Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your Responsibility to Ask, Seek, and Knock

Matthew 7:7-9 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."

Often times, in hardships I hear, "I just can't see God" and "I don't believe God hears my prayers."  As I've pondered on these statements and surveyed Scripture, I've come to the realization that our ability to see God at work is based on how hard we are actually searching for Him.  I've gone through some difficult times in my life, and 100% of the time, how much I saw God in the picture was dependant upon how hard I was seeking Him. 

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus gives a conditional command.  In essence, he is saying, "if you ask, it will be given, if you seek, you will find." These are not simply a one time event of asking, seeking, and knocking, but Greek grammar dictates that the command is continual. In essence, the person is to continue to ask, seek, and knock.  There is no object to what is given.  Many people think this verse implies that we may ask anything of God and He will give it, which makes God out to be our own personal genie.  However, Jesus is speaking these words in Matthew 7 during the Sermon on the Mount, where the emphasis is the kingdom of God.  Therefore, what is asked for, sought, and knocked upon should be seen in light of the kingdom of God.

One of the most striking examples of this is that of George Mueller. He began praying for five of his friends to come to faith.  After many months, one of them became a Christian. Ten years later, two others were came to faith. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Mueller continued in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, totalling 52 years of fervent prayer. Mueller's faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller’s funeral the last friend was saved.
in Matthew 7:7, it is interesting to see who makes the response happen with each of the corresponding actions a person does.  God is the giver to the asker and the opener to the knocker.  Yet, nestled between the two, the seeker is the one who will actively find.  Therefore, the biblical principle is made: if someone continually and actively seeks, he will find."

Sometimes life doesn't make sense.  It seems unfair and unjust.  And if we get down to it, it isn't just, because sin has entered the world.  However, sometimes, we place the blame of life's conditions on God. We think that God doesn't hear us and that He doesn't care. That belief is not biblical truth. The truth is that if we seek Him, we will find Him. The challenge for us is this: when we walk through trials, we continue to seek because the seeker is the one who finds.  No one else can do it for us.

Even in the grimmest situations, God can be found.  It might not be in the answer for which you were looking, but that does not negate His presence nor His purpose for you.  Our emphasis should not be placed on the impending result, but rather on our continual plight to ask, seek, and knock.  When we do, our hearts will be more in line with the heart of God and we will better understand the plan He has for us in light of whatever circumstance you are going through. 

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