My Grace-Full Life

2.7.20 Praise & Prayer Prompt: If You…

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and in what is right, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and ordinances… (1 Kings 9:4 CSB as well as verses 5-7)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I’m currently reading 1 Kings in my Bible plan and yesterday’s passage really spoke to me. In Chapter 9, we read of God’s second visit to Solomon. This happened right after Solomon had built and dedicated the temple. 

In 1 Kings 9:4-7 CSB, God said, “As for you, IF YOU walk before me as your father David walked, with a heart of integrity and in what is right, doing everything I have commanded you, and IF YOU keep my statutes and ordinances, I WILL establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I PROMISED your father David: You will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel. IF YOU or your sons turn away from following me and do not keep my commands—my statutes that I have set before you—and IF YOU go and serve other gods and bow in worship to them, I WILL cut off Israel from the land I gave them, and I WILL reject the temple I have sanctified for my name. Israel will become an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples.”

Because this passage is so lengthy, I’ve gone ahead and ALL CAP’d my points of emphasis.

“If you” are two small words that pack a powerful punch. In this passage, there are four “If you’s” along with three “I will’s” and one “I promised.” What hit me when I read this is the things we want God to do often begin with us.

Now let me put a caveat in here. God is going to do what God is going to do. We answer to Him, not the other way around. He owes us no explanation for the things He does or allows to happen. He always has a reason and His plans and purposes are always, always good.

But this passage reminded me that when I read Scripture and try to claim God’s promises of “I will” back to Him, I’ve got to go back and look inward. Is my “if you” measuring up to what God expects from me?

Am I walking with God and with a heart of integrity? Am I doing as He commands? Am I following His instructions? Have I turned away from giving my full devotion to God? Is there anything I’ve put first in my life ahead of Him?

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know this isn’t about “prosperity” or the idea that God has storehouses of blessings ready to give me if I obey. He’s not going to send Ed McMann to my door with a big fat check or cause the winning lottery ticket to land at my feet if I obey. That’s not remotely what this is about. But we can’t expect God to answer our prayers the way we want if we can’t do as He’s asked us to do. Again, we answer to Him. He doesn’t answer to us!

The incredibly cool thing about God is that when we do all the “if you’s” as instructed, our prayer requests may change. When we seek Him first and put Him above all other things, then we have Psalm 37:4—one of the most misunderstood verses in Scripture. It says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Despite what many think, this verse isn’t about God giving you a Jaguar or a yacht that you’ve been dreaming of… When we hold up our “if you’s” with God first, the desires of our heart will line up with His! We will want what He wants. He may want those things for you, but if He doesn’t—you’re okay with that too.

So I challenge you today to look inward. Where are your “if you’s?” If they are on track, great! Keep praying and keep seeking God first! If they aren’t, then please pray, and seek God first! Let Him align your heart with His so that He can do His “I will’s” and “I promised.”

Today, as you pray, thank God for being consistent and true to His word. Thank Him that when He says, “I will” and “I promise,” He doesn’t forget. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with your “if you’s.” Ask Him to help you walk with God with integrity and put Him first in all things.

SHARING ••• Please feel free to comment or share this blog with others. Also, download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe to! ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.

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