How often have you heard, “Ask and you will receive. Just ask God to help you (insert something here, e.g. be more faithful, love Him more, be more disciplined, etc.”? I’ve heard it a lot, and I even say it a lot.
Now there’s nothing wrong about that. God makes it very clear that we should ask Him for things (in line with His will) and that He wants to give those things to us. But it doesn’t end with the asking.
Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
We’re pros at asking. We do it all the time. God give me this, God give me that. And I’m not talking about frivolous things, either. We ask God to send His Holy Spirit down on us, to help us follow His will for our lives, to teach us to love Him more. All good things. But then it’s like we expect God to wave His magic wand and make it all happen.
He could, that’s for sure. But God’s not in the business of surface changes. He wants to change our hearts. And just giving us those things would leave our hearts essentially unchanged. We’d be like spoilt brats who got everything we wanted but never realized what getting those things meant.
We need to remember to seek God too. After we’ve put in our request, we’ve gotta keep asking, but also take the initiative to seek the answers. If we ask for patience, we’d better be consciously practicing patience. If we ask for discipline, we’d better be acting out that discipline, not just sitting around asking for it, waiting for some divine inspiration to compel us to pick up our Bibles and read. Wanna love Him more? Ask Him, and then take the time to get to know Him. How else are you gonna love Him?
And then, as we’re doing that, we keep asking. We knock. But the middle step is crucial. We’ve gotta seek. We’ve gotta be like the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). We’ve gotta make the effort like the woman who was bleeding for twelve years to push through the crowd in spite of our pain so that we can reach Jesus, because we know that He can heal.
We’ve gotta love Him more than His power. More than His gifts. Presence over presents. And that’ll only happen if we earnestly seek His face.
You told me, look for You and I will find
so I’m here, like i’m searching for the first time
revive me, Jesus, make this cold heart start to burn
help me rediscover You