“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. – Matthew 7:7-8 ESV
This is an interesting passage, it seems like this is God telling us that He is a “Genie” in a bottle and whatever we ask he will give us, that God is a waiter taking our order and waiting to do our will. Many “Prosperity” preachers can use to say that all you have to do is ASK God and it is yours. Then they quote James 4:2; you do not have because you do not ask. Added together this might make you a believer in the Prosperity Gospel. This is NOT what the Bible is saying, this is NOT the walk of a true follower of Jesus Christ. We don’t GIVE our life to God, so we can GET stuff from God. This is why it is dangerous and blasphemic to pull a verse out of the Bible and make it stand alone as a point of Spiritual knowledge. If you read the whole section of James 4, IN CONTEXT, it means something different, all together. What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. 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 4:1-3) This is about YOUR WILL, YOUR WAY, or GOD’S will and GOD’S way! Are you after things of the kingdom or desires of the world? God even follows up, by making a harsh statement. “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (v4)
Leader, our verses today in Matthew 7 have to do with a persistence, a desire to seek after GOD and the things of GOD and NEVER GIVING UP. I have heard Bible teachers say that this is a PROGRESSION, a building of desire! Our God is persistent, He is LONG-SUFFERING, HE never relents, and He made us to be the same way. In Galatians 6 we hear Paul tell us to NOT GROW WEARY of doing good, and to make sure things of our heart and mind are to be from the SPIRIT and NOT the FLESH. “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us NOT GROW WEARY OF DOING GOOD, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:8-10) We are told to ASK, SEEK, KNOCK: it is a progression of ACTIVITY and a constant of DESIRE. In an intimate relationship with God we share our NEEDS with our FATHER. SEEK, is about finding that which is missing in our lives. KNOCK is a more forceful, respectful, crescendo of activity. We must be careful and not think that this means the Lord gives us a blank check and will answer every one of our prayers according to OUR desires. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he heareth us.” (1 John 5:14) The Lord answers our prayer according to His perfect and loving purpose towards us.
Conduit, there is a parable in Luke 18 of the PERSISTENT widow, that addresses God’s desire for us to be ‘Fight the good fight’ and NOT GROW WEARY: And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (Luke 18:1-7) There is a way given to us in God’s Word that does guarantee that we can ask the Lord anything and He will give it to us. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”(Psalm 37:4) When we truly delight in the Lord, giving Him first place in our lives, trusting Him completely, then our desires will change and we will want the things the Lord wants us to have. Conduit, today REMEMBER: We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:7-9) In our Weakness HIS STRENGTH is perfected! Soldier on!