE began in me. He is the one who is doing all this in my heart and even causing me to care about it in the first place. He will not fail in this transformation for He is the Master and the lover of my soul. He has determined that I will bring Him much glory and because of that I will not fail.