“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

What Is Jesus REALLY Promising?

Sunday Scripture

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8

Have you ever heard this verse used like a blank check? I’ll confess, when I hear scripture misused and mishandled, it makes me cautious, so I spent some time digging: What is Jesus really promising us here?

First, this promise is addressed to believers. As part of the Sermon on the Mount, these are words for the ears of Jesus’s disciples and those who are part of his upside down kingdom. Pharisees and others were always referred to in the third person, so the “everyone” of verse 8 is “everyone in the Kingdom of God.”

Second, we need to be careful to allow scripture to interpret scripture, and both James and John have been helpful in shedding light on this promise:

  • “And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:22)
    Ask before you ask: Am I living in obedience to God?
  • “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3)
    Ask before you ask: What are my motives in asking?
  • “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
    Ask before you ask: Am I submissive to God’s will? Is my life characterized by faith?

Keep on Asking

The verbs form used for “ask, seek, and knock” in the Greek imply ongoing action.

The invitation goes out to us: Keep on asking! Keep on seeking! Keep on knocking! God will not tire of your voice in his holy ear.

Too, there’s a building intensity in those verbs. Even my St. Bernard knows that I can ignore an “ask” or may even miss the point when he seeks me out, but when he “knocks” by placing a huge paw in my lap, he has my attention!

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

God Wants You to Ask

Let’s guard against the insidious slide into presumption in our prayers, but…

Let’s never forget that the invitation is there and it is valid. Prayer to our Heavenly Father should be as natural as breathing. Do you ever forget to go to him first–before employing all your self-salvation strategies? I sure do, but today, I’m remembering a poem by John Newton that dilutes all my callous caution in reading Matthew 7:7-8:

Thou art coming to a King.
Large petitions with thee bring,
For his grace and power are such
None could ever ask too much.”

So make sure you are qualified, make sure you’re asking in faith–and then ASK BIG!

Under the mercy,

Michele Morin

On the Third Thursday of every month, I send biblical encouragement and newsy insights to newsletter subscribers. It’s not too late for you to grab October’s installment where I’m sharing snatches of Elisabeth Elliot’s wisdom I have paired with scenes of autumn beauty from here on my country hill. It’s a series of free images you can download and do with what you please. Click here to subscribe and be sure to spread the word if you know someone who would enjoy the free gift.

And as always, you can also subscribe to Living Our Days blog to get regular content delivered to your inbox twice a week. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

What I’m Reading Now

Just Finished

What’s Next?

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

35 thoughts on “What Is Jesus REALLY Promising?”

  1. There’s been an asking in my family for my daughter’s family for over a year or two with disappointment and heartache. For that prayer, the time has come that there will now be no need for the prayer and the answer we wished. However, I know that eventually, the reason for the answer not received as we wished will be revealed.

    So true on the missuse of the scriptures sometimes, and in generalized ways. Thank you for clarification on this one. Have a great week.

    Like

  2. I remember a worship service where the pastor spoke on this subject. He said that Jesus will give us what we ask for if we come to him with a true heart. But, that we needed to be careful about what we ask because it may not be what we really need.

    Like

  3. I love the clarity that the context of this verse adds. Most often we find that our misconceptions of the Bible is in using a verse in isolation from its context.

    Like

  4. “God will not tire of your voice in His holy ear.”
    Love that image of your St. Bernard putting his big paw in your lap to get your attention.
    Maybe we could think of ourselves putting our head in our Father’s lap with our pleas and petitions.

    Like

  5. Thank you for bringing these verses on prayer together. It’s so important that we not take verses out of context or in isolation from what the rest of Scripture teaches. I love that poem from Newton.

    Like

  6. Bravo! I love how you unpacked this and said “allow scripture to interpret scripture.” It’s about seeking the whole counsel of God from Genesis to Revelation. Not pulling out a passage and twisting it to say what we hope it says.

    Like

    1. As writers and handlers of Scripture, we have a duty to test every word we say against the whole of God’s revelation. I’m thankful for the work of others and for the Spirit’s discernment to help me stay on point.

      Like

  7. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These are great insights, Michele! It’s always good to look at how different parts of the Bible tie together instead of looking at one verse in isolation, and I love the reminder to pray big!

    Like

  9. Thank you for this reminder to keep asking, keep seeking Him, and that God wants us to ask. Reminders to keep praying and to pray big are very much needed. Michele, thank you for this!

    Like

  10. I love how you broke this down step by step, Michele. God’s not a vending machine, but He does delight in hearing our prayers—and granting our hearts‘ desires when they are in accordance with His will.

    Like

  11. Thank you, Michele! Your reminder to pray big is coming at just the right time. And I appreciate you taking the time to clarify what Jesus is promising here.

    Like

  12. Another important lesson and reminder. ” be careful to allow scripture to interpret scripture” How true that is and I need to always keep that in mind as I read and consider. I appreciate you sharing on our link up and we will feature this post in the next Blogger’s Pit Stop. We do this in faith that God’s word will accomplish what He intends it to.
    Kathleen

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.