December 5, 2018
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” – Matthew 7:7-8
Around Christmas time we like to say, “It is the season of giving.” But with a house full of five children, it sure seems like the season of asking. We can say that is immature, but it all really depends on what the child is asking for. Asking for every toy you can imagine is immature. Asking to be fed and clothed, or saved from danger is not only reasonable but essential. Even though our children may not voice these needs, they know that we provide them because they cannot.
In the past I have not had a great deal of trouble asking for help. That is because the conversation in my head usually goes something like this; “I could probably do this by myself, but it would be easier with a little help.” Recently, though, because of a serious injury, asking for help has become incredibly difficult. That might sound backwards, but the thing that keeps us from asking for help is pride. Asking for help with something I can probably do by myself is very different then asking for help because I am completely and utterly helpless. This hurts my pride.
When we read Matthew 7:7-8, we are not simply talking about asking God for some small thing that we could take care of ourselves with just a little bit of hard work. If that were the case, then God is no more than a heavenly Santa Clause. If you continue reading through Matthew 7, you will quickly understand that Jesus is talking about meeting our most basic and vital needs. You see, we often pray for God to “help” us accomplish this or that. When we do this, we miss the point of these verses. If God is providing for our most basic needs then we must first recognize that we are powerless to do so ourselves. We, however, do not like this interpretation. Why? Because it hurts our pride. But asking is not truly asking unless we are in need. God is the one who provides for our physical needs because through Him the earth itself is held together (Colossians 1:17). And God provides for our spiritual needs through Jesus Christ because without him we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). So please, feel free to ask God to get you out of debt or give you that promotion at work…but only after you, in your complete helplessness, have recognized that you are breathing today and saved from condemnation for all eternity because of God and God alone.
Father, we are powerless to sustain ourselves or save ourselves. Please give us the truly good gifts that can only come from You.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon