There’s a little word that represents a position we take up before God we must overcome in order to walk in victory. It is the word “IF” which can reflect a position of doubting God’s ability, doubting God’s willingness, or living in regret and blame. On three different occasions Jesus changed people’s “IF” into believing God and they received miraculous results.
In Matthew 8:1-3 the leper Jesus ministered to took up a position of doubting God’s willingness when he said, “Lord, “IF” thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” He was saying, I know you can, I know you’re able, or I know you have power but will you? Jesus straightened out his doctrine and said, “I will,” and the man’s leprosy was cleansed. It is when we know God’s willingness to use His power that inspires real faith. All the promises of God are in Him yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20) and all of the past tense facts of our redemption (1 Peter 2:24) say loud and clear He is willing.
In Mark 9:17-30 the man who brought his son to Jesus who had a dumb spirit (mute) took up a position of doubting God’s ability or power when he said, “…if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” “IF” you have power, ability, “IF” you can I know you will. I know you are willing but can you. The man made the issue being the power of God but Jesus made the issue the man’s believing when He responded, “…IF thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” He challenged the man’s “IF” with another “IF.” It is our believing that makes God’s power manifest (Rom. 1:16). Believing activates the power of God to heal just as it does to save (Rom. 10:9, 10 “That IF…).
In John 11:21, 32 both Martha and Mary took up a position of blame and regret with their “IF” when facing the death of their brother Lazarus and said, IF thou hadst been here my brother had not died.” The “IF” of regret is to feel sorry about something gone, lost, or that has happened or been left undone. “IF” only I’d have done this or “IF only I’d have done that. God can turn that if of regret (and blame) to an “IF” of believing changing our regrets into rejoicing. Jesus said unto Martha, “Said I not unto thee, that “IF” thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see the glory of God.” He challenged her “IF” of regret and blame into the “IF” of believing and we know they did and Lazarus was raised from the dead. First Peter 1:8 says, “…yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”