"If I don't ____,"

“What if we ____?” 

I love that question. It’s a lot different than “If I don’t ____,”

Do you feel me?

How often are our lives ruled by the fear of not doing, instead of the possibility of stepping into? Perhaps, the possibility of stepping into being creative, bold, courageous, loving, hopeful, vulnerable, or redemptive?

Instead, we embrace maintenance.

In Mark 4, Jesus told his friends that there were types of soil that didn’t receive His gospel, His seeds planted in our hearts. He talked about being the sower who generously preaches His word into our lives. Yet, that some of us live our lives (or parts of them) as if we are more concerned about the worries of our world. The pursuit of wealth. The fear of man. Simply, not letting Him take root in us.

Living in fear that “If I don’t ___," it will all fall apart. Spending all of our time making sure that we don’t make a mistake. Imagining the consequences of failure as if it is the most powerful force in our lives. Choosing selfishness because love could get us in trouble. Settling for apathy and escapes. Living for fear that our lives will not be okay if we don’t hold them together.

Which sounds a lot like what the Apostle Paul called a “spirit of timidity”. 

Paul told Timothy that God had not given us one of those.  That you and I don’t have that Spirit. So why then does it seem like we do?  Why do we believe that is the Spirit we possess?  Why do we hold tightly to a robbery of the facts? A façade over the face of the truth? 

When did we decide to embrace what “isn’t”? 

Paul wrote a letter to his “son in the faith” Timothy. In this letter, he reminded Tim that God had passed down an incredible gift to him. A gift that Tim’s mother and grandmother had. A gift of faith.  A gift of a faith that is not weak, uncaring, or chaotic.  But instead a gift that is accompanied with the Spirit of Jesus. God’s presence living and dwelling within us.

A Spirit of Power, love, & self-control; a Spirit that is very different than where we often reside.

So, what if we...

Lived powerfully?

Loved well?

Embraced self-control?

Remembered that "He did" and said goodbye to "If I don't _____?"

By the Power of the Spirit at work in our lives.

That would be something else, wouldn’t it?

Reflection Questions

  • Where is "If I don't ___" at work in your life?
  • Where is God asking you "“What if we ____?”
  • How can we embrace that "He did" and live by His Spirit of "power, love, and self-control"?