IF... THEN...

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Written by Katie Finlay

Here’s an easy question: What does it take for a plant to grow? I’m not a gardener; in fact, my house may be gaining a reputation in the plant world as the “place of death.” But even I can tell you the basics: for a plant to grow it needs water and sunlight. Without those things, it’s definitely not going to grow, and will most likely result in a slow…withering…death. BUT with the water and sunlight it was designed to need, a plant will grow and produce. Many plants will even produce life-giving oxygen that other species use to live.

Notice the simplicity of cause and effect: IF…. THEN….

IF you water your plant, THEN it lives. IF you don’t water it, THEN it dies.
IF you touch the stove, THEN it will burn you.
IF you go to the gym, THEN you will feel healthier.
IF you date a loser, THEN you’re asking for trouble.

Cause and effect is found throughout Scripture as God gives instructions to His followers on how to live life to its fullest potential. The ten commandments are a great example: If you want to live a healthy life with good relationships, then it’s best not to steal, murder, lie, or be jealous of other people. Simple, right?

God’s love for His people is so intentional that He shares with us the secrets of living life to the fullest. Like a plant needs water and sunlight to grow, we are made for connection with God, our creator. In order to live the best life, God instructs us to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5) and to “remain in me” (John 15). If we keep in step with the Spirit and remain in Jesus day by day, choice by choice, then we will see the results of the life of purpose, faith, and relationship that we are made for.

Do you see God’s desire for close relationship with us? The secret to living our best life as believers is to remain in connection with our creator. It’s so clear in the design of deep friendship that God had with Adam in the garden; they walked, talked, and worked together in beautiful friendship unhindered by the effects of sin. By design we are made for connection with God, so naturally when we access the presence of our creator we are actively choosing the life we’ve been made for and will see healthy results, or fruit, of our choices.

The secret to living our best life as believers is to remain in connection with our creator.

Hands down, the people in the Bible whose faith we admire for it’s courage, strength and integrity were the people who chose to walk with God even through the most obscure training process. Joseph was trained as a slave and in prison. David was trained in a sheep’s field and in the desert. Moses was trained herding sheep before being sent back to Egypt. All of these people grew in their abilities as they trusted and obeyed God moment by moment. That relationship resulted in each of them becoming stronger, healthier and able to do what they were made to do.

The same goes for you. IF you walk in step with God, THEN you will grow in strength, health and ability to be the influential leader that God has made you to be. It may seem like a slow process in the obscure places of your home, your school, or wherever you find yourself daily, but your obedience in the small everyday moments is training you for the purpose God hass made you for tomorrow.

IF you read the Bible, THEN you will develop wisdom and an ear for His instruction.
IF you forgive, THEN you will also be forgiven and live more freely.
IF you trust God with your purity, THEN your relationship will benefit.
IF you walk in step with God, THEN your life will naturally produce good fruit.

Like plants naturally need water and sunlight to grow and produce fruit and/or oxygen that benefits others, people need connection with Jesus. When we keep in step, the natural results are a sustaining, growing, and productive faith. The best part is that when we are living in connection to Jesus, we produce fruit that is beneficial not only to us but also gives oxygen to everyone we encounter.

I pray that you have the courage to remain in Jesus and to walk in step with the Spirit daily so that you may know deep friendship with God and see the results of a life made for impact.