“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.”
Several years ago, inventor and super marketer, Ron Popeil, touted the wonders of the Showtime Rotisserie. Surely you recall the often repeated slogan, “Set it and forget it.” Many people erroneously apply that phrase, or something like it, to Christianity. They think that once they’ve received Christ as their personal Savior they can just “set it and forget it.” Just set your life on auto-pilot and glide into eternity. Nothing could be further from the truth. A more accurate slogan for the Christian would be, “keep praying and never give up.”
In today’s focus scripture from Matthew 7, Jesus is talking about the importance of persistence in the life of the believer. Most often these verses are associated with instruction on prayer but this teaching means so much more.
In the original language we can extract a little more meaning from Jesus’ instruction. With each of the three directives, ask, seek, and knock, a tense is used that indicates persistence. The instruction is to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. Thus we get the idea that in all of life’s challenges God wants us to keep praying and never give up.
What do you need? What is it that you really want to accomplish? That’s where the asking comes in. Don’t give up just because the answer to your prayer didn’t instantly fall into your lap. “Keep praying.” Be persistent. It may take months or even years but never give up.
Throughout our married life, my wife had a dream for a new home. Not just any home, but one with very specific features, including an art studio.
To be clear, she didn’t want a mansion. Just a house with certain amenities, all on one floor, with a small yard and plenty of room for flowers and plants. Her dream was so specific that it included a floorplan and the detailed description of each room.
For many years, I prayed that God would answer her prayer. But instead of getting closer to her dream, one setback after another made fulfillment seem impossible.
In 2007, I lost my radio job and our finances went south in a hurry. As happened to many people during that awful recession, I took a job making considerably less than what I had been making.
We moved into an apartment, set a budget, and lived within our means.
Then our landlord began to raise the rent, to the point we couldn’t afford to continue to live there. Moving was our only option.
We considered trying to become home owners again. But there was no cash available for a down payment and my income was at its lowest since entering the job market in the 1970s.
It seemed foolish to talk to a realtor, but we did. All the while, we prayed.
Janet found a house she wanted to look at, although it was beyond our price range. The realtor set up a viewing, and we drove to meet him…but he wasn’t at the house Janet had selected. When we saw it, we thought he had lost his mind. Why would he show us such a fine home, obviously beyond anything we could afford?
I guess you figured out where this is going. We’ve been living in that home now for five years. Nothing down. Lowest interest rate imaginable. Priced way below market value. And our payment is much lower than the apartment in which we were living. Oh, yeah. Everything on Janet’s wish list was included. God gave us more than we dreamed possible when we had less and were at the lowest point in our lives.
Sometimes God does give instant and even miraculous answers to prayer. But more often He uses our needs and the desires of our hearts to grow us in faith and in our relationship to Him.
Once you take the initiative then God gets involved. “He who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” This is where faith enters into the picture. As you persistently pursue your quest you trust God to grant your request. Confidently expect that you will find what you are seeking. The answer is out there somewhere, and God will help you to find it.
These powerful words of Christ can be applied to all of your life experiences. In them you will find a beacon of hope for every challenge, dream, and circumstance. “Keep praying and never give up!”
For more on this topic, check out this article: The Powerful Influence of Faith
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.