Five days left of our fast. We have learned so much! So much conviction, revelation, deliverance, increased power and authority, and more faith! Now on Day 16 of the fast, I prayed to my Father for more. What more do You have to show us? What more do You want to reveal to us? There is soooo much more in Your word for us to learn, but what is next Dad? Then the Holy Spirit came and asked me a question: “What do you want next?”
Wow. God is interested in what I want, my desires, my thoughts…wow! Now that you have put me on the spot, Dad, let me think of something good to ask. Then the Holy Spirit began to show me how to voice my desires to God through His word. He pointed me towards a scripture in Matthew 7:7-11 which says:
“7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 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!”
Ok, Dad so you are saying all I have to do is ask, seek, and knock and I will have what I want??? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But let us dig deeper into this scripture to be sure we understand His will.
From the beginning of this scripture it is evident that God wants us to take some initiative! God does not just want us to sit back and wish our way into our desires, but He wants us to take action! When it comes to our desires we can be one of three types of Christians:
- Too afraid to ask for what we want, so we don’t.
- View God as a genie so we selfishly ask for things.
- Just plain lazy.
God does not want us to be any of those people. So afraid of Him or the possible answer to our questions that we ask for nothing. We view Him as a slave driver forcing us to do whatever He pleases.
Or we take advantage of God’s grace and goodness and love, so we over ask. We go to God with selfish wants and desires. “God give me a big house and a fancy car and a lot of money…” Now God does not say we cannot have these things but He does want our motives to be pure for wanting these things.
Or we are just plain lazy. We say we have faith, but we sit on our hands waiting for the answers and the blessings to just fall into our laps. We put forth no actions to pursue what we believe God has for us. We fail to exercise our faith!
It is evident by verse 7 that Jesus wants us to take some initiative! He gives us three commands: Ask. Seek. Knock! None of these three are passive or reactive. They are proactive. They are all verbs, action words! So we must know that when we want something or answers from God about something we must be willing to take action!
During our fast, something we have discovered is that we all have questions and worries about our futures. More specifically, we want to know what we are going to do with our lives next year…have you been there too? Maybe currently battling with a decision about your future and are not sure what to pursue? Well I believe this word is for you. So pay attention!
- The first command that Jesus gives us is to ASK!
Asking is verbal. We are meant to talk to God about what we want. How do we talk to God about things? Prayer. Asking means to be in continuous prayer. In James 4:2b-3 it says:
“…You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
The latter part of verse 2 says we have not because we do not ask. If you want answers, direction, guidance, faith, patience, etc. then we must ask God for those things! We must stop believing that those will come through osmosis. God wants us to humble ourselves and come to Him and ask for what we need and even for what we want.
Now verse 3 helps put our requests in check. God wants us to check our motives whenever we ask for things. He says in His word that we receive not because we ask with the wrong motives. How do we know we have the wrong motives? Anything we want for selfish reasons or to do harm to others and not bring glory to God is wrong. As a Christian striving to live for Christ we should be pursuing good and holy things so God will receive all the glory and honor! Not to bring glory and honor to ourselves. Want another way to find out if your motives are pure? Pray. Pray and ask God to reveal your motives behind your desires and He will. Prayer won’t confirm what you want will be for you, but it will reveal God’s will for you. It seems to me we will be spending a lot of time on our knees…
- The second command that Jesus gives us is to SEEK!
What should we be seeking??? Should we be seeking the opinions of man? Should we be seeking to please the world? No. When Jesus says seek and you shall find, He means we must seek God and we will find Him.
This is confirmed in many verses: Psalm 27:8; Psalm 34:10; Psalm 105:4; Psalm 119:2; Proverbs 8:17.
I particularly like the verse in Proverbs which says:
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”
It shows us that God wants to be found. He is not playing this cat and mouse game where He keeps trying to get away from us when we seek Him. No! God is hiding in obvious places and He is just waiting for us to open our eyes and take notice. He longs for us to persistently and passionately look for Him every day and everywhere. He wants us to pay attention with an engaged mind and acute awareness. To be aware of His presence all around us. God is omniscient. That means He is everywhere at the same time. So why don’t we take notice of His constant presence?
Seeking God is so important especially when we want to know His will for our lives. Before Jesus even gave these commands He spoke about seeking God. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says:
“33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Jesus tells us to seek God FIRST! To seek His Kingdom and righteousness. This means we have to change our priorities. Our will must bow down to His will. We must be willing to surrender our agenda, plans, hopes, dreams, and desires to Gods. Yes this may be hard. It may even seem like God is asking a lot from us, but He does not leave us hanging. If we seek Him first above all else, what will He do??? He says ALL these things will be given to us! Wow! God will hold nothing back from us. Why? Because we are seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness above our own. We are checking out motives and making sure they line up with His. We are making Him Lord over our lives. We are making Him ruler over our futures, pasts, and presents.
- The last command that Jesus gives is to KNOCK!
This knocking is a metaphor for an action that a desire produces in us. If we want to get to someone or something that is behind a door, what do we do? We KNOCK! We go after that something or someone. We don’t wait outside the door quietly hoping and praying that what we want on the other side will realize we are waiting patiently on the other side of the door. If we want something we must go after it! We must put actions with our faith!
Jesus has dealt with our motives in the first two commands. We have come to Him in prayer. Asking for what we want. Communicating with Him our desires. When we pray God also responds to us in various ways. He reveals to us if our motives are pure and holy. If they are not then through seeking Him, He helps to change them. We seek His face, His word, His instruction. We seek His Kingdom and righteousness to make sure our desires line up with His. Once we have the go ahead what do we do?
Do we sit on our hands hoping and praying that God will open the door for us? No, we must keep knocking on that door until it opens. This is the physical manifestation of your faith. Many of us have lots of faith but no action. God has clearly said yes, but we still doubt. We still have fear. Our actions prove our faith. God said yes, now it is time to pursue. It is time to research. It is time to knock.
I believe that Jesus gave us these commands as a set. He meant for them to go hand in hand. We need all of these to please God. In Luke 10:27 Jesus gives us a new command above all other commands which is to:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…”
God commands us to love Him with ALL of us. Not just with our heart. Not just with our soul. Not just with our strength or our mind. But will our ALL! With Everything! That goes for pursuing Him as well.
Finally Jesus gives us a promise. Whenever God commands us with something, He follows it up with a promise. Jesus promises in verse 8 that:
“8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This promise means that if we are persistent with asking/praying, seeking Him first, and knocking then we will receive, we will find, and doors will be opened! Jesus goes on in the next verses to say nothing will be withheld from us. God will give us good gifts if we just ask Him. Now it does not say He will give in to our selfish desires or never bless us either. But that He will give us good gifts. If we are following His word and coming to Him with our requests He is faithful to answer us.
Do you want to know God’s will for your life? Do you need help in certain areas? Need more faith, power, etc.? Ask. Seek. Knock!