“What if you woke up this morning and had only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” – Max Lucado
It is not often a health practice to look at your past and ponder, “what could have/ would have been if…”. Usually this line of thinking leads to discouragement, as we tend to think of negative decisions that impacted our life. Sometimes this exercise can be good and healthy though when considering spiritual things. To ponder the question, “what might have been if: I surrendered to the Lord fully last year? I trusted God with my finances when I was younger? I was more faithful in my devotions last month?”
These spiritually driven “what if” questions can discourage, but they can also motivate. In my life, nothing has been quite as convicting as thinking, “what if I had…” about spiritual areas. I will always remember the tug of the Holy Spirit to witness to one of my classmates in school. I knew God wanted me to, but I was scared and intimidated. At the time, I was 14 years old and an 8th grader at Springtown Middle School. I had never led someone to the Lord, and didn’t really fully know what I was doing, but God was convicting my heart to witness. All week I said “NO!” to the Holy Spirit, but by Friday I couldn’t help it anymore. Each night I had laid in bed pondering, “what if I had led my friend in shop class to the Lord?” I weighted the consequences of my silence, “what if he dies and goes to Hell when he didn’t have to!?” By Friday, God had given me the courage (or at least the faith) to ask that most important question, “Blain, if God were to take your life today, would you go to Heaven?” By the end of that class, I had led my first soul to Christ. On Monday, I couldn’t wait to tell others. That next week I led 3 of my classmates to Christ. The “what if” question spurred me to right action.
I often ponder if Nadab could have had a wonderful and prosperous priesthood. The oldest son of Aaron, he was in line to be the next High Priest of Israel. He got in from the ground floor of the priesthood, and was involved in all the first of the tabernacle. His legacy could have been one of great faith and reliance on God. With godliness, he could have led Israel spiritually to walk with God.
Instead, Nadab’s life (as well as his brother Abihu) were cut short because of pride and foolishness. The offered strange fire upon the altar. God has specifically told them how they were to worship Him, and they pridefully wanted to do it their way. It may have been disobedience, pride, or apathy, but whatever the motivation the consequences were drastic. God killed them with holy righteous fire.
When we come to passages like 1 Chronicles 6, it makes you wonder, “what if Nadab had been holy?” What if his children were the ones listed in this genealogy instead of Eleazar? The past cannot be undone, and history is what it is, but no doubt every priest after Nadab could learn from his great failure. A warning was given by God to every priest, be ye HOLY.
You may have some failures in your past spiritually, but I want to encourage you to use those as motivators for future spiritual victories. When pondering “what if”, add the prospective of the future. What if you witness today? What if you be holy today? What if you start giving this Sunday? What if you get that sin out of your life? What if you are faithful in prayer today? WHAT IF? Just imagine if you had implemented some of these things 1 year ago, 5 years, ago, 20 years ago! Start today. It is never too late to start, and today is the first day of the rest of your life so make it a good one!
Today take some time to evaluate the “what if’s” in your life both past and future. Don’t allow these to discourage you, but motivate you to right spiritual actions TODAY.
Daily Scripture Reading
1 Chronicles 6
1 Chronicles 6:3
“And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. “