Waiting (Mathew 7:9-11)

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

Jesus has just taught His followers a principle of prayer: Those who ask  receive, those who seek, find – and those who knock, find the door opened. While the principle speaks to our action in both prayer and attitude, it speaks much more to the character of God. “Receiving stresses gaining a gift; finding focuses on a discovery, as coming upon a bonanza of gold; having a door opened looks at a welcome, or hospitality as when a host extends cordiality to a guest.” God is gracious. He gives of Himself, He allows Himself to be found, He opens His door to all who wish to commune with Him. Such fact in and of itself is wonderful, because such is God. 

Christ now speaks of a deeper and perhaps even more wonderful thing. It is not only that God is so gracious to answer. It is that God is keenly aware of us, and that He loves us and literally treats us as His own sons, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” 

It is routine to hear of stories over the holidays of shoppers fighting to buy a children’s toy. Some parents would rather break the law, sacrifice their dignity and injure their neighbor than miss an opportunity to appease their child. Such a parent may have good intentions, but their actions clearly identify them as evil. Even evil people purpose to bless those they love. But then how much more so does God bless those He loves, when God is the polar opposite of evil? 

This is the most fundamental and yet most easily disregarded aspect of prayer. God is good, gracious, kind and loving. God is aware of us and sees us as His own children. How is it that we could think that God would hear of one of His children asking, or seeking, or knocking, and instead turn a deaf ear? Shall He see their need for a basic resource like bread, and show them only stones? Shall He know their hunger and instead purpose to send them a painful horror? Obviously not, and with such a certainty we must recognize that God answers prayer. Indeed, God’s character is such that those who ask always find Him giving, and such that those who seek Him always discover, and such that He opens His door to all who knock for Him.

To this point the child of God must know that when we are on praying ground (that is,  we have repented of known sin and are seeking to honor Him), and we ask God for that which we truly need or something more of Himself – there are only two possible reasons why God does not answer and more hardship or silence ensues instead. Either God has something better in mind, or we are in the midst of a spiritual war and His answer is merely and temporarily delayed.

When Daniel sought God, he heard nothing for three weeks. Then the angel appeared to him and said, “Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days.” 

The prayer of the righteous child of God is always heard, and always responded to. Amen.

No one can tell you how good God is. You have to experience him for yourself.

Richard & Henry Blackaby

APPLICATION: Thankfulness

God is good, and we know this by our experience of Him. Today, be thankful for His character and your experience of His goodness as His child.

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