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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

Without If

If . . . there it is, the 2-letter word that can come between us and God just like the tempter did in the Garden of Eden and tried to do with Jesus in the desert.  How can such a small word destroy our ability to hear from God?

The answer is simple:  we give it power.

If becomes a giant word that holds us prey when something goes terribly wrong in our lives.  The whisper in our heart sounds so reasonable:  If God is loving . . . then whatever we don't want can't happen. Right? We use if to question God’s character when it only uncovers our foolishness.

We use if to question God's character

when it only uncovers our foolishness.

Jesus faced if’s in a wilderness where he had to choose which voice he would hear:  the tempter’s or His Father’s.  How did he choose?  He chose the way he had been choosing from the beginning.  He chose his Father’s integrity over the tempter’s taunt.

In our journey to the cross, we have to face our if’s and track them all the way to their origin.   We must find that quiet place, that no-outside-stimulus pause.  We must find a way to tell the difference between our Father’s encouraging whisper and the tempters deconstructing questions.

We must find a way to tell the difference

between our Father’s encouraging whisper

and the tempter's deconstructing questions.

We must address the if’s that scar our identity, take us away from God and His unfailing love, and push us question Truth. Anytime our if’s get louder than Jesus’ I AM, we are listening to the wrong voice.

There is only one way to combat if’s in our life and it is the same way Jesus did. We return to Truth. We don’t just quote the Word of God, we take it as our shield and sword. We put it in the loudspeaker of our hearts so that no other voice distracts us.

It’s wilderness work for sure.  Lonely, scary, undoing.  But when we stop making gods out of our if’s, we can treat them as the tempters they really are.  We see them as thieves to rob us of what God would give. 

Pray without if and let God find you there.


For a complete copy of Sunrise for the Soul: Reflections for Lent click here

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