Asking the right question
Matthew 7 Verses 7-8 state the following: 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.”
These brief, two verses are part of the larger Sermon on the Mount that Jesus delivered to his listeners. The most common interpretation of these verses is that they are a return to the issue of prayer. The implication is that if we ask God for it, it will be given to us. If we “knock” the door will be opened for us. If we seek we will find, if we ask we will receive and if we want the door opened then we need to ask for it to be.
However, these two verses cannot be relegated to being this simple. If this were the case, then I should simply ask God for a new car and he will give it to me and if I’m looking for good health I’ll find it. If it were that simple, which I don’t think it is, then everybody would be healed, everybody would have good health, everybody would be wealthy, and the list goes on and on.
I think of the Disney cartoon movie “Aladdin” where a genie is found by Aladdin and in return grants Aladdin three wishes. The genie tells him there are only three things I can’t do: I can’t raise the dead, I can’t make you fall in love and I can’t grant wishing for more wishes. I read this passage and I thought of this film and thought of our God and then I reached the conclusion that our God, unlike the genie can do anything and everything without limitation. However, He doesn’t do everything and anything we ask because much like the genie, God has his own rules and plans that he follows.
When asking and seeking perhaps we should first understand the nature of God. God is intentional. Everything we find in the bible has to do with the need for us to be reconciled with and in relationship with God. I would postulate that if it does not have to do with reconciliation & relationship with God, then perhaps we should not be seeking or asking for it.
Simply put, we should be asking for the things in our lives that fall into God’s plan and God’s intention. However, to gain that knowledge, we have to first study His word, learn from the life, teachings & ministry of Christ and be in that reconciled & saving relationship with Him.
Ask. Seek. Knock. But first, learn more about who you are asking, what He is seeking, and which doors you’re looking to have opened. Maybe then we will have more answers, find what we are looking for, and have more doors opened.
REV. BARRY VASSAR can be reached at fitzgeraldmemorial@ gmail.com.