Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
There is an often-quoted scripture found in Matthew 7:7-8. It reads:
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.
From a human perspective, these are a series of promises that are appealing, because more than likely we believe that we will get what we desire. When life, however, does not work out this way – these scriptures can feel a bit confusing. I did ask, you might think, but I did not receive. I did seek, but I have no answers. I did knock, but I am frustrated that the door has remained shut.
Yet if we consider these scriptures from a divine perspective, we understand that while three individual promises exist, there is power in the fact that they are presented collectively. With these three directives – ask, seek, and knock – we are being given a roadmap as to how we make it from one point to the next. Whether we’re praying about trials from life’s chaos or how to make our dreams come to fruition, connecting with God may feel a bit out of reach. Jesus knew this, and so Christ gave us a series of guidelines to help us stay grounded in His spirit.
Real Life Application
So, let’s put this into action. For example, you’re praying for a new job, and then, you receive it. You’re excited but it’s still important to seek God with all of your heart so that you know how to manage through the ups and downs of your new environment. And then, when you need new doors to open, you knock on God’s divine door, and He supplies all of your needs.
On the other hand, let’s say you’re praying for a new job, but it hasn’t come. The same sequence applies. After you ask, you seek God out in the waiting, to give you the strength needed to endure and not lose hope. By seeking God, you receive the gift of perseverance, which pushes you to knock, in faith, on new doors. You may have to do a lot of knocking or change course, but make sure you’re paying attention to what God is teaching you in this space. Once the necessary door opens, we give gratitude for the journey because we’ve experienced God’s refinement.
But what happens if we go out of order? Maybe we start knocking first because we want to take action. It’s good that we are willing to put in the work. Nevertheless, if we aren’t taking the best actions, we’ll never get the best results. In other situations, we start seeking. We want to locate the love of our lives or a new path for our careers. Yet if we do this without asking for wisdom and discernment, we run the risk of going down paths that weren’t meant to be. This is why God starts us off with asking, but we shouldn’t stop there. We must learn how to seek in order to better understand the locations to which we should be knocking.
A Lesson on Seeking
Asking and knocking are important, however, for the remainder of this bible study, we’re going to focus on seeking. This is because it is often in the middle of the journey that we become the most trepidatious. During His teachings on the mount, Christ first addressed seeking one chapter earlier, in Matthew 6. In verse 33, He said: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Christ was letting us know that we cannot properly seek, as it described in Matthew 7, until we fully embrace the type of seeking found in Matthew 6. If we seek God first, sin does not consume us, and self does not control us.
Even earlier in Matthew 6, we see this teaching mirrored in Christ’s lesson on prayer. In the Lord’s Prayer, He stated “Your will be done” (speaking of God) before “Give us this day our daily bread.” (speaking of ourselves). So why then, in chapter 7, do we ask, then seek, then knock, instead of seeking, then asking, then knocking. Well consider this – chapter 6 describes the type of seeking that is solely focused on our relationship with God. Chapter 7 describes the kind of seeking needed when we place our requests before God’s throne.
Is the Kingdom of God Our Priority?
In other words, there is seeking as it relates to putting on the character of Christ, and then there is seeking to understand God’s direction. It’s important to know the difference. Too often, we are in the latter, while we give little effort to the former. When this happens, we become so stuck on not receiving what it is that we’re asking for, that we lose our faith in God. Instead of learning how to seek patience, understanding, and growth in our periods of waiting, we become fixated on the doors we see shut.
We go back to the asking because we don’t have the discipline needed to sit in the seeking. Our selfishness outweighs the need to submit to God’s will, as we make idols out of our requests to Him. We came to throne already consumed with self. Then, we incorrectly viewed God’s response as a reflection of Him and not us. And I get it, our requests are important to us as we try to navigate through this unpredictable world. But seeking God still has to be more important. He has to be our priority. So, it’s time we ask ourselves, are we really prioritizing God or are we prioritizing self?
Seek, and you will find
Once we prioritize embracing God’s righteousness, we will be able to better face the seeking that comes after the asking. This is an important place because it connects our “askings” with our “knockings”. It is the place where we learn to find patience, hope, joy, discernment, and clarity. It leads us to the knockings, preparing us for what comes next once the door is opened.
Yet, this is also the space where our ability to stay connected to Christ will be challenged. It’s in the seeking that we might experience an aversion to God’s timing and/or response. Don’t let temptation rule over you and cause you to try to make your requests happen in your way, on your own time. Instead, we must learn to wait upon the Lord, and allow ourselves to find where He is leading. That’s what “the find” is all about. God promised us in Matthew 6:33, that if we seek Him first, then – the rest will come. So trust in the finding… trust that God will take you to the right doors. We may not find what it is that we were originally seeking, but with God, we can be sure that it’s precisely what we’re needing.
#GodBless from #LovesAnActionPrint This Devotional