Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Give, Find, Open

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 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).

The message is clear, isn't it? Ask, ask and ask again. Seek, seek and seek until you find. Knock, knock and knock until the door opens.

Some of the greatest testimonies I have heard regarding persistence in this respect is of those who have prayed and prayed for a friend or loved one to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Yet for years they see nothing, no response, maybe even some hostility towards the gospel. However, in their final days while lying on their beds with that prayer warrior by their side, a request is made to know Jesus as that praying loved one does, and all the asking, all the enduring, all the persistence pays off.

Ask, and it will be given to you!

A few years ago, while living in Regina SK, I lost my wallet. Laurie and I searched high and low, day after day. All the while praying that God - who can see all things and knows where I put it down, where it is and if it could be found - would show us where it was. Every place we looked, every room we went into I felt that still small voice (1 Kings 19:12) telling me to look in the kitchen. As I did, countless times to no avail, I felt like there was no hope. But God knew, and even though we gave up, called the banks and credit card companies to cancel the cards, God still wanted to show us where it was.

The day after cancelling the cards, I woke in the morning to make coffee. In our kitchen we had a walmart white hutch that we used for our coffee maker and mugs. I opened the glass cabinet door to get a mug down and there just out of sight for one looking in without opening the door, was my wallet (in the kitchen!).

Seek, and you will find!

As for the door, just because you feel God calling you to a certain place, job or people group but all appears to be stacked against you and your endeavours, keep knocking! I heard it once preached that God presents us with doors, and that if one is closed its because its supposed to be, and if it is open we shouldn't worry about praying before entering it, but to just boldly enter in. I differ, just look at this verse, knock and it will be opened. If I just walked away from a closed door, I would not be in Brandon MB doing a church plant, my wife would have given up on the idea that she could nurse here in Brandon (BRHA said they weren't hiring any out of province nurses...ha) and I would just give up trying to get into some of the ministry areas that I am having a harder time getting into (yet those areas are intrinsic areas to the ministry type God has created me for). No, I say as Jesus said, knock, and knock again. Just because no-one seems to be answering doesn't mean they aren't on the other side ready to open the door for you, maybe God wants to see how dedicated you are, how persistent you are. He didn't make us to be push-overs did he?

Look at this parable: 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

See, if we can say that an ungodly man can show mercy and answer the request of someone who is just annoying him, wouldn't we say that much better of God, who hears us and wants to answer us? Don't we also believe that our faith, at any time, can be tested? So knock, knock, and knock some more. If you know what God has called you too and it lines up with His character as displayed in the Bible, why give up - especially when it could be Him testing your faith.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11)

The Father wants to bless you and have you be a blessing for others. He wants to give you good gifts.

He has called us right from the covenant made with Abraham to be blessed and be a blessing, so as the golden rule tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, let us not just receive the good God wants to give us, but be used by God to give unto others. Be at the right places at the right times and with the right gifts for those who don't yet know Him as we do.

Ask, Seek and Knock

Give, Find and Open