Day 24

Ask, Seek, Knock

from the The Sermon on the Mount reading plan


Matthew 7:7-12, Proverbs 8:12-21, James 1:5-6, Revelation 3:19-20

BY Raechel Myers

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:7-12, Proverbs 8:12-21, James 1:5-6, Revelation 3:19-20

My kids are constantly reminding me of how I behave with my heavenly Father—that is, like a child. It’s so incredibly humbling.

One such incident occurred a few years back, when we took our kids out for dinner on a Friday night. We were too stuffed for dessert, but when you go to the Cheesecake Factory and don’t order cheesecake, I’m pretty sure a puppy dies or an angel loses its wings. So we ordered a couple of slices to-go, my husband and I secretly planning to make a fun memory with the kids later that night.

It was already an hour past the kids’ bedtime when we headed home. Even so, as we drove, my oldest, who was seven at the time, grew concerned that his fun evening out with the family was coming to an abrupt end. He fretted and squirmed the whole ride home, even when we told him we had a surprise planned and encouraged him to trust us. But he just couldn’t. He made himself miserable worrying about the cheesecake and bedtime and other things seven-year-olds worry about.

Even if you’re an adult, my guess is you can identify with this, at least a little.  

The plan was way better than he could have asked or imagined. Bedtime would have been a perfectly practical choice, but Ryan and I had planned to park in our little downtown, find a pretty place to sit, and enjoy a ridiculously late-night cheesecake feast with the kids, by the light of the moon.

It was a pretty great plan. It was the plan all along.

Any amount of fretting and whining our kids did on the ride home, when they were certain they were going straight to bed, didn’t change what we had planned for them. We wanted to give them a sweet experience—not because of their good behavior, but because they are our children, we delight in them, and we wanted to give them a good gift.

“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).

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing, not trusting that God is for us.

Our Father wants to give us bread and fish and moonlit cheesecake picnics. He also wants to give us appropriate bedtimes and vegetables. Jesus knew His disciples were going to need righteousness, purity, unity, wisdom, humility, and more to carry out the work that was coming. And so He’s essentially saying to them, and us, “Just ask! It’s all yours!”

He has a pretty great plan. It’s been His plan all along.

Do you lack wisdom? Is there something else you need in order to carry out the Father’s work? Do you trust that He will equip you with every supply?

The Father gives to His children generously and ungrudgingly (James 1:5). So go ahead: Ask. Seek. Knock. “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:8).

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Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "Ask, Seek, Knock"

  1. Becky says:

    This actually brought some tears to my eyes this morning….and I’m sitting at work so maybe that’s not a great thing.

    I have been in a season of uncertainty for over a month now. I had made plans to teach English in Nicaragua this summer, the whole 8 weeks I have off from teaching. It was a huge commitment and God seemed to open SO many doors along the way. Then, a month ago, civil unrest broke out in Nicaragua and everything just seemed to come to a screeching halt. Suddenly nothing was certain. Maybe I could still go and maybe I couldn’t. And as the very real prospect of NOT going settled in, I realized just how desperately I wanted to go. All my nerves seemed to melt away in the face of God closing the door on this opportunity.

    But I’ve been powerless to force a decision. All I can do is watch and pray and wait. What hit home in the reading is the idea of fretting and worrying because I think God will take away what had seemed SO perfectly clear six weeks ago. I needed the reminder that God has a plan. That He’s always had a plan. And that His plan is a GOOD one.

    I am supposed to leave 2 weeks from yesterday and I have no guarantee that I actually will. No promise had been given to me that God has to answer my prayers in THIS particular way. I need help to simply rest in the knowledge that His plan is a GOOD one, even if it’s not what I hope and pray for.

    1. Melody Litchfield says:

      Praying for peace and clarity for you at this time, Becky!

  2. Bre B says:

    This has been a really hard verse for me lately, I’ve been knocking and knocking, seeking and seeking God’s blessing for a baby during our season of infertility. I see children as a good gift and my hearts deepest desire is to be a mother, to raise them up in the Lord, to know God’s deep love.
    I am in a journey of trying to understand this verse of asking, knocking, and seeking. “Everyone that asks receives”
    I guess not in the askers timing and not necessarily in the way you think best. God’s plans are much better than our plans and we must trust in that. So hard.

    1. Becky says:

      Agreed. We have no guarantee that God will answer our prayers in the way we hope He will and it can be SO hard to see how His answers are “good” when our hearts are crushed with disappointment. I am 40 years old and single and for YEARS prayed for a husband. And God to date, has not answered. Wrestling with the idea that His plan for my life is a good one has been one of the defining struggles of my adult life.

      But keep asking. Be honest about what you want because there’s no point in hiding it from a God who understands your desires even better than you do. And keep seeking for His glory first. I hope that in 5 or 10 years you are able to look back and see an amazing answer to your prayers even if that answer is completely unexpected and not at all what you planned.

      God goodness is not affected by our perception of it. Blessings!

  3. Kristen Clegs says:

    John Piper said: “If you don’t spend much time in prayer, it is almost proof positive that you don’t know Him … If you knew Him, you’d ask!”
    God does not tire of us being in a position of need and dependence. He made us to lack so that we need Him. Imagine being sufficient and not needing God – wouldn’t that, in actuality, be a curse rather than a blessing? Yet I still find myself revolting against dependence, trying to be enough in my own strength. Then He whispers to me, “You are only complete in ME. In your weakness is when I come thru and make you strong. Only when you acknowledge your lack can I show you MY abundance. Just ask. I want to supply.”

  4. Audren says:

    This gave me a lot of reassurance that God is faithful and isn’t out to get us if we aren’t. That doesn’t mean we should let ourselves go. But that the Father loves us and wants to surprise us with beautiful great gifts throughout our lives. Then the ultimate with the ticket to Heaven, all because He loves us. What a beautiful thing grace and love are!

  5. Hawley says:

    My elderly parents are currently at the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico having survived Hurricane Maria. I thought for almost 4 days that they had died, or worse, one of them had and the other was stuck with the body… imagining every possibility. Since we found out they’re alive, we’ve been frantic trying to get them on any flight to the mainland America. As I read this, I await confirmation whether or not they will be boarding a flight in 2 hours. I’m reminded that for all my worry, a God has been and is in control. That he cares for my parents and all of Puerto Rico more than I could ever imagine. Sweet relief to be reminded that God hears my (literal) cry and that He is good. Thank you, Jesus, that you hear our moans and groans and respond with grace and goodness.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Hawley, thank you for sharing this – we can only imagine how difficult these last few days have been. As a team we will be praying for your parents today, for provision, safety, and opportunity as well. So glad to have you in this community! – Abby, The SRT Team

      1. Jeanna says:

        Amen and Amen… Hadley, please keep us posted!

    2. Joanne says:

      Hawley, I am praying God will open the way before them and defeat every obstacle

    3. Hawley says:

      Thank you all so much! With tears of joy, I can report that God did more and better than I dared hope. They did make it on to the flight, which was a full day earlier than our greatest hope (as standbys on a private charter) and flew to meet my aunt who treated them to a beautiful hotel room and all the food they could eat. They are now safe, on the mainland, and with food and water accessible, not to mention AC! Praise be to God for rescuing them from the destruction. Thank you all for your prayers and for the beautiful reminder that Christ is ultimately all we need, that God hears our prayers and that He loves to lavish us with even more than we desire. Psalm 37:4 Thank you, Jesus!

    4. Julie McD says:

      God is good! Prayers continue for everyone in Puerto Rico. Hooray for sweet relief and those mighty hands!

    5. Melanie says:

      Praise God for his provision and protection of your parents! So glad that they are safe and well <3

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