Tag Archive for surrender

Whatever We Ask: Part 2–Ask, Seek and Knock

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.)

 

Division: Part 5–The Surrender Solution

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . .And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  (John 1:1, 14 KJV)

 

Unfortunately, as long as churches are made of people, there will be division.  The best we can do as individual Christians is to make sure we aren’t contributing to it.  Here are some practical steps that can help us achieve that goal.

 

1.      SURRENDER TO GOD.  There is no salvation without repentance, and there is no repentance without surrender.  You can not learn what God’s will for your life is until you have cast aside YOUR will for your life.

 

2.      SURRENDER YOUR POSITION.  Be OK with not being first.  If you’ve done step #1 above, you’re already not first anyway.  Take that same attitude toward the people around you.  Serve without having to be in charge.  Let go of ambition and concentrate on lifting others up rather than stepping on them to get ahead.

 

3.      SURRENDER YOUR MOTIVES.            Seek to see rather than to be seen.  Seek to be influenced rather than to influence.  In this way, you will actually become a better influence.

 

4.      SURRENDER TO TRUTH.  To seek unity in the Church we must first seek Truth, for without Truth, there can be no unity.  No two Christians share a common past, but all share a common destiny.  Find the common ground by looking forward.

 

5.      SURRENDER TO THE WORD.  John begins his gospel by reminding us that the Word of God is equal with God, and continues by telling us that Jesus was the Word made flesh.  If doctrinal differences are the chief source of division in the church, I would have to say that they are also the most avoidable.

 

 

Either the Bible is the Word of God or it isn’t.  If it is, then it is the ultimate written authority. 

 

Believing the Bible means believing all of it.  This is a tall order, to be sure, but we must always approach the Word with obedience as our objective rather than interpretation. This is why James wrote, “. . .obey the message; be doers of the Word, and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].  (James 1:22 Amplified)

 

Being a doer of the Word places engaging Christ as a priority over engaging culture. 

 

While it is important for the Church to accept and welcome non-Christians wherever they are in life in a spirit of grace, many churches and denominations have gone astray by attempting to blend into culture in the name of “relevance.”  In doing so, they have sacrificed Truth at the altar of tolerance.

 

But churches don’t need to become “relevant” by having the hippest music, the flashiest multi-media system, the best coffee or even the “openest minds.” 

 

The Church will always be relevant to those who seek the Truth simply because Truth is eternal and universal.  All people know instinctively that they need a solid rock on which to stand. 

 

God gave us a written account of this Truth so that those who seek it may find it.  To the degree that the Church esteems this Truth, without trying to improve upon it, unity will follow.