Thinking about Jesus encouraging us to ask, seek and knock towards the end of His Sermon on the Mount – what a great way to end a very strong call defining what it means to follow Him. In fact when I look how weak I actually am, and so selfish – how could I love like Him? I am required to be humble, truthful, compassionate, forgiving and living a life of integrity – I lack them all. Unless I have His strength I cannot live this life I am called to. It is here that Jesus’ encouragement gives me hope and the recommendation of how to get the help I need.
When someone is asked for something, the response depends on the person and their persistence in asking. Seeking is structure based on criteria – the better understanding of what I am looking for, the more certain I am of finding it. It’s the knocking that is done in hope – hoping that I find someone on the other side. When we ask God, He listens. When we seek God, He allows Himself to be found. When we knock, He is always home and opens the door for us.
I have established that hope comes in the form of knocking. It is the one action that entirely depends on God and it is definitive – either the door opens or it does not. He is either home or is not. Spurgeon, and who am I to dispute him, thought that hoping came in the seeking part. That hope was the engine that enabled one to keep seeking. I suppose we could find someone who thought that asking might be the ultimate expression of hope. So let’s agree that the asking, seeking and knocking have elements that without hope as our motivation would not be part of our success in building our relationship with God.
“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. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 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 7:7-11