I think it’s so important to pay attention to the “ifs” in God’s Word. God created each one of us, but he wants our love and devotion, not mindless obedience. So to accomplish this, he gave us a powerful reality: the power of choice.

We don’t have to love him. We choose to love him.
We don’t have to follow his commands. We choose to follow his commands.
We don’t have to live to please him. We choose to live to please him.

With these choices, we become the deciding factor of what type of life that we will live. All throughout the Scriptures, there are calls to God’s leaders that go like this:

“If you listen to what I tell you and follow my ways and do whatever I consider to be right, and if you obey my decrees and commands, as my servant David did, then I will always be with you. I will establish an enduring dynasty for you as I did for David, and I will give Israel to you.” 

This passage is found in 1 Kings 11 as the kingdom is being torn away from King Solomon and handed to a man named Jeroboam. This is a powerful moment, because King Solomon was given an “if”, as well, when the kingdom was given to him. God promised to be with him if he followed his commands. But he went astray and allowed his earthly desires to infect his leadership.

We are given the choice to follow God. We’re not robots. He has written his love on our hearts, but we have the choice to reciprocate that love. As you go about your day today, will you choose to love him? Will you choose, again, to obey his commands? They are for your good, even the hard stuff that you have to walk away from to follow Jesus.

If you follow Jesus, you will be free.
If you follow Jesus, you will have joy in spite of circumstances.
If you follow Jesus, he will lead you to all the good he has prepared.

We’d all do well to pay attention to the “ifs” in the Bible. The choice is yours. God’s promise is that he will always be with us, provide for us and lead us. If we choose to remain in him. 

John 15:5-7 – “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!