“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.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
This is a very familiar Scripture that many of us have read dozens, if not hundreds of times. We often refer to this Scripture when talking about prayer, as we should!
This section begins with the admonition to ask, seek and knock. As we read this, we get the feeling that these are not simply suggestions; perhaps the words carry just a little more weight than that!
Jesus does not frame these words with any kind of condition associated with the request; He simply says to; ask, seek and knock! Therefore, these three words come with an expectation that you will do it.
Jesus further indicates that those who ask, seek and knock, will receive, find, and gain entrance. Again, there is no hesitation in Jesus very straightforward statement here.
He says that if you ask, you will receive, if you seek, you will find, and if you knock, the door opens for you. I find this to be very exciting indeed!
In the following verses, we get a partial idea of where the answers to the asking, seeking, and knocking are coming from. Jesus begins verse 9 by asking the crowd a rhetorical question:
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
I can see the crowd laughing as he makes this statement; some parents are no doubt planning a practical joke on their kids later in the day!
Jesus then contrasts the crowd; sinful humanity, against a holy and righteous Father; by saying:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
We see that “good gifts” come from our Father in heaven. James echoes this truth in the Book he wrote:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
So, we see clearly that Jesus is saying if you ask, seek and knock, then God Himself will respond with good gifts.
I have heard it said by well meaning Christians that we need to be careful what we ask God for, we might just get it! I think that is an ugly statement, one in which we think that God our Father, who is incredibly good and holy, who has our best interest at heart, would somehow give us a bad gift!
I think that if I am knocking on a door that is going to lead me astray, God will not open it.
When God opens a door, gives a gift, or reveals Himself to His children, according to Jesus, it is going to be good!
Now to be sure, we can go beyond knocking, and go get a crowbar and force open a door that God is unwilling to open for us.
Remember, He knows what is best, and if the door will not open by knocking on it, it is best to leave it shut.
So go ahead; ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK . . . this is going to be good!