Know Ifs, Ands, or Buts

matthew 633

Reading God’s promises in the Bible always gives me hope for whatever situation I’m facing. Promises about His forgiveness, blessings, grace, gifts, wisdom…on and on. What I often miss when I read His promises are the ‘ifs, ands, or buts’ that are the key to receiving the promise.

Take Matthew 6:31-33:
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Did you catch it? If I want “all these things {my needs met} to be given to {me}”, I must FIRST seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness. If I’m focused on my ability to meet my own needs, then I miss the chance to receive God’s gift of HIS meeting them for me.

There are over a thousand ‘if, ands, or but’ type statements in the Bible-most of which I’ve tended to overlook. I spend my time focused on the part of the verse that makes me feel better and then wonder why things don’t seem to be working out. I wonder why I’m worried, anxious, stressed, frustrated or struggling with unforgiveness. It’s because I missed the key to God’s promise

If I truly believe that God knows my needs and is capable of meeting them, then why would I NOT want to focus on His kingdom and His righteousness?

It’s answering this question honestly that showed me how I’ve allowed the lies of the enemy to creep into my heart and mind creating doubt which caused my struggle. Because of the lies, I want to ‘rationalize’ that in a physical, ‘real’ world I couldn’t possibly rely on an unseen God to meet my tangible needs. But, God either created the world and everything in it, or He didn’t. And if He DID, then doesn’t that make Him more equipped to meet my needs than I am? And if He didn’t, then why WOULD I want to worship such a small and incompetent god in the first place?

If you’re claiming a promise of God’s in your life and struggling to see it come to fruition, I want to challenge you to go back and see if you’re focusing on the ‘ifs, ands, or buts’ in that promise or if you skipped them like I have. I want to encourage you to trust that when you do your part and seek God FIRST, you really CAN count on Him to do exactly what He said He would do-probably not how you envisioned, but “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

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