Ask, Seek, Knock

Jesus gave the following teaching in Matthew 7:7-8 “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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  He taught us to ask, seek and knock.  The promises are that it will be given to you, you will find, and it will be opened.  How should you understand what He is teaching?

You are first taught to ask.  That means that you should pray and make requests to God.  Some people pray by repeating the same words over and over again, thinking they will be heard for their many words.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”  Even though God knows what you need, He wants you to ask him for your needs.  He wants to give you good things.  Matthew 7:9-11 “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being 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!”  You know that loving parents give good things to their children when they ask.  Your heavenly Father loves you very much and wants to give you good gifts when you ask Him.

There is no promise that God will listen to a sinner’s prayer.  But He listens to the righteous.  1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  1 John 5:14-15 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  God is everywhere and hears every prayer you make.  If you ask for your pleasures or for things that are not good for you, then don’t expect God to give you these gifts.  But if you ask according to His will, and continue to pray, the promise is that you will receive.

You are next taught to seek.  After asking God for your needs, what are you to seek?  Matthew 6:32b-33 “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  The kingdom of God on earth is His church.  You should seek to be in His kingdom, because the saved are in His church.  You should seek the growth and expansion of His kingdom here upon earth for the salvation of the lost and for the glory of God.  You are to also seek His righteousness through faith.  Philippians 3:9 “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”  It is also the righteousness that He wants you to demonstrate in your life.  1 Peter 2:24 “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.”  You should seek to know the will of God in your life.  You should seek those things that are above (in heaven).  Colossians 3:1-2 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”  You should seek God because He is the one that rewards you.  Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  If you seek these things, the promise is that you will find them.

Finally, you are taught to knock.  When you come to a door, say a door to a house, you may want to enter and go through the door or you may want to find someone you think is on the other side of that door.  So you knock to get the attention of someone so that they will answer and open the door.  There can be many doors in your life.  Perhaps it is a door to God so that He will open and give you salvation or what you need in life.  Perhaps it is a door of opportunity, a path that you want to take.  Perhaps it is the door to someone’s heart that you want them to open up and let you in.  The point is that you knock and keep knocking until the door is opened and the desire is met.  I believe Jesus taught persistence in knocking.  Luke 18:1-7 “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: ‘There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said.  And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?’”  If you knock, the promise is that it will be opened.

Asking, seeking and knocking involve three different methods.  Asking is verbal; you use your mouth to ask God for your needs and desires.  You seek with your mind which is more than asking; it involves making what you seek a priority and focus of your heart.  Knocking involves physical movement and action.  Is there something you need to ask of God?  Is there something you need to seek for?  Is there some door you want opened?  My encouragement is to ask God so that it will be given to you.  Seek God and His kingdom and His righteousness so that you will find them.  Knock on a closed door in your life that it may be opened for you.