God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Gen. 1:27 NIV
The Father says we are His family, His sons and daughters: “I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:18 RGT)
Created in our heavenly Father’s image, we become His children through the shed blood of Jesus and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, just as the disciple John tells us, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12 NKJV)
Matthew Henry said, “A sanctified soul bears the image of God, as the child bears the image of the father.”
Are you a parent? Do you have sons and/or daughters? Who do they look like? Who do they act like?
Do they say of your child, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? Or “He’s a chip off the old block”? Or “She’s the spitting image of her mother.” What do they mean? They mean he is just like his father, and she is just like her mother. Just a smaller version.
When you look at your child, do you see yourself, your spouse, or some other family member? Does your child have your eyes, your fingers, your build, your hair, your nose, your toes, your mouth, or does he or she have your mannerisms, talents, same interests, and so on? Then that child is like you, in the same manner, the same character.
Does your little boy follow Daddy around like a little shadow, wanting to imitate and pattern everything after his father – to walk like him, talk like him, act like him? Does your little girl dress up and pretend she’s grown up like Mommy? Little kids love to imitate. That’s how they learn.
When God looks at you, what does He see? He sees you as His child made in His own image. Paul said, “Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].” (Eph. 5:1 Amp)
So, how do we do that? We manifest the Father’s character in our daily lives, as Paul said, by living “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:12 NKJV)
Paul said that we also imitate our heavenly Father by putting on behavior marked by “tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of (ourselves), gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].” (Col. 3:12 Amp)
Only by close interaction and contact with a parent will a child pick up the same habits, tendencies, likes and dislikes, and character of a parent. And so it is with us. To learn to be like God, we must be constantly in His presence, following Him around like a little shadow. (Or is that in His shadow?)
The Father desires His children to imitate Him, to listen to Him, to obey Him, and just to be with Him. But until we sit at the feet of our heavenly Father, we will not resemble Him nor our Elder Brother.
Jesus gave us a model for imitation. He said, “I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do.” (John 13:15 Msg)
He beckons us, “Follow Me!” But do we?