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. (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV)
Do we ask for things we already have? Do we seek for what we have already found? Do we knock at doors already opened? Of course not! These illustrations are given to encourage our faith, to be bold in our requests of God. Often the doubters sound out the voice of caution – “Don’t be unrealistic!” they chide, when in reality they simply lack faith.
Three conditions, in addition to faith, are assumed in these words from Christ. First, our motive in asking: God opening the door assumes that our hearts are right with Him, that we ask humbly, sincerely, and worshipfully. Secondly, the thing for which we ask: it should be the will of God (1 John 5:14). Third, the timing in the matter we are asking of God: it should be the right time for God to answer and open the door. But if these matters are fulfilled, then we should come to Christ with the utmost confidence in His answer.
Do not despair when a door remains closed. Show the faith to knock at it anyway. If you are convinced in your heart that this is God’s will, then walk up to the thing with the full intention of going in and knock. Ask the Lord with full confidence and immediately begin to plan what you will do when He grants your request. Seek expecting to find and make provision for the thing before you have it in your hands. That is faith.
To illustrate the point, there are automatic doors in our world today, that when we approach the electronic eye detects our presence and opens the door. But if we stand back and say, “That door is closed, there is no use in going toward it,” it will remain closed to us and we will be shut out. God’s will is like this in answer to our prayers. He waits for us to step out in faith and to move forward.
There are things He wants to do in us and through us that requires some doors to be opened, some mountains to be removed, and some hearts to be changed. We may sit back and complain at the lack of opportunities, or we can step forward in faith and knock at the door. Christ is teaching us active faith in this passage, not a passive “if-God-does-it-first-I’ll-believe-it” type of thinking. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, not the observation of things already in our hands.
Are you convinced that God wants a mountain removed? Then march toward the thing as if it is not there. Are you convinced that God wishes to give you some spiritual blessing? Then claim it in Jesus’ name. Are you convinced that God wishes to open a great door of opportunity for His name’s sake? Then knock and expect that it will be done.
You can tell if people truly believe that God will answer by whether or not they are busy preparing for the answer to be given.