These are two words that can become a land mine in the midst of your journey of faith. These words are two of the enemy’s favorite words to throw at the faithful believer just before they drift off to sleep or venture out in faith. How often are you enjoying the beauty of the Lord and just as you begin to feel that all is well those two words come and hit you like a bucket of ice water in your face?
• What if I didn’t hear God?
• What if I fail?
• What if I just imagined the vision?
• What if God didn’t say what I thought that He said?
• What if my hopes are dashed?
Cue the ICE WATER!!!
Wait, this sounds familiar! One of the first stories we read in the scripture about the serpent (the enemy) is this very thing.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
The words aren’t exact but the meaning is the same! “What if God didn’t say that?”
Have you ever had one of those nights that turned into a sleepless night of those negative “What if?” thoughts! I use to have them often when we were first stepping out in faith. Those thoughts and fears were rooted in not trusting in the goodness of my Father and the plans he had for me and my future.
These questions that the enemy is quick to throw at the obedient believer can take him on a fast track from his heart to his head. The “what if” questions can come in the midst of your peaceful walk through green pastures with the Lord. Suddenly there is the serpent, whispering questions that only have lies for answers— they exploit your greatest fears. It’s like having land mines explode unexpectedly beneath your feet. But you can know that this is NOT the voice of your God because “he is not a man that he should lie!”
If this has ever happened to you, then be encouraged because the enemy rarely asks this if you actually haven’t heard from the Lord! When you hear and obey you can pretty much bet on the first attack will begin with a question, “Did God really say?”
It’s Going To Be Worth It!
The one thing I know is that with every step of faith you take after hearing God’s voice, you can know that he has gone ahead of you to prepare the way. It often looks different than we expect but there is a plan and purpose. Sometimes that purpose is much greater than you ever had imagined and sometimes it appears like it was purposeless— and yet those are the times that our character and endurance are formed if we keep our heart set on Him.
When the enemy comes with the questions that have the words, “What if…” or “Did God say…” within them then there is only one answer and that is this,
“If I have not heard the Lord and have made plans outside of His will then God will re-order my steps into the right direction; even in the midst of my plans!”
I have a scripture to back me up in this,
A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9
I have seen this again and again in my life and in the life of believers. Yep…we get our plans wrong sometimes and God has to move in and reorder things. But he always orders the steps of a righteous man or woman. I don’t put my trust in MY ability to hear and interpret His wisdom, I put my trust in his ability to order my steps and to cause me to walk in his ways. God will be faithful to rescue you and direct your steps on a sure path as you trust in Him.
Know this— He is a faithful Father and as you commit your steps and plans over to Him, He will keep you on a sure path. Don’t judge your journey harshly because some paths are rocky and cause us to learn to have our foundation in him alone and some paths are smooth and full of fruitfulness— both are necessary for our growth.
We must not put our confidence in our gifts or even in what we see but rather in the absolute truth that He is a faithful Father in the midst of all of our humanity. He honors and adores every overture of love that we make for Him.
Make all that you do become worship to Him. Obeying God’s voice is not always the easy path but it is always the best path.
There is an old Rita Springer’s song called, Worth It All. This song is a declaration as God calls his people into unknown paths that require faith and obedience. Know this, no matter what it looks like when done “unto Him” it is going to be worth it all.
Turn the “What If” Around
Next time the “what if” questions begin to spin you in circles, try turning them around by changing the narrative to something positive. Ask different “what if” questions…
• What if my greatest longings are fulfilled?
• What if I fly rather than fall?
• What if God exceeds my dreams and expectations?
• What if I’m about to embark on the greatest journey of my life?
• What if it’s better than I imagine?
• What if I find crazy favor every step along the way?
Dream with God. And thank him that he desires these good and perfect gifts for you! Every step of your journey will be worth it!
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified Bible)
With Hebrews 11:1 you have a promise to go with your faith and with this promise, you can answer the enemy’s questions with a proven and sure answer. Move forward in your faith and in your assurance of all that you hope for as you go. Keep your eyes fixed on the One that will never leave or forsake you. He is faithful.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Inscribe Ministries