Imitation is an essential part of discipleship. Being a disciple literally means you are a learner. And if you’re going to learn something, you need to see it. You can’t be something you can’t see. You need an example, a pattern, a sample, a demonstration, an embodiment.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul encourages the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Essentially he is saying, “Look at what I’m doing, see what is happening and give it a try yourself!”
That’s really where it begins – You start by watching, observing, and then giving it a go and doing it yourself. Eventually, down the road innovation comes – where you add your own adjustments and tweaks based on your personality, giftings and context. However, for a season you simply do what others are doing.
One very helpful imitation I picked up from Steve Cockram who co-founded Giant Worldwide, is beginning each morning by asking the Lord three questions. Starting the day focusing on Him, listening for his voice and letting Him set the plans for the day has been tremendously beneficial.
Our family vision statement is “Joining Jesus in His Work” and these three questions have been instrumental in helping me to live into this each day.
Here are the three questions:
1. What are we doing today Lord?
We want to be about the work of the Kingdom. Jesus said he only does what he sees the Father doing. His Father’s business is the renewal of all things. So Father,what are you doing and how can I join you in your work? What’s our focus? Is there perhaps something I’ve forgotten about that I need to be reminded of?
2. What do I need to hear from you this morning?
The Lord longs to speak truth to us and remind us of his promises. If I don’t hear these things from him my focus will be off and distractions will creep in. Often these are simple but significant truths that the Lord wants to remind me. Things like: You’re mine and I’m yours. I’m going before you and preparing a place. My love is with you always and forever. Basically, if I don’t hear it at the beginning of the day, things won’t go as well as they could.
3. Who do I need to connect with today that isn’t on my list?
Frequently, the Lord will bring to mind someone that wasn’t even on my radar. An old friend, a roommate, a partner I talked with last week, etc. One day I felt like he brought to mind a friend and even said to share a word with her. After texting her, she later shared that this word brought a much needed encouragement to her after a very discouraging day.It always amazes me what the Lord can do when we are open and available to be lead by Him. He sees all and knows all – and invites us to partner with him!
The Bible says “Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
These are three questions to come back to again and again to facilitate daily partnering with our Father in heaven. It is a very simple, imitatable pattern of prayer and partnership with God that we can pass onto those we are investing in.
What if you started tomorrow morning with these questions? What will the Lord say? What will he do? I’d love to hear about your experience with these questions in the comments below!