When I was a child, my favorite part of visiting my grandparents each week was getting the chance to see my cousins. In a small two bedroom house, three of us would play hide and seek. When it was my turn to seek, I remember looking so diligently. I refused to give up. Losing was not an option, especially when it meant that I would lose to a couple of girls. In today’s passage, God is encouraging us to diligently seek Him in the things that we need without giving up. However, I think it’s much more than that. I see God showing Himself to us as our Heavenly Father. You will also see a theme of prayer in this passage.
“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. 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!
Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)
If we chose to focus on just the first two verses, it would be easy to feel self empowered. We could get the idea that we don’t need God, because He has already promised that if we seek what we need, we will find. As we include the rest of this passage, we are reminded that God is the giver of the good things in our lives. I really do like this passage, because it gives us permission to approach God’s throne with our daily needs. God is telling us to ask Him for our needs and through faith expect that He will provide them. I want to warn you here to be careful. There is a new world religion that claims that God is our servant and He is forced to give us what we want when we ask. God is not our servant, but is a loving Heavenly Father. His grace and mercy compels Him to give us good things just as our earthly fathers who are evil do. We can also get the idea that we could ask God for whatever we want. I believe this promise of finding what we seek is directed to our needs not necessarily our wants because the examples that Matthew wrote; the fish and the bread. These items were needed for life nourishment. God is telling us that if there is something in our life that we need then we can ask Him for it and He will provide it. We need to remember that we do play a part in this. I wonder if this is where we get the concept “God helps those who help themselves”? God’s promise is in place but we have been commanded to ask, seek, and knock. All of these are action words. God is calling us to action! I believe God is saying, “Meet me half way.” When we put our faith into action, God’s blessings will be in our lives. As I think back to those childhood days of seeking my cousin in our game of hide and seek and the determination that I had to find them, I think God wants us to have that same determination. Too often we may pray for something and give up when it does not automatically come in. God is telling us in this passage that we can approach His throne to ask for the things we need. He is telling us to continue to seek until we find and to knock until that door is opened. Remember that God is our loving and caring father who will meet every need we have if we trust and put our faith in Him. Don’t give up; keep seeking.
God, we thank you for the opportunity and privilege to come to you with our needs. I pray that as we seek for the things we need in our lives that we can do so diligently. To know you as a loving Father through the blood sacrifice of your son is the greatest gift we have ever been given. God, we put our trust in you and are confident that you will be our great provider. We pray this in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen