Jesus has already spoken once about seeking God. Speaking about our need for food, drink and clothes, He said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In Matthew 7:7-8, He widens and reiterates that promise. It is not only food and drink and clothing that the disciple of God should expect Him to provide, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Resources such as the basic necessities are only the start of the abundant life in Christ. They are not the goal. To believe that the point of the abundant life is mere supply is to believe that God’s Kingdom is nothing more than a vending machine, and God no more than a parcel delivery service. No one limits their care for their child to strictly material supply and believes they have done well. Children need care, attention and love to mature, not just material things. If we know this, how much more does God know it?
It is not mere supply when we look to God for more of His Kingdom on earth and more of His will being done in our lives and our community. It is His presence and power when we look for His Spirit’s anointing in the work we do for Him. We need His grace and patience and lovingkindness for others, and much more besides. Yet much of that is not given by edict when we simply ask. He designs instead that we should go far beyond asking. Wanting to see us exercise faith more and more, He purposes that we should seek, and seek diligently! The late AW Pink wrote, “Prayer must not be allowed to induce lethargy in other directions or become a lazy substitute for the putting forth of our energies in other duties. We are called upon to watch as well as pray, to deny self, strive against sin, take unto us the whole armour of God, and fight the good fight of faith.” Indeed, if we limit our prayers to asking, we stunt our growth. The Christ-follower must actively seek, and if that seeking leads to a door, the obedient disciple must not conclude that no further response is forthcoming. To do so is to camp outside and wail at your misfortune, when inside is the party to which you yourself are the guest of honor!
God is not unaware of His children or their needs. “To him who knocks, the door will be opened.” To come to a closed door is not always to be understood as a “No.” Sometimes it is a “Yes, if you knock.” To this point Pink continues, “The thought suggested to us by this clause is that grace is not to be come at easily. It is as though the earnest asker and diligent seeker is now confronted by a closed door. Even so, says Christ, be not discouraged and dismayed, continue your quest, “knock.” There are times when it seems as though God turns away from us, hides Himself, and we have no access to Him. This is to test our sincerity, to try our earnestness, to put us to the proof as to whether we long for His grace as much as we imagine. If we do, discouragements will only serve to redouble our efforts.” Should they not? Consider again the promise, “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
God always gives you what you would have asked for if you knew everything that He knows.Tim Keller
Be persistent in prayer! Ask, seek and knock.