Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. (Matt 7:7 TLB)
Sometimes, that seems too good to be true. God really gives us anything we ask for?
If that were the case, then it would be all too easy for us to make selfish requests of Him. Just as James and John asked to sit at Jesus’ left and right hand, it seems logical that being tapped into the greatest power source in the universe could make us a tad greedy and ambitious.
So why does Jesus tell us to ask then?
If you think about it, when do we ask anyone for anything? It’s when the one we are asking either has or can get something we want but don’t have. When Jesus tells us to ask, He is simply giving us permission to do so.
Along with asking, Jesus tells us to seek. He tells us this to let us know that God not only can be found, but He WANTS to be found.
For this reason, Jesus also tells us to knock, not just once, but persistently and insistently. Jesus is basically giving us carte blanche to be a pest in seeking out God and petitioning Him with our requests.
He is telling us that we aren’t going to wear God out or bore Him to death by bothering Him with our concerns. This is because God wants us to see Him as someone that we can approach.
But really. . .ANYTHING we ask for?
It is clear from the context that it isn’t so much the substance of our entreaties to the Lord as our motivation for asking that is more significant.
Remember, we are not God’s spoiled brats, but His adopted children. He chose us for His family, but we also had to choose Him as our Father.
The very nature of the relationship that Christians have with God is one of complete submission. We ask of Him because He has not only the power and authority but also the WILL to give us what we ask.
However, the more we are in submission to God, the less likely we are to ask for something selfishly. If our primary motivation is to please Him, then we would be more likely to ask for the kinds of things that He would want us to have.
(So what kinds of things are those? Come back for Part 3—The Desires of our Hearts.)