October 3, 2010
Ask, Seek, Knock
“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” (Matthew 7:7,8).
We have God’s assurance that those who truly desire God will have their desire fulfilled. If we ask, it will be given to us. If we seek, we will find. And if we knock, the door will be opened to us.
Yet these are not casual activities that we can take care of in our spare time. They are based on something more than a mere whim concerning God’s importance, and they require more than a passing interest in things of a spiritual nature.
Asking, seeking, and knocking are the outgrowths of loving God. Only strong, steadfast love has the persistence necessary to push through the obstacles that confront us. “It is love that asks, that seeks, that knocks, that finds, and that is faithful to what it finds” (Augustine of Hippo). It is not enough to ask once or twice, to seek now and then, and to knock a time or two. Jesus’ statement instructs us to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. It is only love that will keep us doing these things.
But not only do these things require love, they also require humility. The older we grow, the less willing we are to ask for what we need. Perhaps men have a harder time asking for help than women do, but certainly adults find it harder than children do. It is the most natural thing in the world for a child to ask, and that is one way in which we must become “as little children” (Matthew 18:3) if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. If it is pride that keeps us from asking because asking gives the appearance of weakness or need, then that is a pride that we must repent of.
The fact is, we are weak and we are needy; there is no use trying to cover up this truth. We are created beings who are dependent on our Creator, and there is no significant greatness that we can achieve without God’s help. “Therefore,” Jesus said, “whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). To be sure, our needs are already known to our Heavenly Parent before we ask God. But God wants us to have the humility to recognize those needs ourselves and to ask for God’s help.
The deeper our gratitude for God’s grace, the more faithfully we will ask and seek and knock.
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).