Matthew 7:7–8 (ESV) — 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
We are all familiar with this passage. But unfortunately, it seems most often to be applied with the idea that if I want something from God, I must simply dun Him for it in prayer until I receive it. But I do not believe that is what Jesus is really after here. The context is the key.
I cannot help but think this admonition refers especially to coming to know our Father so as to have Him hallowed in our own hearts and minds…etc.. In other words – its main application is in encouraging us to trust that the petitions taught to us in the prayer of 6:9-13 – will indeed be ours if we set ourselves unswervingly upon them.
But why ask (and keep on asking), seek (and keep on seeking), knock (and keep on knocking)? Why the perpetuation of these three? Because we tend to think that God’s graces come to us as a once-for-all bestowment, rather than a continual supply which must be continually looked for in ongoing dependence upon Him.
So for instance, one cannot just ask and seek and knock for deliverance from some sin – thinking all the while that someday (in this life), we’ll just have absolute freedom from that temptation and not have to face it any longer. This is not the reality of the Christian life. I must ask continually, because I will face the same challenge continually. I must seek Him continually because each day brings distractions from Him. I must knock continually because sin closes up my heart and mind and spiritual eyes and ears continually. I must rely on His grace continually that I might experience the ongoing supply of that grace.
We want once-for-all solutions. But the once-for-all, is realizing that He is the once-for-all source and fountain – which must nevertheless be appealed to and relied upon constantly.
This dynamic remains the reality regarding every grace from God we desire. Victory over sin, and the receipt and manifestation of every fruit of the Spirit. No one has a “gift” of longsuffering. We can only be sustained in it.
Keep seeking Him Christian. Ask for His name to be hallowed, His kingdom to come and His will to be done in this earth as it is in Heaven. Keep looking to Him and Him alone for your daily bread, the forgiveness of sins, a forgiving heart and deliverance from the Devil’s schemes. For it all and always rest in Him and Him alone. What a great and glorious God we serve.