Better Than I Deserve
6/16/13 at 04:16 PM 0 Comments

Ask, Seek, Knock

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Jack Wellman, 2013

Jesus was teaching us about the persistence of prayer I believe in Matthew 7:7-12 which says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” I see this as praying, but I also see that it is doing something after prayer and not just praying and sitting down on the couch and waiting. Here is why I say that as I will break down these verses into three different sections…which are three different actions…and see if you agree.

Ask

James said that we don’t have because we do not ask and when we do ask, we ask for the wrong motives. James writes, “you do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:2b-3). It is not wrong to ask but if we ask for the wrong reasons, such as not for the purpose of glorifying God, then we ask amiss! We should ask but for the right reasons. So the first thing Jesus tells us to do in prayer is ask…but we should ask with the right motives.

So step one is to ask in prayer.

Seek

When we seek I believe we should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 6:33). Here is a reference about seeking but what are we really seeking? If we seek first and foremost the Kingdom, Jesus promises that “all these things will be added to you.” To seek the Kingdom first is to seek the King of that Kingdom and that is Jesus Christ. Now, what are “all these things” that “will be added to” us that Jesus was telling us about? The answer came prior to Matthew 6:33 and these “things” Jesus was talking about were “what you will eat or what you will drink” and “what you will put on“ (v 25). If we seek the Kingdom and the King of that Kingdom first, then rest assured, even David had “not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). To seek King Jesus is to seek His will as well.

Step two is to seek which is not passive, but an active, passionate pursuit of King Jesus.

Knock

You can stand at an open door forever but if you don’t knock, it will never be opened. Knocking is proactive. It assumes that someone’s on the other side of the door, that someone’s home and that someone will hear you knock and hopefully open that door. The only way that Jesus can open a door is for Him to already be inside the door…inside the church…and many churches have seemed to shut Him out. For example, Jesus stands at the door of the lukewarm church of Laodicea and says “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). What a sad situation. Jesus was outside of the door of the Laodicea church and apparently there was no door handle to allow Him to come in. Perhaps this church had no active presence of Jesus in the church and so He was outside of their door and not inside with them. This was unlike the Philadelphia church where He tells them, “I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Rev 3:8). Jesus apparently had opened a door (for evangelism and missions?) for this church and He must have already been inside the church because He tells them that only “he opens [doors], and no man shuts, and shuts [doors] and no man opens” (Rev 3:7).

Step three is to be in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) so that when you knock, He will answer.

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Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).