Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Jesus often urged His followers to pray without losing heart or becoming frustrated by the delays that they experience in receiving answers to their prayers. So here He reassures us that if we keep on asking for what we truly need and don’t give up, our requests will be granted. If we keep seeking and don’t give up, we will find God Himself, whom we are truly seeking. If we keep knocking at the gates of heaven and don’t give up, our requests will ultimately be heard and answered.
Note that there are qualifiers. God is not some genii in a bottle dealing out wishes. He is not an indulgent grandfather, giving out sweets and chucking the kids under the chin. And He is not Santa Claus, receiving and filling wish lists full of toys and trinkets.
We who are God’s people, who are called by His name and who are living in active relationship with Him, have serious work that we have been given, and that we are to be engaged in every moment of every day: the work of spreading the kingdom of God all over the world; saving the lost; setting captives free; and bringing God’s healing, life-giving power into the dark and broken places in people’s lives.
God knows that as we give ourselves to this work, we will need to be provided for, just like Jesus. He knows that we will need to be given power, wisdom, and grace, just like Jesus. He knows that we will need to have God’s presence working in us and through us every moment, just like Jesus. And, just like Jesus, we can be assured that God will provide whatever we need, so that we can be and do exactly what He has called us to be and to do, if we will only keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking, until we see the answers that He will provide.
Father, I am reminded of James’ take on this promise: You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3 NIV) Help us to first make sure that what we are asking for is a real need that will help us to genuinely move Your agenda forward. And then help us to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking with pure hearts until we have received what we need from Your hand. Amen.