We’re on a roll again, it seems. Over the last few days, we have been looking at famous phrases that the world abuses. We started of looking at ‘Doing to others as you would have done to you’. Then we uncovered Jesus’ thoughts on ‘No pain, no gain’. And yesterday, we saw why we should be glad that ‘We reap what we sow’.

Today, we will look at yet another one, ‘Ask and you will receive’.

“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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

Beautiful, isn’t it? What we ask, we get. And if you think this is beautiful, wait till you see the verse in context.

“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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

We ask and we get because our Father loves us; even more than we can ever love ourselves. Now, that’s some love, isn’t it?

And we saw in our look at ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you’, that this is God’s way of putting His money where His mouth is, for this is how God treats you, since He was the one to tell you to treat others well first.

So open to us is God’s very own 7-11; His treasure trove, His storehouse. And all we need to do to get in on a piece of that ‘action’ is – ask.

But doesn’t that make us spoilt little children? No sense of ownership. No sense of responsibility. No notion of carrying your own weight. Just take advantage of God and ask, for He did promise that you will receive when you ask, didn’t He. Isn’t it very irresponsible of me to preach like that?

Well, let me ask you a question. If you had resource enough to supply your children’s needs for many lifetimes, and you yourself will enjoy indefinite health and well-being; will you want your children to ‘learn responsibility’? Why bother? What’s the need to? You only want your children to learn how to be responsible so that they can be independent after you have passed on. But if you needn’t worry about that, then what’s stopping you from giving your children all that they need for as long as they want?

And that’s the point we must always bear in mind. Our heavenly Father is God. He is the ageless creator of all you survey, and even that which you can’t see. From Him comes all things and to Him is all things. You don’t get any richer, more powerful or immortal than that.

So then, “If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!” Matthew 7:11 [AMP]

Then there’s the other thing that we are worried about. What do I need to do to make God give me what I need and want? What qualifies me for His love?

Well, if this is your question, you are not the first to ask.

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

Do you believe? If you do, then there’s nothing more. Well, just one thing – ask.

You know, the ability to speak is a gift. And the Bible tells us that speech was given to man to do two things; praise God, and ask from God. God gave us this beautiful gift and that is why we should never underestimate the power of our speech.

Now, before you go off thinking that I have something against those who have not the ability to vocalize their words, let me clarify. You have heard it say that the eyes speak louder than words. A mere look can move mountains. So when I say speech, I am not restricting it to the vocal. Our bodies speak too, and our spirits can ask as well.

And throughout the Bible there have been many instances of people asking. In fact, one of the most famous examples of common folk asking is Jabez.

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

Look, this man was no saint. He wasn’t even a ‘big shot’ as far as big shots go in the Bible. He was just an ordinary man, no notable works, no distinctive lineage. And yet, when he asked, he received, all in one verse. Not only that, the Bible tells us that

“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers” 1 Chronicles 4:9

Because he asked.

And Jabez’s request was not small, was it? Neither was it selfless and altruistic. It was a selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed prayer; demanding the world, as he saw it. And God granted it, because that’s how God likes it. He likes us to ask big.

But you know what, beloved? If Jabez’s example is anything to go by, being able to ask is really no big thing. In fact, it’s for babies. For to Jabez, an ordinary Joe, God’s response was to give when asked. But for the great men of the Bible, they don’t even get to ask. Check out God’s response to Moses at the Red Sea.

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:15

From His response, you would think that Moses was complaining to God, wouldn’t you? But this was actually what Moses said.

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”” Exodus 14:13-14

Moses was asking of God, trusting God, and depending on God to deliver them. But it was almost ask if God was saying, ‘What are you looking at me for, Moses? I’ve given you the power, go do something with it’, wasn’t it?

Now, I leave it up to you whether you think that being given the power to do is a step up from having it done for you. But as for me, I’d rather be like Jabez.

But please don’t go away looking to test God right now. Don’t utter some silly prayer for which you have no intention of receiving and dare God to answer. Remember what Jesus told Satan when Satan tried to tempt Him?

“Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God.” Matthew 4:7 [AMPC]

Look, Jesus reminds us that

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:31-32

Your Father knows what’s good for you and He’s not about to give you something bad, just because you asked for it. Remember,

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.” 1 Peter 1:17 [MSG]

Yes, some prayers are not answered; the ones that ask for things that are bad for you.

But beloved child of God, the fundamental thing remains. God wants you to ask. He invites you to ask. And not just ask, but

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 [AMP]

So keep on bugging Him for the things that you want. For indeed, it is your heart’s desire that He desires for you.

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