An “If-y” God


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So many of us operate in the world of “if”, don’t we?



If she is nice to me, I will be nice to her.


If he apologizes, then I will forgive him.


If I’m given a break, I will give them a break.


and so on, and so on…


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “if” as:

(conjunction) a: in the event that,   b: allowing that,    c: on the assumption that,   d: on condition that



As I mulled across the written Word this week, I saw how much God operates in the “if” realm, too.


He clearly puts ifs into our lives. Not out of anger. Not out of spite. Not out of selfishness like we do, but out of protection.


The ifs are what makes this faith true.  The ifs are what clarifies the ground rules between Father and Child.


May I give you an example?


A familiar verse that seems to find itself on plaques, coffee cups, bible covers, etc—

“I am the vine; you are the branches.” John 15:5


It most certainly is a beautiful verse and a beautiful sense of our belonging with Christ. But before you rush out and buy a few trinkets, there are some follow-up lines that our Lord wanted you to clearly understand. And they all begin with if.

IF a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.”

IF anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers.”

IF you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.”

  –John 15:5-8




Or how about another verse that has found itself in favor with many:

“The Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.”

–Deuteronomy 28:1




But wait, there’s more…


There is a beginning to that verse:

IF you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will…”


Another, hmmmm.


There are countless verses that are connected with the big ol’ word, IF.


God had the definition of if set long before Merriam or Webster came along.  God had the words from his mouth to the ears of his people, placed with a conjunction. He needed us to realize that the many blessings he wants to pour out, first needs a “on condition that.”


And I think that is where many get this Christianity thing all mixed up.


No one wants to do the ifs.


We all want the wonderful blessings and answered prayers that seem promised; yet we fail to do our part in the equation. Then we curse God when things don’t go our way.

Oh, many in this world will seem as if they have all the blessings God can bestow without following his Word, but our gauge for judging that is on the seen.  God operates on the unseen.


Jesus gave us one of the biggest statements on this topic that could be given:

If  anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”  Mark 8:38 NIV


Oh, that saddens me!  To know that some choose the world and not the ifs of God for temporary pleasure is heartbreaking.  This life is so short, yet eternity is…well…eternity.


My dear siblings, I beg you to seek out the conjunctions of God.  Be pro-active and discover what God is asking of YOU with the ifs. Don’t lose sight of the end picture.  Don’t live for just today. Read the whole verse, finish the whole sentence, find the complete paragraph.


God’s grace is boundless and endless.  It is what will sustain us when we enter His kingdom.  Let’s do everything now so we can hear him say later, “Welcome home my sweet child.”

It all begins with just one if:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NIV


Photo: Renae Bowman

4 Replies

  1. Devery

    So much good comes out of our pain, and this is another fine example! Hope this week is a little better, for you, Renae. This message is certainly a good one. Sublime peace comes with the obedience to the “ifs”, to show that love and respect for the One we say we love, listening to His promptings, His Word, His precepts.

    1. Devery, Devery–you have it all in such great perspective! Yes, the obedience to the One we love, shows our love. Thank you for sharing. And yes, this week is better. I couldn’t imagine doing it without the great Comforter. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. nicole

    thank you!!

    1. You are welcome! And thank YOU for supporting this ministry.

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