Monday, June 26, 2017

A sure "yes"

Ask and it shall be given unto you.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door will be opened.

The words Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:7 are so familiar to me that I know them by heart. I can rattle off the passage without skipping a beat but when it comes to living the passage...well, that's another story.

Asking, seeking and knocking should be easy, shouldn't they? When I was a toddler I effortlessly mastered the art of all three. I could ask (read: demand) with the best of them. I willingly asked for anything I needed and everything I wanted. When it came to seeking I did so with eager determination. In my tender toddler years I never had trouble knocking and wasn't the least bit shy when producing repeated rhythmic beats against a wooden door.
Now that I'm older I've lost my boldness in asking and when it comes to seeking God, I am reluctant. Even when I do make it to God's Heavenly door I am hesitant to knock.
God's accessibility is not the barrier standing in the way of my asking, seeking or knocking. I know my Father is patiently awaiting my arrival, prepared to meet me at the door and give hear to my requests. What is keeping me from His door is fear of what might happen after I ask, seek and knock. More specifically, it is what might not happen that has silenced my asking, stopped my seeking and halted my knocking.
I hesitate to ask because I fear that God's answer might not be what I want to hear. My grown-up asks are big, unlike my childish toddler requests. The requests I have now are life transforming... To have full health... To be united with a man of God in marriage... To be a witness for Christ... To have internal damage from disease restored to perfection... requests so significant I've been paralyzed to bring them before God out of fear that He might not answer with a "yes." So to shield myself from the risk of disappointment I haven't asked for healing. To protect my heart against sadness I haven't knocked on the door and asked for companionship or love. 

But in Christ, what do I have to fear? Why should I be afraid to voice my requests to my all-loving and all-knowing God? What is there to fear in the perfect plan and will of God? Doesn't He know when "no" is best and "later" is better? Isn't asking God the surest way to get the right answer? Isn't seeking more of God the only treasure worth pursuing? Isn't knocking an act of belief and faith?
In suspending my asking I thought I was protecting my heart from disappointment when in reality it only alienated me from God. Purposefully refraining from actively seeking God separated me from the peace and fulfillment that is only found in His presence. Pulling my hand away from His door, refusing to knock, has kept my face out of the light and truth of life.

As well as I've known Matthew 7:7 in my head, I am just now knowing it in my heart. Matthew 7:7 isn't about approaching God like Santa Clause, hoping I make it on the nice list. Asking God isn't like going before a genie in a bottle and choosing carefully one magnificent request. Seeking God is certainly not about finding what I think I want.
Asking, seeking and knocking are all about nearness to God. Plain and simple. Pursuing God is never about the blessings I receive or the fulfillment of my worldly desires. Living in Matthew 7:7 faith is about relentlessly pursuing the presence and person of God.

Now that I am older, and hopefully wiser, I know that there is no need to fear God's response to my every request because His answer is not what I am truly seeking. With a heart united with Christ's, my ask will always be simply for more of God... and His answer will always be "yes." 

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