Do I have any Ê»what ifÊ¼ readers here in Frankfort? Any people who commonly think of the Ê»what ifÊ¼ scenarios that can stop you from starting or doing something. LetÊ¼s think of some very common Ê»what ifÊ¼ statements. What if it doesnÊ¼t go well? What if they donÊ¼t like me or laugh at me? What if I fall on my face? What if I fail? What if no one gets it? What if...
IÊ¼ve used what if plenty of times. It has stopped me from doing things I know would probably be good - whether talking to someone, starting a project, or creating something new. But somehow something in my brain triggers an unlikely scenario that would only occur under apocalyptic circumstances. IÊ¼m able to think of the worst case scenario instead of the best case scenario so I stop. Paralyzed by my worst case thinking I keep from my best case doing. # A man named Moses had this same problem. God told Moses to go to the king of Egypt, and tell him to let the Hebrew people go. And Moses who is known for great faith as a believer gives horrible excuses. He says “what if they donÊ¼t listen to me.”
Do you think God was pleased with MosesÊ¼ Ê»what ifsÊ¼? Do you think heÊ¼s pleased with ours. I donÊ¼t, and so today I want you to consider a different response. If your mind just canÊ¼t stop thinking of those worst case scenarios how about replacing your Ê»what ifÊ¼ with Ê»even ifÊ¼.
Got another story for you. Three dudes were commanded by the king of Babylon to worship and bow down to an image of gold. As believers in the Lord they wouldnÊ¼t do it. The king was angry and threatened to throw them in a fiery furnace if they did not. You know their response? “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it... But even if he does not...we will not worship the image of gold.” (Daniel 3:17-18) They were threatened with a real worst case scenario - death. But used Ê»even if,Ê¼ and the story actually played out quite well. Read the rest in Daniel 3 I dare you.
So how do we acquire this Ê»even ifÊ¼ mentality? I think it works best as we look at the story of Jesus. If God would send his only Son to die our death and spare us the ultimate worst case scenario, why wouldnÊ¼t he also guard and protect and guide us in all things? Consider this promise, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) And I believe this means heÊ¼ll give us what we need in every situation. Whether protection - to the degree that the mountains could fall into the heart of the sea, and the seas could roar and we wouldnÊ¼t need to fear. Whether providence - as he knows our needs and is able to meet them. Whether the hope of new life - just as those 3 could face a fiery furnace knowing the God of life could raise them up from death, so this is our hope as well. So may you trust in him and in so doing walk through lifeÊ¼s situations saying Ê»even if.Ê» May you know God is with you and for you.