Ask, Seek, Knock -- The Answers are Closer Than you Know

" So I say to you: 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. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will you give him a snake instead? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” - Luke 11: 9-13

This piece of scripture comes from the gospel, Luke, when Jesus is teaching on prayer. He teaches them the Lord's Prayer and then begins to tell a parable of a man continuing to ask for bread from a friend. The friend in the end gives the man the bread, but "not because of friendship, yet because of (his) shameless audacity (or perseverance of his good name) he will surely get up and give you as much as you need" - Luke 11:8

Often times we get so caught up in the motions and the ideologies we already know and we forget we have a role to play in how we receive things. Yes, God is good and will give us things freely, but there are also times when He wants us to actually ask before He gives. We are called to co-labor with Him and we are called to be in relationship with Him - so at times this means that we must put in the work to see what God is doing in a certain situation, what He is teaching us in a certain season, and how He is working to answer the cries of our hearts. And I don't mean striving - God does not want us to stress out, psychoanalyze, or beg Him to do good things for us. I just mean that He wants us to demonstrate our trust and faith in Him and to ask, seek, and knock with persistence in the times of waiting.
 
Waiting can be stressful, and honestly plain annoying at times. Trust me, I have had to do a lot of it this past year when it came to physical healing and understanding of what was happening with my health. But through the process of waiting and asking time and time again I began to learn the value of constantly humbling myself to lay my circumstance at the feet of Jesus and ask "one more time" for the thing I so desperately wanted. The crazy thing is, I haven't gotten that full healing quite yet, but I have made miles of progress - I have answers now, I have direction, I have new found energy, and most importantly I have hope that God is not finished in my healing process.

I don't know what your "one more time" situation is, I don't know how long you have been waiting for, and I don't know when or how God is going to answer your prayer, but I do know that God is sovereign and God is good. He is who He says He is, and Jesus tells us explicitly "ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and a door will be opened." So DO NOT GIVE UP! Keep asking, keep searching, and keep knocking. God will show up for you because He cannot turn back on His word: 2 Timothy 2:13 says "for He cannot deny Himself." He will give you as much as you need so long as you persist in His good name.
 
If you are not convinced quite yet, here is how I know this to be true.

"If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” - Luke 11:13

  1. You then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts: We are human and our flesh is of this world, therefore we automatically gravitate towards self-edification. Yet even in our selfishness, we would never purposefully give to someone we care about something that would harm them when they ask for things. When we give gifts, we attempt to get our loved ones the things that would really make their day or things that they have been desperately wanting or needing at that point in time. 
  2. Heavenly Father: While not everyone has an ideal image of an earthly father, God is the perfect depiction of a GOOD Father and surpasses any idea we may have formed of what a father should be, both good and bad. And because He is that good, He will provide that much more for us. So, it is imperative we align our hearts to see Him as this GOOD, LOVING, FATHER as we are praying and asking for things. When we begin to align our hearts with this truth, our perspective on any situation changes. We stop seeing pain and start seeing hope and promise. We stop fearing vulnerability and start trusting the safe places in our lives. We understand that He wants to give us things simply because He loves us. We start realizing who we were always created to be and can begin to claim our identity in God - and when we begin fighting battles with the things that God has declared on our lives we will always be victorious. Remember, we are living FROM victory, not pleading to get to victory, so tap into the ways that God has prepared you to be victorious.
  3. Give the Holy Spirit TO THOSE WHO ASK: How many times have you heard the Holy Spirit is your comforter, your helper, your confidant? If you have been hanging around the church for a little while then I imagine it's safe to bet you have heard this a time or two. These things are SO great! But, we often forget how much more He is to us. One of the most important things we sometimes overlook, is that Holy Spirit is God. Because of this and knowing who God is as Father, we know the Holy Spirit wants to give us things for our benefit. What is even cooler is that with the Holy Spirit inside of us, we now have access to multitudes of new things that He has to give us. We have power and authority in Jesus’ name through the Holy Spirit, and with that we can change things. But again, we have a part in this - He wants us to be in it with Him. We ask and He gives us the Holy Spirit to shift things and to help us understand things. When we ask Him, not only, is He so excited to spend time talking with us, but He is also extremely honored because of the faith we have demonstrated by implying we know He can and will do it for us. Just because we don't see God answering in the way that we expect DOES NOT mean that He isn't answering, so keep asking He may be preparing to release your answers through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you!  

Author | Tori Kramer

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