Meaning MirageWhere do you typically find meaning in life?
Top Christian Music Videos
If . . . Then
If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if He will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God (Genesis 28:20-21).
With our house on the market, my husband and I regularly spend time looking at online real-estate sites. Planting a church 35 miles away, we eagerly anticipate the day when we will be able to live in the community where we will be ministering. As we wait, we could easily fall prey to the temptation of “if . . . then.” If You promise us success, we will go; if You promise us a great house, we will move.But a commitment to “if . . . then” does not set a strong foundation for weathering seasons of uncertainty.
Running from his own deception (Genesis 27:5-34), Jacob was desperate to know that his future would still be intact. Like Jacob, we know in principle that God can be trusted to fulfill His promises and provide for our needs. But, like Jacob, we often live out an “if . . . then” existence in an attempt to make life safer and more predictable (Genesis 28:20-22). At Bethel, he said, “If God will . . .” and “if He will provide.”
We’ve all prayed something like this: “God, if you move on my behalf and fulfill my request, then I will give You more of me.” But when we make these types of promises, we are in some way questioning God’s plans. As if signing a contract with another person, we leave ourselves an exit clause. God, however, isn’t into contractual agreements. He’s the God of covenant relationship (Genesis 28:15), one that is exemplified by sacrificial love (John 3:16).
Accustomed to manipulating so that he might get ahead, Jacob didn’t yet understand that God wasn’t going to let the promise of a great nation (Genesis 15:5-7) rest on an “if . . . then” agreement. God wanted Jacob’s love. So He wrestled with Jacob, not to defeat him but that Jacob might become God’s glory revealed (Genesis 32:24-32).
Read 1 Samuel 1:10-28. Hannah makes what at first glance appears to be an “if . . . then” promise. How can we see a demonstration of total surrender in her story?
What “if . . . then” agreements have you brought before God? What would it look like to surrender totally to Him in covenant trust?
- Meaning Mirage - Where do you typically find meaning in life?...read more
- Dirty Laundry - When you need to confront someone, how do you react?...read more
- Tender Hearts - How can we avoid being spiritually stubborn and unresponsive to God?...read more
- The Ultimate Source - God’s goodness and faithfulness can lead us to respond in varying ways....read more
- Love in Action - How can you show Christ’s love to someone in need with both your words and your actions?...read more
- Generous Hearts - Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s generosity?...read more
- Persecuted but Growing - Have you ever seen God use something negative or discouraging to accomplish something amazing?...read more
- Autumn Moments - What season of life are you in right now?...read more
- Where Love Flourishes - How does the love of a man and woman united in Christ reflect the love God has for us?...read more
- You're Needed - How are you serving the body of Christ?...read more
- Not Coming Back - How does Jesus’ sacrificial example inspire you today?...read more
- Everything Matters - In God’s vision for the world, everything matters....read more
- Valid! - Our value comes from God in whose image we all have been created....read more
- Cupcake Face - Do you have a sin in your life you’ve been trying to hide from God?...read more
- Four Views - Have you ever wished that the Bible was written differently or in a way that was easier for you to understand?...read more
- Perfect Peace - Are you living out God’s “perfect peace”?...read more