Indeed these are the times that are so difficult to be a Christian. Children of God are put in positions of compromise and so many instead of standing their ground against the evil of the world have taken the bait of the world. It has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between the children of God and that of the world. If I may ask, who are you imitating? Have you not set some people as men to be imitated? This is good (if they imitate Christ) but the first Person that we must imitate is God Himself. When the children of Israel secretly exchanged their Glory (God) for the worthless idols of their neighbors in 2Kings 17, they imitated their customs and way of life, the conclusion was that they became worthless as the idols they were secretly serving. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:1-5 to be imitators of God as dearly loved children. Every child imitates the parents unconsciously: who are you imitating? Don’t be deceived; whatever has taken the place of God in your life is what you are imitating! In Genesis 5:1, the Bible tells us that in the day God made man, He made him in His likeness. Man was designed to not only look like God but to have His nature (likeness) as well, imitating God in all spheres of his life. Unfortunately, before man could attain the likeness of God, the devil deceived him and he was kicked out of the Garden. Jesus Christ therefore had to come to complete that process in us. Once we accept Him as Lord and allow His word to teach, train and discipline us, then His likeness (original make up of man) begins to form in us.
Dear friend, we are to be imitators of God, walking as He walked on the earth. We cannot claim to be His children bearing His image but carrying the likeness of another! Friend, as we turn our focus to Him, a transformation takes place and we begin to look like Him. One thing about imitation is that it cannot be hidden for long. Soon it will become evident because of the likeness that will be shown. No wonder the Bible says the works of the flesh are evident because they are easily seen and traceable, also that the whole world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God (sons that not only bear the image of God but have His nature as well). So many children of God are so enamored with the world and the things of the world that though they are the image of God but they bear the likeness of the world. No wonder people are so warped in their minds and way of thinking! 2Kings 17:15b puts it so succinctly; once a man imitates anything after a while he would bear the likeness of the thing. Our God sees through all pretensions and it does not benefit us to walk with Him in such a manner. We cannot openly serve Him whilst there is a secret longing to look like the world. Rise up by renouncing every likeness that is not of God in you. Ask the Lord to give you an undivided heart so you could obey and subsequently look like Him.