Tap on That Door

…knock and the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7

The previous two devotionals are related to this one. We ask; we seek, and we knock. Not much difference really. The idea is one of being desperate for God. Not asking for the sake of getting; not seeking for the sake of getting; not knocking for the sake of God opening the door for a prize in return.

God Himself is the prize.

When we get that prize, the rest pales in comparison. No amount of wealth, no mirage of fame, not the most beautiful appearance could compare to the ultimate prize of God. A newer car and bigger house seem so shallow and meaningless.

Sure, we get the First Place prize of salvaton when God truly enters our life, but the Grand Prize awaits us daily. The door to His study, so to speak, is cracked open and awaits our little knock. He’s waiting for us to knock.

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…seek and you will find… Matthew 7:7

To seek is to search, to overturn things, and to look for. People seek many things: peace, truth, riches, fame, popularity, things, God. Even as Christians we seek things: wisdom, counsel, peace, truth.

What do you seek from God in prayer? That your life will go well and that there will be no problems? Do you question the things that God does or just accept them blindly? Of course we question God, though we don’t easily admit it. We’ve been taught that it’s a weakness to question God. After all, the world does enough of that, right?

But throughout Scripture, God wants his people to seek Him. David sought after God hard. Elijah sought God and found him in the still small voice, and quickly after that questioned God’s very existence. He thought that God had forsaken him (1 Kings 19).

There is more to be gained by seeking and searching and hunting Him down than by having all the answers handed to us on a platter.

Now read Genesis 3:9 and tell me who is actually doing the seeking.

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Keep Asking

Ask and it will be given to you… Matthew 7:7

My friend used to say, “if you don’t ask, the answer’s ‘no.'” He always paused, then said, “and the answer just might be’‘yes.'” In other words, you need to ask before you think that something could never happen.

But Scripture doesn’t stop there. Further in the passage, Jesus states, “For everyone who asks receives…” This has to be one of the most abused Scriptures in the New Testament.

“Claim your mansion!”
“You deserve a BMW because God told you to ask!”
“God wants you rich.”

We call it the “name it and claim it Gospel.” And it is totally unbiblical. So what is this passage teaching us? Pray. Keep asking. Keep knocking on that door. Keep praying for breakthroughs in your life. Keep asking for wisdom and direction and clarity and faithfulness and love. If you keep asking for those things, you will have no need to ask God for the BMW or the mansion.

You will be richer than that.

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Too Perfect

But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. Matthew 12:14

No matter how perfect you are, there will be people who are opposed-even violently opposed-to what you do. Jesus is our example in this. He did nothing wrong. On the contrary. Everything he did was good.

He healed; they got upset. He taught; they got upset. He talked to women of ill repute; they got upset. He confronted their hypocrisy; once again they got upset.

I think that’s what ultimately angered them, confronting their hypocrisy. They couldn’t stand that he was right on target with his message.

So, what does all that have to do with us? Think about this: have you ever tried to do what you absolutely knew was the right thing and were opposed by seemingly good people? What did you do in response? Did you stay the course or did you give in? It’s easy to quit when you’re opposed on all sides. But if it’s the right thing to do and you know God is on your side, then what do we have to fear?

Here’s something someone told me many years ago: never question in the dark what God told you while it was light.

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It is I

He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:48-50

If you’ve grown up in the church, you’ve heard the account of Jesus walking on the water in a hundred different ways. You always thought it would be cool to walk on the water or to see Jesus walk on the water. You probably wish you were Peter when Jesus asked him to come to Him (slightly different account of the story).

The overall lesson to be learned with this story is the most obvious one: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

How would it change our actions if we were to learn and practice those few words? Would we worry about tests or job pressures or kid pressures or money pressures? Would we concern ourselves with what others think about us when we share our faith?

The question that still bothers me, though, is “When the God of the entire Universe is telling me not to worry, why do I still do it?”

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