One of the basic “laws” of God is very practical and simple… so simple, that even a child can understand it, and decide to abide by it. Are you ready?
If …. and Then.
What does that mean?
Here are a few examples.
Isaiah 1: 19 If you are willing and obey, you will eat the best of the land. 20 But if you are not willing and turn against Me, then you will be destroyed by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
- If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 Then all these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God…15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, then, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (Read the entire chapter.)
Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 15:14).
Now, please do not confuse this with God’s love for you, or the value He has placed upon your very life. They are two completely different aspects of the God reality. In other words, just because God loves me, it doesn’t mean that I am going to automatically receive all the blessings of God in my life in the Bible.
Since God actually wants a relationship with us, He wants us to engage with Him. How would we do that? Act upon His word. We can become “doers of the Word”, as it says in James, and be blessed in all we do. Since we will not always choose rightly, that does not imply that we will 100% of the time have everything go our way. Not at all. But we can rest assured that if we choose God’s way in all of our decisions, the likelihood is strong that we will indeed prosper.
So the key word here is… choice. We always have a choice to make. If I choose to be dishonest, I will reap the consequences of that dishonesty. If I choose to do things my own way all the time and be ego driven, then I will open myself up to the negative consequences of those choices.
God’s blessing involves my participation by design. “If and then” is the blessing of free will that God gives us. He loves us too much to choose for us. Then our choices, our love, our anything, would be pre-described and not voluntary.
Thank God for the freedom He gives us to choose!