Welcome to another Message Monday’s post- this week we will be exploring the notion of asking, seeking and knocking, specifically when it comes to asking our Heavenly Father for the things we need and want.
At church yesterday, the essence of the sermon that was preached was that we can come to God with anything on our hearts, ask Him, and be sure of a conclusive answer in His own timing. I thought that that was an interesting topic, so I’m going to unpack that conclusion just a bit, and hopefully ensue that my own take on the sermon yesterday gives you inspiration.
Have you ever wished for something when you were younger, maybe it was a toy or a piece of chocolate? Yep, so have I, according to my parents. Although I can’t really remember even wanting any of the things that little kids used to want during the 90’s (except for probably computer sports games and also Woody and Buzz type of toys). Anyway, I digress…
So what did we do to obtain that piece of instant gratification that when we look back on, we’re not so proud of the way we acted towards our parents? We asked. Numerous times. We weren’t satisfied with a one word one syllable answer beginning with ‘N’ and ending with ‘O’. We begged, we kicked, we screamed, we tossed, we turned, we cried, and them finally, our parents relented. We weren’t content with nothing, and we always (ok, not always, but most of the time) had our way. We wanted to find a loophole, so that we could obtain what we wanted to obtain.
Now fast-forward however many years later, and how do we now ask for things? Not very good I have to say. To put it bluntly, our attention span has dwindled, so much so that if things aren’t instantaneous, then we move on, we forget, and we blame. We want things to be available to us 24/7, and because of the advent of the internet, and social media platforms such as facebook, twitter, Instagram etc, we expect communication and access of information in real time. When someone asks for something they want it maybe within 24 hours (am I being unreasonable?), but such is today’s culture that we lose interest if our needs aren’t being met within a time frame that may be slightly farfetched. Is this way of thinking how we approach asking God about what is on our hearts?
How do we all pray? For me, I thank God for the day, and I also pray that tomorrow will be fruitful and productive. Then I go through a list (don’t we all?), saying that I’d like God to do x, y and z. I am sure all of you pray similar prayers as well. But the thing is, do we ask often enough, or are we asking for the wrong things? When the answer was no when we are children, did we give up? No we didn’t! If the answer is no now, do we give up? I’m afraid we sometimes do more often than we should. And I think the second example is generally how we treat the response or sometimes lack of response from God when we ask Him things.
The Bible is filled with verses about asking and receiving (e.g. Matthew 7:7, John 15:7, John 16:24), seeking and finding (e.g. Matthew 7:8, John 16:23, Psalm 2:8), and knocking and the door opening (e.g. Matthew 21:22, Matthew 18:19, Ephesians 3:20). In fact, the sermon yesterday consisted of basically verses being analysed (the verses aforementioned), with the conclusion being that God wants to give us what we desire, and that we shouldn’t quit when His timing doesn’t match ours. But just as Christians do not often read their Bible as much as they probably should, we sometimes forget and can lapse into the mindset that our time is the right time, and that God has to match it otherwise he’s not interested. That is way off base!
Have we prayed a prayer to God asking him to heal someone, or maybe asking Him to give us a job, a house, a boy/girlfriend, a deeper relationship with Him? How many times have we asked, and then not tried to seek, or even knock. I know, God is all powerful and mighty and that He can change a diagnosis on an illness or provide for us with just one word, but as He is God and we’re not, we don’t know His timing. And I don’t really think we should think that we ask God something, then we rest on our laurels. Because then it’s like God is out last resort (i.e. if all else fails). But he’s not. He’s our first resort, but if we ask, then don’t follow up, then what good is asking in the first place? I think it all comes down to our motivations behind our asking, and our heart.
So all we can do is ask with a grateful heart, and with a proactive mind, so that we aren’t asking for asking’s sake. And then we should continue. Ask, and seek, and knock. No it definitely won’t nag God, as God is perfect and He doesn’t get frustrated with our questions. Just like how we were to our parents before, I think we should be that way with God. Not to the point of screaming at Him or chucking a tantrum, but the aspect of continually asking and never quitting, until the answer is given to us, whatever it is. The Bible says that when we ask, God will answer, so I believe we should hold onto the promises of God and remember that His will for us is perfect and are higher than our ways.
Is there anything that you desire, either something positive added to your life or negative taken away? Let God know, and remember, don’t let facebook or twitter turn you into someone who always wants decisions to be made and situations resolved now. Below is a video fo Sanctus Real performing their song “Promises”. Take a watch, and remember, that ‘…Jesus is alive, so hold tight, hold on to the promises…’