Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
Read: Matthew 7:7-12, 21:22; Luke 18:1-8; 1 John 3:22
The brother of our Lord, James, tells us that we have not simply because we ask not (James 4:2-3). This scripture was stated in the context dealing of men who intentionally promote strife in order to make some type of gain for themselves. In short, one may not be happy with what they have and seek more simply because they want more. Not necessarily because they are in need.
“You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James’ statement may well fall true upon many Christians. But there are some Christians who are without simply because they don’t believe God will provide and supply all their needs and some of their wants, if they are obedient to His will (Malachi 3:10). There would be some who would make the mistake of misinterpreting God in this matter- In that God want our money in the church, when in reality He only want our “obedience in giving.” If we obey God in giving whatever, then the amount of what we give will be of little consequence to God for He owns it all anyway. Jesus did not die to save our money. He died for our souls to be saved out of obedience.
It is here our Lord is encouraging us to pray as the main point of His discourse. Many are misinterpreting this scripture to say, “in order to get what you want from God just ask, seek and knock. This is true. However the emphasis is upon praying. Here our Lord in His teaching is putting the emphasis upon conditioning ourselves to pray to God for all our needs. Moses never taught the people like this. Moses did all the praying for the people. Jesus is now teaching the people to pray for themselves. This is new for them.
When our Lord says “Ask” He means pray for what you need and want. He says, “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. What our Lord is saying to the people is “pray, pray, pray.” And what is often overlooked is the fact that these blessings from God do not come automatically, but only comes when you ask, seek and knock for these blessings in faith. Jesus never taught praying without having faith (Matthew 21:21-22). When we ask, it represents our wants and burdens from God. When we seek, we are looking for something which is lost from us. When we knock, we are asking God to open up a way of hope and opportunity for us. This also means we must, at times, wrestle and plead with God in our prayers.
What our Lord was also introducing to the people for the first time is the fact that God answers prayer. This is one of the reasons the people of that day believed that Jesus was the Messiah in that He taught new things never heard of before from the scriptures. We can recall when the disciples ask the Lord to teach them how to pray. The disciples often observed Jesus praying in private or right before He was about to perform a miracle, but they never prayed until the Lord taught them how. Here Jesus was introducing a new type of heavenly communication to the people who never thought it possible to talk to God in heaven. However, Jesus was beginning to teach all disciples to pray to the heavenly Father through Him and to make all human requests through Him and in His name. This was a new revelation our Lord was given to the people.
Jesus was opening up new, beneficial, and spiritual possibilities to the people as He started His Galilean ministry. Christ spoke treasures of blessings from His discourse we identify as the “Beatitudes.”
Jesus spoke of “Believers as salt and light. “How He is fulfills the Law; Murder and Adultery starts in the heart; marriage is sacred and binding; About swearing to keep an oath; Going the second mile in order to keep peace; Loving your enemies, Do good to please God; He taught the Model Prayer, Fasting to God only; Laying up treasures in heaven, Your eye is the lamp of the body; Worrying is a lack of faith in God; Do not judge; Asking, seeking, knocking; The Narrow Way; You will know them by their fruits; I never knew you; Build on a rock.
The people never heard the subject of heaven opened to them such as what Jesus told them. They had never heard heaven explained like this before. The same is true for those Christians, who have never explored, studied or read the Bible in its entirety, especially the Four Gospels of the New Testament. How can one ask or pray for something they know not to exist in scripture? One cannot ask for a thing if one doesn’t know it exists. One cannot seek for something if they don’t know it is real. One cannot knock on a door if it doesn’t exist.
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