Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Go ahead... open it!

I love gifts!

Let's just imagine that these beautiful gifts held the very answers to some things we are asking God for in our own life.

Maybe it's peace, or direction, or joy, or an answer to a long time prayer... or to really KNOW that He is there, all the time...

Now, let's assume the tag on the gifts reads... IF...

Have you ever thought of the word IF and looked at the way God uses it in His word?

Definition of IF: (Merriam-Webster)

a : in the event that
b : allowing that
c : on the assumption that
d : on condition that

The very things we desire the most, the things that are the prayers of our hearts, are promised to us over and over....

IF...

... You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.

... For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

... If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

... If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Many times we begin and end with that little word.

I have jumped in and claimed the benefits of many promises, and often have not seen them fulfilled because I didn't pay close enough attention to the IF...

It isn't that God is not clear, rather that sometimes I want the benefits of the promises apart from the way He says they will come.

In other words, the easy way out... and like Dr.Phil says: 'How's that workin' for you?'...

Think for a minute about those 'pesky' little powerful words that the scriptures are so full of...

if...when...

God says things with few words, and they pack a punch.

It's ME who fails to obey exactly what it says, and so the power of the promise is missing.

I think the tag might just as well say IF Sonja... (or your name)... does what I ask her to...she can open the gift!







21 comments:

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
I am sure that IF it wasn't for the trials and insecurities in my life, IF I could manage things entire on my own; I sure wouldn't have committed myself wholeheartedly to God.

Now has the good and ever loving Lord, who only wants me to have the best, made it so that when I am weak, then I am strong.Cause that is when God is totally in charge over my life.
"If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."

I can testify to that; till this day He has never let me down, even though I far to often am letting Him down.
From felisol

Cindy said...

Love this, Sonja. It's just what I needed to hear.

Nancy said...

He has so many wonderful gifts He longs for us to open and you are so right we often fail to look at the same print.......thank you for this post for it has caused me to ponder and self examine....

Isn't He wonderful how He uses others to get our attention...Thanks for this post......

Just Be Real said...

Well said Sonja. Blessings.

Sandy said...

This is so wonderful and encouraging. I
think we all forget that there are
conditions regarding receiving His
promises and we have to remember that
He has our good in mind in everything.

Farm Girl said...

I agree with what you have written, I of course, had not thought it out as clearly as you wrote it. I have often wondered if I am the only one who sees the things God tells me, like My thoughts are not your thoughts...I then know that with everything we must obey the whole of God's word just not isolating a verse out of context.
Thanks so much Sonja, I will be watching those, "Ifs"

Rita said...

IF I trust Him... How I needed this right now. Thank you for writing it. With my computer down and other things going on in my life right now, this is a real encouragement!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh Yes! and Amen...Lord may this go deep into my heart! Doesn't he speak so simply and yet I make it so complicated?

Sassy Granny ... said...

Any fan of Merriam's is a fan of mine :)

I have often considered that little word myself. It so often is the pivot between curses & blessings; and you rightly point out the importance of obedience in one verses the other.

Hugs,
Kathleen

Barbara said...

Amen, great post, thank you, Hugs Barbara

deodate said...

Beautiful Sonja - if - goes along with our free will, don't you think? If we choose it, we can have that gift.
Andie

Debbie said...

A very timely reminder for me Sonja! If only ...Debbie would trust and obey. Yes, there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. A wonderful children's song that is great for us adults too. :)

Love you,
Debbie

GWENNY said...

Sonja, that is a great devotional ! I think we can all relate to those "ifs". I certainly can. And I can apply it to all areas of my life... if I exercised, if I ate well, if I read my bible more. etc.

Thanks for the well wishes for Baby Aiden, of course one of the first songs he will love will be "Jesus loves me"
hugs and love!

GWENNY said...

I mean learn, but hopefully he will love it too! :)

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

I tell you what, Sonja, the next time I need a good solid reality check, I'm coming straight over to your blog. :)

God bless you! ...Marsha

Sharon said...

Oh yes, Sonja - so very true.

I think my favorite of the things you listed was this promise:

"If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."

That's a promise that I want fulfilled - so I'm setting my mind on looking for Him - with my whole heart.

GOD BLESS!

*The Old Geezer said...

God seems to offer a choice. If you do what I say you will be blessed, if not... you will be cursed.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Awesome, awesome truth, Sonja! Oh, Lord, keep me obedient to my "ifs"! I've been thinking of you lately; I want you to know that I've been praying about a great many things; in particular a few things, and yesterday I thought about your dad's thoughts on prayer. Girl, I prayed through. I know I don't have to tell you what I mean by that. I'm just telling you that God broke through in a beautiful way. Such a sight to behold.

As for the gifts pictured with your post, well, let's just say it's another confirmation for me regarding one of my prayers.

Love you, friend. Thanks for being the woman that you are!

peace~elaine

Debbie said...

A wonderful post, Sonja! I have often pondered the "ifs" in scripture. In a similar way, I'm stopped by the words of that oft quoted psalm of safety and security, Psalm 91.

"He who dwells in the shadow of the most high God..."

And reminded to ABIDE in that shadow.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Amongst all the joys of knowing God, one of them is knowing that He is the WORDSMITH OF ALL LINGUISTS...His word is tried and true, eternal and yes, CLEAR. The things that are an enigma stay a mystery until due time. But like any good parent, He gives us the truth head-on and all we need to do is do it, don't we dearest? God help us all just be good and follow his orders and love...THANK YOU FOR COMING BY TODAY AND THANK HIM for the message inside my simple post....May we all find the joys of being like little children. Didn't Jesus say something about us coming to him with an open heart, like a child?

BLESSINGS YOU YOU, BEAUTIFUL SOUL! Anita

Stacey said...

This is excellent, Sonja! I LOVE this post!! Thank you so much for sharing it! :) And just so you know, I'll probably steal some of it for a lesson for the women...but I promise I'll give you credit! :) I quote you often during our Bible study!