Is God a magic genie granting all your wishes? Ask and we will receive – that’s a big promise. What are the conditions associated? Deeper understanding shows us how we can actually develop the right attitudes and spirit to receive God’s bounty.
Bible Passages: Matt 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13
The Bible not only asks us to ask, seek, knock but to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking – it is a lifelong journey to discover God’s deep treasures for us and those around.
Upfront, the passage seems to indicate that God is a magic genie granting all your wishes. However, deeper understanding shows us how we can actually develop the right attitudes and spirit to receive God’s true riches.
Asking – typically refers to our daily or immediate requirements
Seeking – refers to our long term search for God’s kingdom and riches
Knocking – refers to the salvation available to all who knock at heaven’s door -Jesus
Matt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Cross ref Luke 11:9-10
Asking covers a wide gamut of things. Situations include:
- Decision Making
- Daily Needs
In the Lord’s prayer, Christ encourages us to focus primarily on daily needs and immediate requirements for our asking.
Some biblical situations covered in distressful situations follow. People asked:
- For a child (1 Samuel 1:10-11, Genesis 25:21, Genesis 30:17)
- For relief in distress (Ps 4:1, 107:6, 40:2,3 many more)
- For mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16)
- When suffering (James 5:13)
- When overwhelmed (Psalm 142:1-7)
- To remove the cup (Matthew 26:39) – this is Jesus himself.
- Oppressed (Judges 6:36-40, Exodus 2:23, Numbers 20:15-16, many more)
- In sickness (2 Kings 20:1-11)
- In sin – prayer for restoration (Psalm 85:4-7) – deliverance from sin
- In need of protection from wicked (Ps 17:8,9. 15:4)
- Help in battle is required, between powerful and weak (2 Chron 14:11)
- Vengeance is sought (Jeremiah 15:15-18)
- When anxious (Phil 4:6)
- That your joy may be full (John 16:24)
- In loneliness and discouragement (1 Kings 19:4)
- Guidance, decision making (Judges 1:1-2, 2 Samuel 2:1)
- Success in finding bride (Genesis 24:12-14)
- Bread or food (Matt 6,7)
- Fellowship with God (Acts 2:42)
- Boldness in preaching (Ephesians 6:18-20)
- Anointing for ministry (Acts 13:3)
Seeking requires prioritization of God and orientation towards Him and His Kingdom goals. It covers:
- Acknowledge guilt (Hosea 5:13-15)
- Sacrifice (2 Chronicles 11:16)
- Repent (turn to God resulting in turning away from sin) (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Return to the Lord (Israel) for mercy (Hosea 3:4-5, Jeremiah 50:4)
- Choose to follow God (Ezra 8:21-23)
- Trust God Isaiah (31:1)
- Build His house (1 Chronicles 22:19)
- For life (Amos 5:4-6)
- For protection (Zephaniah 2:3)
- For favour (Zechariah 8:20-23)
- The kingdom (Matthew 13:44-46, Matt 7)
- Future prophecy (Daniel 9:2-3)
- Deliverance from enemies (2 Chronicles 20:1-4) – Jeshohaphat
- To understand God (Acts 17:27, Psalm 14:2, Proverbs 8:17, Jeremiah 29:11-14)
- Strength (1 Chronicles 16:11)
- To sow righteousness (Hosea 10:12, Matt 7)
- To serve Him (1 Chronicles 28:9)
- Presence of God (Psalm 27:4-8)
- To obey God (2 Chronicles 14:2-7, 2 Chronicles 17:3-6, Psalm 119:2)
- To connect with God’s Word (Psalm 119:155)
Knocking is not a one time act. It involves:
- Perseverance (strive) to enter the Kingdom of heaven (Luke 13:25)
- Preparedness eg. Wise virgins (Matt 25:1-11)
- Penitence eg. Thief at the cross (Lk 23:42)
- Purification – Separate yourselves (2 Corinthians 6:17)
1.What are some incorrect perceptions of “ask, seek, knock” today? What are the prerequisites?
2.Why does Jesus give the example of son asking for bread?
3.How does God’s perception and our perception differ on “good gifts”? How can we reconcile it?
4.Does a saved believer need to seek and knock? Why?
- Keep on asking (In situations of)
- Decision Making
- Daily Needs
- Keep on seeking (to pursue)
- Keep on knocking (Develop attitudes of)