When a child sees something they want, they generally make every effort to reach out and grab for it…often to the frustration of their parents. They are determined. As adults, our willingness to “reach out” seems to be on the decline with a sense of entitlement on the incline. We want every good thing to be handed to us and placed in our hands. We don’t want to move to action, we just want to receive.
God is a good Father who gives His children good gifts. But God doesn’t always place these directly into our hands. He often places them within our reach.
Matthew teaches us in Chapter 7, verses 7-8 to
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Before receiving, there is FIRST a call to action. Ask. Search. Knock.
THEN there is response. Receive. Find. The door is opened.
- Would you get mad at someone for not getting you something you never asked for?No, you didn’t ask for it.
- Would you be annoyed if no one opened the door for you despite standing there for hours? No. You should have knocked.
- Would be bothered if you didn’t find something you were never looking for? No. You were not looking for anything.
We constantly have God’s attention but may never bother to communicate with Him. Why do we expect to receive from God without asking, seeking, and acting?
Only when we ask, search and knock can we then receive, find and have the door opened to us.
God has placed His love, grace, peace, joy, mercy, forgiveness and salvation all within our reach but it is still up to us to:
- Use our mind to contemplate our choices
- Use our will to freely decide how we will act and
- Use our body to then act according to what we have decided.
It is a call and response relationship that requires action.
Here are few other instances of this pattern in the Bible:
|Verse||Call to Action||Response|
|Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)||Approach the throne of grace with boldness||Receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need|
|Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. (James 4:7-8)||Draw near to God||God will draw near to you.|
|Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17)||Hear the Word of God.||Grow in Faith.|
|If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)||Confess our sins.||Receive forgiveness.|
|If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)||Ask God.||Receive from God.|
|You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3)||Ask God RIGHTLY.||Receive from God.|
God has not placed any good thing outside of our reach. God wants us to use our intellect to discern His will and then act by faith. Often, we are busy waiting for God to drop down His blessings into our laps or place it into our hands. We must act. Ask, seek, knock and keep knocking! God will answer but we must first reach out to receive.
Dear God, help me to come before you with a right heart to seek you. Give me patience as I wait on your answers. Help me to be still and to not run ahead of you if it seems like you’re not responding. I trust you and know that you will take care of me. I thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.