One little if

By Dave Henning / May 21, 2016

“One little if can change everything.  One little if can change anything.”- Mark Batterson

“Give Pharaoh of Egypt the title King Bombast, the man who missed his moment.”- Jeremiah 46:17 (New English Bible)

If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities is the most recent book by Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC.  In Chapter 1 (“The Power of If”), Pastor Batterson asserts that “every moment . . . is created by millions of ifs that combine in a million different ways to make that moment possible.”  Your ifs, in turn, open the doors of opportunity for others- although you won’t meet most of them this side of eternity.

Mark notes that the Bible contains 1,784 ifs.  The majority of those ifs “function as conditional conjunctions on the front end of God’s promises.”  in other words, God delivers on the promise if we meet His condition.

Pastor Batterson considers Jeremiah 46:17 one of the saddest epitaphs in the Bible, because Pharaoh missed his what if moment and took his if only regrets to the tomb.  Mark follows with a bold prediction:

“At the end of your life, your greatest regret won’t be the things you did but wish you hadn’t.  Your greatest regret will be the things you didn’t do but wish you had.  It’s the what if dreams we never act upon that turn into if only regrets.

Mark then contrasts holiness by subtraction with righteousness.

Holiness by subtraction

a.  don’t do this, don’t do that, and you’re okay

b.  you can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right

c.  playing not to lose


a.  more than doing something wrong- it’s doing something right

b.  not just resisting temptation- it’s going after God-ordained opportunities

c.  going all in with God

Today’s question: What one little if have you encountered following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The historian’s favorite question”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button