Don't Put An "If" Where God Puts An "Is"
Updated: May 8, 2019
The word "If" is a powerful little word. It can shake otherwise sure foundations. It must be used correctly, and only where appropriate or it can bring progress in the kingdom to a screeching halt.
Here are some powerful, biblical statements that most Christians can agree upon;
> Jesus Saves!
> Jesus Delivers the captive!
> Jesus Heals!
> Jesus Loves You!
Now let's see what happens when we add this little "Half-a-Four-Letter-Word";
> IF Jesus Saves?
> IF Jesus Delivers the captive?
> IF Jesus Heals?
> IF Jesus Loves You?
See how powerful that little word can be? It turns a settled truth into a question. It turns a "Yes" into a "Maybe", or even a "No". What if we got rid of the "If", where God has said "Is".
"What if we got rid of the "If", where God has said "Is"!
Do you remember, in Mark chapter 9, where the father brought his demon possessed son to Jesus and asked Jesus "If you can do anything, have compassion and help us?" How a bout Jesus' response, saying; "if you believe, anything IS possible to them that believe."
Now, remember what the father of the boy did; he acknowledged that unbelief was present, but asked Jesus to help him believe, or focus on believing in Jesus and His ability. In other words, by confessing the presence of unbelief and asking God to help him believe, he replaced the "If" with the "Is" according to Jesus word.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me WILL DO the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." John 14:1
So what are we supposed to believe about this scripture. I mean, we're Christians, we believe in Jesus, right? But did He really mean that we would do the same kind of works that He did? Well I've heard a lot of people, using what I call "Ransom Note Theology", try to explain why this doesn't mean what Jesus clearly said. This is replacing God's "Is", with unbelieving man's "If".
Let's look at the context. In the previous chapter, Jesus was trying to get the disciples to see, and believe, that He IS God. He told them that when they see Him they were seeing the Father. He told them that the Father did His work through Jesus; that everything He said and did was from the Father. Jesus did what He saw His Father doing; or, He did the same works as His Father. Sound familiar? Yeah! It's what Jesus is asking us to do, now that He has returned to the Father.
The context shows that Jesus set the pattern by the things He did. He looked to the Father for direction, availed Himself to be used by the Father, and then did what He saw the Father doing. In this way the Father did the work through Him. This is what Jesus IS saying; we are to follow His pattern, and do things like He did. We are to look to Jesus, daily, and do what we feel He is directing us to do. In this way we are doing His work.
But except for a few unverified testimonies (for most of us), we don't hear of things happening, like those that happened around Jesus when He was on the earth; and most have certainly NOT seen the kind of things that Jesus did happening through them. And, after all, it doesn't seem likely, right? Well, here we are again. A clash between the clear words of Jesus, and the doubt that arises out of our unredeemed flesh, as encouraged by the Devil and his demon horde.
But this is a "Promise" (an "Is") made by Jesus Himself, who, by His own testimony, IS God.
"For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes") ascends to God for his glory." 2 Corinthians 1:20
Jesus said that if we believe and do not Doubt, that anything IS possible. Peter, seeing Jesus walking on the water, walked on the water himself, but when he took his eyes off of Jesus he sank. Peter started off right, showing us how we too can do the things that Jesus did. Peter first, "Looked To Jesus", and asked for direction (if it IS You, bid me come). Jesus responded when Peter looked to Him and asked for direction, saying, "Come". Peter walked on water! Wow! The only person other than Jesus to do that.
After Jesus rescued Peter, He asked him; "Why do you continually doubt?"; or "Why do keep putting and "If" where I've put an "Is"? You just asked if it "Is" me, and I said it "Is". When Peter stepped out of the boat, his eyes were on Jesus, and all he saw was what was possible in Christ. Peter did not question "If" it was possible for him to walk on water, He just followed Jesus instruction to come. Only when Peter entertained the "If", did he begin to sink.
A HELPFUL ACRONYM?
Let's say that the words "IF" and "IS" are acronyms; (see below)
> IF = I Fail
> IS = I Succeed
Let's watch our speech to see where we may be saying "If" when God has already said "Is". It takes courage to take God at His Word, because His Word looks like the living Christ, in whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Jesus made some pretty strong "IS" statements about those of us who believe in Him; declarations that challenge everything living in this natural world has ever taught us. It takes courage to embrace, and activate them in our lives. But everything is easier when we're not alone. I'll encourage you, and you encourage me, to be courageous, dare to look like Jesus in the world.