Not Imitating the Deeds of Others’ Faith
Heb. 6:12 That you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and long-suffering are inheriting the promises.
13:7 Remember the ones leading you, who have spoken to you the word of God; and considering the issue of their manner of life, imitate their faith.
Living faith never imitates past deeds. The Bible never tells us to imitate the deeds of others’ faith even though it tells us to imitate others’ faith (Heb. 6:12; 13:7). To imitate faith and to imitate the deeds of faith are two entirely different things. We should imitate the faith of the apostles, but we should not imitate the deeds of their faith.
Their shadows, handkerchiefs, and aprons were capable of healing the sick (Acts 5:15; 19:12), but this does not mean that we can do the same. Even if we do the same thing, the sick will not be healed because we would only be imitating the deeds of the apostles’ faith and not their faith. Sometimes a person suffers from a certain illness and God heals him. But this does mean that we can be sick with the same illness and expect God to heal us. God never allows us to imitate the deeds of others’ faith. We often travel a long way before we find out that we are imitating the deeds of others’ faith instead of imitating their faith. We often have to pass through many difficulties before we find out that imitating the deeds of faith is a dead end.
When we cannot make it and realize that we have come to the end of the road, our prayer will become real and genuine.
Only then will we really seek after God. Up to that point, our prayer will merely be mindless words, habitual and unintended. But when we reach that point, our prayer will become genuine. We will become genuinely empty, and we will confess, “I am useless. Even the victory I had before cannot help me now.” Then we will genuinely seek after the Lord and be conscious of our uselessness. We will not need someone to tell us to be humble; we will spontaneously be humble. Our humility will not be a thing taught by others but something that swells up within us spontaneously. Then we will truly know that everything we have is vanity, and we will understand the meaning of “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).