Learning To Be Like God
God created man in His own image. That means God intended for us to be just like Him. Obviously, that doesn’t mean we will be divine beings with supernatural powers, but it does mean that God wants us to have His characteristics.
Unfortunately, when Adam and Eve sinned, that all changed. Adam and Eve acquired a sin nature which has been passed on to us. The sin nature is a defect of character, and it prevents us from being like God.
However, God is gracious, and He has a plan to correct this problem. It’s called salvation. God sent Jesus into the world to pay for all the sins of mankind. That enables God to forgive men. However, men have to agree that they are sinners in need of forgiveness, and they have to accept God’s offer of forgiveness. When they do, God comes into their lives and begins to make them just like Him – which was His original plan before Adam and Eve sinned.
One of the characteristics that God works on is love. God wants us to love like He loves. His love is unselfish and unconditional. It ALWAYS wants the best for others, and it always leads to patient endurance.
People often tell me that they want to be more patient. I have even said that on many occasions, because I am not the most patient person. So, here’s the way to learn patience — it’s to love like God loves, and the only way to do that is to let Him teach us.
Galatians 5:22-23 says,
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
The expression, “No law against these things”, means these behaviors cannot be legislated. You can’t pass a law that says love others or be joyful, or be patient or whatever.
Notice the first fruit is love. That’s God’s love – the kind of love we have been talking about. The passage says the Holy Spirit produces it, and He does it through our circumstances. So, when we are in a situation where we are called to love like God — we HAVE to ask Him to produce that kind of love in us — and we have to do it right then and there.
I recently had a situation where I had to do that. One of my extended family members decided to visit us. Unexpectedly. He called the day before and asked us to pick him up at the airport at 5:00 AM the next day. Needless to say, I was not pleased. So, I asked the Holy Spirit to produce in me love, so I could love him like He (the Holy Spirit) loves him. I found myself being courteous and gracious the entire time he was with us.
We have only talked about letting the Holy Spirit teach us how to love like God. However, we can ask Him to do the same for all the qualities listed in the Galatians 5:22-23 passage. That’s joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As we allow Him to produce these fruits through the circumstances of our daily lives, we will become more and more like God. However, it’s a process. That means it takes time and diligence. However, it’s worth it.
If you haven’t yet done it — I strongly recommend that you give it a try …