January 27, 2014.
“‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him'”
This Tuesday I am going to start a series at devo with some over looked promises of God (well, I’m calling it a series, but I don’t know if the three or four subjects actually correlate with each other). I’ve been wanting to do this lesson for a while, so I decided to give a sneak peak here.
The verse above gives three promises made by Jesus that are easily overlooked. The first, and perhaps the most explained, is “‘Ask, and it will be given to you…”. I have been in deep thought about prayer lately, and I’ll have to admit I am still searching for the truth on how God answers prayer and what we are supposed to ask for, if there are any regulations at all. However, Jesus seems pretty clear here. Ask and it will be given to you, for everyone who asks, receives. What do we ask of God? Should we ask more? All I can definitively say is that I need to spend more time in prayer. It seems when I ask for things, I either assume they are not good for me so I won’t receive them or that God will automatically say no. I’m not sure this is the case. We are told to ask in faith, and in doing so, we will recieve. This, I believe is a novel and possibly even exciting concept to American Christians. Listen to the words of our Lord:
“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them,“Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.””
(Matt. 21: 18-22)
All I can suggest is that we try it.
“Seek and you will find…”. I’ll have to admit, I think this is the promise I am most excited to talk about. If you have been following my last few posts, you’ve probably noticed a them of searching and finding truth. I believe this is very important; and I also believe that Jesus promises here that if we seek the truth without our own biases, we will find it. We will not find it on our own accord, but through the spirit. This is what Paul has to say about the Spirit guiding us:
“But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
(I Cor. 2:9-13)
When we read and honestly search for truth, let’s pray beforehand to be lead into truth. Truth is absolute, and there is one truth that comes from above. We need His guidance to find it.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
“Knock, and it will be opened to you.” I’m not sure I fully understand this concept, but I will try my best to explain what I think our Lord is getting at here. I think this promise deals with opportunity. I believe the Lord will grant us opportunity, and even success in that opportunity, if we make an effort to find it. In other words, if we knock at the door, the Lord will open it up for us, leading us along the opportunity he has set up for us. With this view, it is our job to actually pursue opportunity. I have heard too many times in my life “Well, it’s not going to work, so I’m not going to try.” This is a sad statement. With God’s help, we can always find success in one way or another (reference Philippians 4:13, if needed). This attitude reminds me of the one Moses took at the burning bush:
“But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.””
The Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save (Isa. 59:1).
Suggested Daily Reading: Exodus 4, Isaiah 59, Matthew 7.
Let us stand on the promises of God.