Hello readers, as you probably noticed this post is not part of the series, Spiritual Basic Training – that series has been postponed, as it is being reconsidered.
One of you thoughtfully brought some Biblical concerns to my attention regarding the most recent post regarding what I referred to generally as “rank” in a church. I’m glad you did, because some of the content was unintentionally very Nicolaitane (Rev. 2:6) upon further review.
So this time let’s consider something else – particularly these verses in the book of Matthew:
7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)
As I thought on these verses, the idea struck me that these verses are the New Testament version of Proverbs 3:5-6, which are:
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
So let’s consider the Matthew passage by asking these questions:
- What am I asking for?
- What am I supposed to seek?
- Knock on what?
1. What Am I Asking For?
Jesus tells us to ask – but ask for what? It sounds very open-ended doesn’t it…and here’s the beauty of it: that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. You can ask him about anything you want, and he’ll help because he cares!
Suppose you’re looking for direction. Something has come up, and you have no idea how to handle it. Having thought all of the possible reactions to the scenario out in your head, your next thought becomes, “what would God have to say about all this?”
You’re going somewhere. Where are you going? Nobody knows, but there’s one thing that’s certain: you can’t stay where you’re at because time waits for no one.
So what we’re trying to do is get direction to a destination which we will compare to God’s perfect answer for any situation you can think of. Right now we’re clueless as to which direction to travel, but eventually we’ll find and enter the exact place we’re looking for (figuratively speaking).
So the first step is to ask. Ask God to point you in the right direction – North, South, East, or West. And by beginning in that direction, you’ll start finding God’s answer.
If I wanted to get from Southwest Wisconsin to Southern California, the first thing I’d need to discern is which direction Southwest is! “God, I need help finding Southwest on my life’s compass…would you help me with that?”
“Sure son…here, turn around 180 degrees…okay NOW: that’s Southwest.” The first thing to do to find God’s will is ask.
2. What am I supposed to seek?
To figure this out, I had to come up with the definition of the word, “seek.” Here’s what I found:
Seek – Strongs 2212, to seek after, to strive after, to demand from someone
What does this mean? When we are exhorted to seek, really, we’re being told to pursue, to strive after the charted direction that was obtained when we asked.
And more importantly, we are being strongly encouraged to demand from OURSELVES that we not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Being a severely ADD-afflicted adult, remaining undistracted for more than 5 seconds is a small miracle.
Suppose the IRS sent you a letter telling you that they accidentally overtaxed you. (Don’t hold your breath, just stay with me on this one!haha) To make matters right, they have offered to refund you $50K, with one minor stipulation…you had to produce your tax returns for the last 10 years.
If you’re like me, you’d be knees and elbows until you rounded up the papers. Something like that would have us pretty undisturbed until we accomplished our goal, would it not?
And if we could take that same voracity and apply it to our pursuit for God’s will in our lives, we’d be useful to God beyond belief. When we’re not, it’s a sad reflection of how little we truly love the one who loves us so.
So after being oriented, it’s time to begin making it happen. It’s time to begin striving to get where God wants us to be – in the center of his perfect will; it takes effort to get there, and it takes effort to keep WANTING to get there!
3. Knock on what?
So having asked, and sought diligently, it’s time to knock. In other words, now that we’re there, our efforts to locate and obtain will culminate in this last step.
If I came over to visit, a few things would need to happen: I’d need to know where you live, I’d have to travel there, and then I would have to knock on your door for you to let me in.
But if I did the first two but didn’t do to last one, what would have happened? I would have wasted a ton of energy, and not finished what I started. Paul tells us not to faint, because if we do, we may forfeit our reward.
And it wouldn’t be much different if I knocked, waited 7 seconds, and then left thinking no one would answer the door. The longer I live, the more I realize: God is no hurry. – AT ALL. So after knocking on the door, it’s a good idea to stick around and wait for an answer.
And here’s the best part: we’re promised in Matthew 7:8 that 3 things will happen for sure: we’ll receive, seek and find; each one a logical response from God to our predicated inquiry.
It took all that effort to get there and now that you’re there, knock…then wait for the door to open. Christ promised it will happen, do you believe it will?
There are some exciting things that have come my way lately. There’s a lot that could go right, and there’s a lot that could go wrong if I’m not careful.
Following Christ’s words to ask, seek and knock is the only real chance any of us have to not screw our lives up. Doing it may put you in a place you didn’t think you’d be – and not doing it will put you somewhere you never thought you’d be for sure, and not in a good way.
Ask, seek, knock. Get pointed in the right direction, pursue it with all you got, and then pull the trigger and do it God’s way all the way to the end. It’s to only right way to get it done, and it’s the only way his power will assist us in doing what he has for each of us. You’ll be glad you did and so will I if we do.