Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Backwards If

"If is a big word." That was one of my Moms favorites to me growing up, and turns out she was right.

If is a concept with which we must all wrestle along the way, most especially when walking out our dreams. What if I'm not funny enough, clever enough or savvy enough? What if no one reads, supports, likes, agrees, etc.? What if I fail? What if I make a good start and never finish? What if it becomes plainly clear to those watching me step out that I don't have what it takes? Yes, "if" is both exhausting and inexhaustible. And it's often that way simply because we're using the backwards if.

What would happen if we re-framed our "ifs" to start from a totally different place?

Look at Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

That perspective changes everything.

Dreams mean nothing when all of our ifs start with man or self. They mean everything when we start with Christ. It doesn't matter if people find us witty or smart or clever. It doesn't matter what our follower count is, on our blogs, in our churches, around the office, or at school. It matters Who we follow. Are we trusting? Are we trusting with more than our bobbing heads and flapping jaws? Are we obeying? Are we more concerned with what God thinks about what we're doing than what our other "audiences" think?

Look at the book of Daniel. Look at the book of Genesis, the life of Joseph. Look at your life and mine. God gives the dream AND He gives the interpretation. We often get that confused. We think we are responsible for both or either, when we're really responsible for neither. It's not the dreams we muster, the plans and grand visions we map and plan out with detailed vigor. Instead, it's the way we respond in trust and in obedience to God's dreams and plans for our lives.

The truth is, no matter the "if", God is bigger. So, press on. Even when your efforts aren't perfect. Even when no one stands up to say "atta boy." Even when dollars and high fives run dry. Keep doing the thing in front of you, because of the faithfulness of the One Who's asked You to do it.

For me right now, my ifs have a lot to do with myself. I know I'm great at starting things, and not so great at finishing. But you know what? The Bible says that God is the Author and the Finisher of our faith! See, no matter the "if", God's bigger.

What are your "ifs" right now? How can I be praying with you for a shift in perspective to see that no matter the "if", God is bigger?


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