One of the most powerful forces at work within us is motive. What people do and say can be interesting, but why they do what they do and say what they say is almost always fascinating. Motive reveals our deepest fears and desires.
It also plays an important role in today’s difficult teaching.
“Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” It is from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 7, verse 7.
When people think of the most challenging teachings of Jesus, this is probably not one that quickly comes to mind. But asking, seeking, and knocking are much more difficult than we realize.
Asking is a risk. Seeking is a risk. Knocking is a risk. They all require humility and vulnerability. But most of all, they demand wisdom. If you ask for the wrong thing and it is given to you, you are probably worse off than if you had never asked at all. If you seek the wrong thing and find it, you may be distracted for the rest of your life from your true path. If you knock on the wrong door and it is opened to you, and you are invited in and welcomed, you may get comfortable and never find the right door.
The reason most people don’t ask, seek, and knock in prayer is because they want things that they know God does not want for them. We know our motives and desires are not aligned with God’s, and so, we leave him out of it.
Imagine if instead of asking God for wisdom, Solomon had asked for an extra thousand head of cattle. What a colossal and epic misstep that would have been. You and I can see that as we reflect upon his life and the history of his people, but we misstep in similar ways every day. God stands willing to give us so much, and we ask for so little.
This is the wisdom to the asking, the seeking, and the knocking. Forget about whatever it is that you want, and even what you think you need. Ask Him to teach you want to ask for. Ask Him to teach you what to seek. Ask Him to teach you where to knock.
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