Am I Satisfied With Asking When I Am Supposed to Knock?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened .”
William Wilberforce, English politician, philanthropist and a leader of the movement to stop the slave trade, was discouraged one night in the early 1790’s after another defeat in his ten-year battle against the slave trade in England. Tired and frustrated, he opened his Bible and began to go through it. A small piece of paper fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a letter written by John Wesley shortly before his death. Wilberforce read it again: “Unless the divine power has raised you up…. I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that (abominable practice of slavery), which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God. Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go in the name of God, and in the power of His might.”
Some people think verse 7 is a blank check. Is it really? Verse 8 says that for everyone that asks receives and everyone that seeks finds and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Is it that simple? I don’t think so.
These verses are not blank cheques. There are certain conditions that Jesus has already mentioned in the Sermon he was delivering. So we need to consider this verse in purview of the whole of the Sermon on the Mount. This becomes a blank cheque when the conditions are right. Which means that we are His obedient child and we ask according to His will, in order that He may be glorified.
When we look at the verse we can notice that it’s not that simple. There is progression and perseverance involved in it. We need to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking.
Asking is very simple. Every child does that. But there is no involvement and participation. We just ask. Seek on the other hand is stronger than just asking. There’s a participation in it. It can be said that at least we are moving our eyes to seek. But when it comes to knocking there’s a greater participation.
For example, I cannot just sit at my home and say, “Lord, I want to preach a great sermon this coming Sunday. Please, I ask you, give me a great sermon.” Just by simply asking I won’t be able to deliver a sermon. What I have to do is that I have to ask the Lord all week for that and then I seek that by going through the Word of God and reading and reading. And then I begin banging on the Lord, which on most occasions happen on Saturday night saying, “Lord, I’m struggling with this portion and I want to understand it.” I realize that God is the only one who can produce through me, but at the same time, I have got to be involved in the process.
Why does God want us to be involved in this fashion? Is it because He loves seeing His creation banging for certain things? I don’t think that we have to bang to get God to act, but the more we are involved in the process, the greater the relationship becomes. The deeper, the richer and the more meaningful communion I can have with Him.
Let us pray – Dear Lord, help us to have the attitude of perseverance when it comes to having a relationship with You. Amen.