A promise is a promise… right, Lord?
Sometimes it isn’t quite that simple. Some promises are conditional.
Parents are full of such promises. Usually to potect and/or bless their children.
“If you stick your finger in a wall socket, [then] you will get shocked.”
“If you miss your curfew, [then] you will be grounded.”
“If you eat all of your Halloween candy in one sitting, [then] you will get sick to your stomach.”
IF A, THEN B. A is the Triggering Behavior. B is the Outcome. When A occurs, B is predictable. Some would say inevitable.
But what about A?
A is a choice. Change the choice, change the outcome.
You are the Parent of parents, Abba. Our Heavenly Father who loves us beyond measure and reason. Are You also “full” of conditional promises meant to protect and/or bless us?
Here are just A FEW…
“[IF you fast in the way the Lord has chosen, i.e., if you…] loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke… set the oppressed free and break every yoke… share your food with the hungry and… provide the poor wanderer with shelter… clothe the naked…THEN your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; THEN your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. THEN you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.'” (Isaiah 58:6-9a)
Wow… What’s not to like?!
“IF you do away with the yoke of oppression, and the pointing finger and malicious talk, and IF you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, THEN your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” (Isaiah 58:9b-12)
Now You’re meddling, Lord. 🙂 On second thought… Meddle away!!!
“IF you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath, and from doing as you please on My holy day, and IF you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, THEN you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on [your] inheritance… (Isaiah 58:13-14)
But, Lord… What about all those essential Sunday “chores”??? The yardwork? The laundry? The grocery shopping? The golf game? The… whatever?
“IF you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
So what’s this “remaining” all about???
“Truly I tell you, IF you have faith as small as a mustard seed, [THEN] you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)
Surely, You don’t mean literally, Lord… Or do You???
IF… IF… IF we do our part… THEN… THEN… THEN You, Lord, will do YOURS!!!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20)
Guess I need to just look in the mirror and ask: “Any more questions?”
Or maybe: “What am I waiting for?”