Ask, Seek, Knock . . .
Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door. (Matthew 7:7-8, TPT)
We’re an “expect it now” kind of society and oftentimes, when things take longer than expected, we (I) don’t exactly wait patiently. I can’t help but remember my elders sharing sage wisdom I really didn’t want to hear - sayings like, “The things you work hard for or have waited for mean so much more.” I’ve never really minded working hard for something, but who wants to wait for things?
When I read Matthew 7:7-8 in The Passion Translation, these incredibly familiar verses became so fresh in meaning to me, including the reminder of the need for persistence, and not treating prayer like a Chick-fil-a drive-up window where you place your order and get it in minutes accompanied by the required, “My pleasure.”
There’s such power in the becoming that happens in the space of being persistent. It makes me think of Romans 5:4 which talks about how our perseverance produces character, which, in turn, produces hope. When we have hope in our hearts, anything is possible!
Jesus gives us so many keys in these two verses that can be applied in the kingdom and in every sphere of life . . .
“Ask, and the gift is yours.” God is the Giver of every good gift. He’s the One responding with, “My pleasure,” as He offers you as a gift what you’ve asked of Him. Partner that with what follows – “For every persistent one will get what he asks for…” and perhaps a bit of conviction pierces the heart. When I read that, it was time for an honest assessment of, “How persistent am I really?”
When we quickly ask God for something and it doesn’t seem like that prayer is immediately answered, do we just give up and leave it at that assuming His answer is no? Do we end up trusting God less because we believe He’s not listening? Doesn’t care? Has forgotten about us? Doesn’t really exist?
Jesus shared a parable recorded in Luke 18:1-8 that was about a persistent widow continuing to come before a judge, asking him for justice. Because she persisted, he eventually granted her request and ruled in her favor. Why did Jesus share this parable? To teach us that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1b, NKJV) Persistence in asking produces gifts from the hand of our loving Father.
“Seek and you’ll discover.” Remember when you’d play hide and seek as a kid or even as an adult with your children or grandchildren? The fun was in the discovery. The seeking was filled with the hope of who you’d find.
What if in your seeking, you discovered the One who loves you like none other? As you continue seeking to know Him, you discover the truth of His identity and yours as His son or daughter? You discover your calling and the power and ability He’s given you to fulfill it? What if you discover a depth of intimacy with your Creator who knows you like none other and has declared that the plans He has for you are good - filled with hope and a future beyond what you’ve begun to imagine (Jer. 29:11), but will discover more fully as you continue to seek? His promise is, “Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for.”
“Knock and the door will be opened for you.” When is a door opened for you? When someone is on the other side. If the doors we knock on are ones in which no one is home, who can respond? We need to try the next door. “And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.” I hear God saying, “Don’t give up! Move on and try the next door! Stop knocking if it’s not being opened. I’m waiting behind another door.”
Ask persistently. There’s a gift waiting for you.
Seek persistently. There’s so much for you to discover.
Knock persistently. You’ll find the doors that open for you.
Watch as your character develops and you transform, growing more and more as your perseverance births so much more than just answers to prayer. He’s got even more for you than you can imagine!
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!” (Eph. 3:20, MSG)
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