Week 2: Lessons From the Pharisees
Day 2 – Asking God: Matthew 7:7-12
Life has taught me that perspective affects everything. One day, several years ago, I was sitting in my bed in Russia having a pity party. I had been sick for a couple of days and was tired of being in bed. My ministry team had gone out to our school and I had to stay home. It was a yucky, gray, snowy-drippy day and I was ready for spring.
Fortunately, God didn’t let me sit there and pout for long. My bed was situated directly under the window and those wonderfully wide windowsills made great bookshelves. I leaned forward on my bed to get something from the end of the windowsill and – suddenly –it was a sunny day! I leaned back. It was gloomy again. Forward. Sunny. Back. Gloomy. I realized that in all actuality it was a beautiful day, but from the head of my bed the ONLY big gray cloud in the sky filled the window. And that dripping? It was the snow MELTING! It was all a matter of perspective.
I’m going to try to keep this short because it really isn’t a fatherless-focused passage in any way, but it is a good Perspective Checkpoint with which to follow up the last two blogs.
In ministry we are faced with constant need. Spiritual need. Emotional need. Financial need. Material need. Physical need… It can be overwhelming. In fact, to be brutally honest, there have been times when I wanted to sneak out of town and go hide in the mountains… permanently! I praise the Lord for His grace!
The passages we covered on almsgiving are in very close proximity to this very important Perspective Checkpoint: Matthew 7:7-12
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
How important to keep before our eyes the way God responds to our requests! “Ask, and it shall be given you.” Sadly, that is not always my attitude towards others. In fact, having the correct response to certain types of requests is a huge struggle for me. But Jesus said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” We are to treat others as we would want to be treated and we are to base our responses on God’s treatment of us.
Now, is this passage saying that if we want a Lamborghini and we ask for it, somehow it will magically appear in our driveway? Not exactly. God gives a little more clarification in other passages of Scripture. For example, in 1 John 3:22 the Bible says, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandment, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” And in 1 John 5:14, 15 it says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him.”
God desires that we be living a life that is pleasing to Him and be asking for things that are according to His will. He takes great delight in providing those things, as well as, in the fellowship that comes from walking in His ways rather than our own.
So, when you are tempted to become overwhelmed by the continual pressures of the needs around you, remember how God responds to our needs. Can there be any heavier weight than the sins of the whole world? And yet He took it upon Him.
May we live, give and love as Christ has done for us.
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Also Check out Rachel Miller’s Book: The King’s Daughter: A Story of Redemption