I read Matthew 7:7 this morning with a renewed sense of insight and understanding. I thought I might share it with you.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
In the past I read this casually and thought about it only within the context of God granting answers to my prayers. However, this morning I suddenly realized that this verse is also a reminder that I have to take action. I can’t just sit around and wait for God to bless me and shower me with whatever my little heart desires. I have to do my part to make my life a success. I have to work for what I need. I have make choices about where my path leads.
God often explains the expectations of our relationship to him by reminding us of how we treat our own children. In this instance we can certainly relate to giving things to our children. We spend the first few years of their life giving them what we think they need and want, but as they get older they start telling us their desires. Then they reach a point where we want them to put forth a little of their own effort to satisfy their wants and even some of their needs. It’s not that we can’t continue to just give them things if we choose to, but we know they gain more maturity and self- respect if they actively participate in the process. It’s the old concept of teaching a man to fish.
We already know that God knows what is best for us. He has a plan for our life. But it’s a “big plan” much like the plans we have for our children- health, happiness, and prosperity. And just as our children make decisions and choices that alter those plans, God has granted us a free will to make choices about the day to day workings of our own lives. The concept of free will gives more meaning to our service to God. It makes it clear that we worship God from our hearts, by our own choice, not because we are little robots who are programmed to adore him.
So this verse has new meaning if I think about my part in it. If I ask for something it indicates two things: 1. I’ve given some thought to what I need or want. 2. I’ve made a conscious decision that one thing is better than another and therefore worth requesting.
Next I need to seek. To me that means I need to ask for God’s guidance, his approval, and his abundance in granting what I want. I need to keep doing my part to obtain what I want, and re-examine my motives to make sure it is a good thing to claim for my life. I don’t think it is a coincidence that this verse is in the chapter that also reminds us to treat others as we want to be treated and to not judge anyone. And Matthew 7 also admonishes us to build our house on a firm foundation of truth and wisdom.
Finally, I need to knock on the door. A door implies access. When we approach someone’s home we look for the best way to enter and then we knock and wait for the owner to let us in. In this instance I believe the implied door is our access to the riches of Heaven and the owner is God. However, before we go knocking on God’s door we have to understand that access is only given to his own children. Verse 21 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”
The Bible reminds us over and over again that we have responsibilities as Christians. I just realized this morning that this verse is a great example of that concept.