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Asking, Seeking, Knocking

Do you have a hard time asking God for anything? Some people do for different reasons; maybe they don’t want to bother God, or think that He has bigger things to deal with; maybe they don't think He cares about what’s on their mind; or they think that He is far too busy to be concerned with whatever they are wrestling with.

During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had some good news for us about how much God cares about our needs and His desire to meet them… 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

This is a passage that might be misinterpreted by some. On the surface, it may appear that Jesus is saying that we can have anything we want; but is that really what He’s teaching? No.

On Sunday, in his message at Watermark, Dan Roseman shared some important insights: The truth is that Jesus is telling us to seek God’s kingdom and then ask God for things. In fact, a little earlier in His sermon, Jesus said, 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33. The implication is clear, our loving, gracious God is willing to give us what we desire (need), when we are seeking Him first.

The Psalmist echoed this same truth when he wrote: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. To delight in the Lord means to desire Him; and when we deeply desire Him and His will for our lives, then we receive everything that we could ever need from Him. When our hearts are aligned with His heart, then we will ask for and seek what He really wants to give us. And our heavenly Father loves to give His children good gifts!

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 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!” Matthew 7:9-11

Three Reasons God Wants us to Ask Him for Things

1) God Likes to Give. We are blessed to serve a God who is so gracious and giving. He loved us so much that He gave us the greatest gift we could ever have hoped for, salvation though faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ! (John 3:16-17)

2) Asking Shows our Dependence. It’s ok to ask God for things you know you could never really provide yourself!

3) Asking Builds Relationship. You can’t ask someone for anything without talking to them, and you can’t really talk to someone without getting to know them. God’s faithfulness to answer our questions and provide for our needs builds that relationship.

Two Applications:

  • Rethink How You Pray

It’s a good thing to spend time in prayer asking for the normal things we need. In the Lord’s prayer Jesus even says to pray for our daily bread. We’re not wrong to know that we need physical things and to ask for them. But beyond those basic needs, God may answer our prayers in one of three ways: “Yes”, “No” or “Not yet.” We may not understand when God doesn’t give us what we desire, but Pastor/Author Tim Keller says: “God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knows.”

  • Ask for Big Things

Jesus wants us to seek His kingdom, so ask for big things! There is nothing bigger than being a part of God fulfilling The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20); everything else we ask for pales in comparison—even the good things. At Watermark, we want to be instrumental in “making disciples.” Join me in praying that God will enable us to do that in a BIG way as we enter a brand new ministry year!

For much more, click here to listen to Dan Roseman’s message: Sermon on the Mount - Part 12 - Asking, Seeking, Knocking.


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