Ancient Sparta was a warlike nation that emphasized discipline and hardship and sacrifice. A king once wrote the Spartans a threatening letter, saying that they had better do what he told them to do, for if he came and took their country he would destroy their city and make them all slaves.
The Spartans sent a messenger back with their answer, and when the letter was opened it contained only one word: “If.” “If” can be a mighty big word sometimes. Life and death, sorrow and joy, time and eternity often rest upon it.
Forgiveness of sins depends on it. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Answered prayer depends on it. Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible” (Mark 9:23).
Eternal life depends on it. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
These and many other things God would like to do for us ... but he will not force himself on us. He always stops in reverence before human personality. He does not act unless invited. The “if” is never with God, but always with man. God will do wonders for you “if...”