Thursday, September 23, 2021
Your Own If...
Your Own If...
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe . . .” Mark 9:23 NKJV
A certain man had a demon-possessed son. The boy could neither speak nor hear. The father, having seen the disciples’ inability to heal his child, had little or no faith in Christ. So when he was called to bring his son to the Lord, he said to Jesus, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (Mark 9:22 NKJV). Now there was an “if” in the question, but the poor trembling father had put it in the wrong place. Jesus, therefore, without forcing him to retract his statement, kindly put the “if” in its legitimate position. “No, really,” He seemed to say, “there should be no ‘if’ about my power or willingness . . . the ‘if’ lies somewhere else.” Jesus told the man, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NKJV). The man’s trust was strengthened, and he offered a humble prayer for greater faith. At that point, Jesus spoke the word and the devil was cast out, with instructions never to return. There is a lesson here that we need to learn. Like this man, we often see that there is an “if” somewhere. But we always blunder by putting it in the wrong place: “if” Jesus can help me, “if” He can give me grace to overcome temptation, “if” He can pardon my sin, “if” He can make me successful. No, “if” you can believe, Jesus both can and will. You have misplaced your “if”! If you can trust with confidence, just as all things are possible to Christ, all things will be possible to you. Faith stands in God’s power and is robed in God’s majesty; it wears the royal clothing and rides on the King’s horse, for it is the grace the King delights to honor. Equipping itself with the glorious might of the all-working Spirit, faith becomes—in the omnipotence of God—mighty to do, to dare, and to suffer. All things, without limit, are possible to the one who believes. My soul, can you believe your Lord tonight. - C. H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
There was a moment in our lives about 20 years ago or so when God did something that really relates to this devotional with us. We had an incident happen that really was an act of God. A storm had come through in the city where my Wife's house was and her former neighbors told her the gutters had come off of her house. We were living in another city and had been renting out her home after we had first gotten married.
In this incident we were in much prayer about what to do. Friends and family were called who lived closer than we did to see if they could help.
Some time had passed and my Wife calls the former neighbor to talk about it only to hear from her that she had thought we had decided already and hadn't told them because they were fixed. Fixed? Yes, a company had been to the house and put up new gutters. She told her we hadn't called anyone. We were still looking for options. She said she would ask around. We get a call a while later with her laughing. The company was supposed to have put those gutters on another house up the road. My Wife and I wanted to do the right thing and she asked her if she got the name of the company. She said no, the only thing she knew was that the slogan on the van said "Doing an Awesome job for an Awesome God".
We had plenty of if's in regards to what to do that day. We tried in earnest to find that company and make things right. 20 years later we still cannot locate that company.
It's been a lesson to us about if's. When we face some big things in life that seem to have no earthly answer, we remember the gutters. If God can put gutters on a house...
We have faced a great many things in 20 plus years of marriage that we go back to that lesson to get through. We still face situations where things don't make sense. We wonder how God's going to make things happen, and remember the gutters.
God's Word isn't complicated. Salvation in Christ Jesus isn't complicated. The message of the Gospel isn't complicated. We complicate things by over thinking life.
Faith in what God's doing often means we won't understand why.
We may never get told on this side of eternity. It may be after we settle into life in the new Heavens and new Earth that we get the opportunity to talk to Jesus about it.
Jesus gives us anchors to steady our lives. The Spirit is there to bring all things into remembrance that He has taught us. You can probably look close enough at your life and find your if moment. That time when God stepped into your life and strengthened your faith in Jesus Christ.
Satan will throw whatever he can at your life to try to get you to forget your times when Jesus strengthened your faith. The last thing he wants to do is have a believer's faith bolstered.
It's why he roams about seeking someone to devour. He looks for weaknesses to expose.
Your if can be for just you, or like gutters, sharing your if might be to help someone else.
Lastly...listen. God does speak to you. If only My Sheep would hear My voice...He says.
The hardest part for us is the same as it was for the Disciples in the boat in the storm. Being quiet and calm in the midst of the storm to listen for God’s voice. He speaks and the storm listens.
Write down your if, if that helps you to remember. As the Old Testament put it, bind it about your neck, keep it with you at all times.