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; NKJV)
One thing we’ve come across many times since beginning our journey to find true Christianity is the idea among many Christians that God is basically a puppet master. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard “God will do it in His own time.” And that line typically comes up in a conversation about someone being converted to Christianity or a Christian giving up an addiction or something along those lines. It is the idea that people can’t change unless God makes them. But is that really how Christianity works? Are we just puppets on a string being forced to do and say whatever God wants, whenever He wants?
To use this argument is to deny free will. It falls under the concept of Calvinism and completely denies man any option to choose to do what he wants. Sadly, many Christians believe this. To the Calvinist, Adam and Eve were the only ones to have total free will and due to their disobedience to God, our free will to choose to follow God has been lost. But if that’s the case, and only God can choose who will and won’t follow Him, then why are there so many non-believers today? The Bible is clear that it is God “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
To me, this just doesn’t add up. If we can’t choose to follow God, and He decides only to elect a chosen few, then we have contradictions between God and His word. To say these things would lead to the belief, at least in my opinion, that God enjoys destruction and pain. We know, however, that God is love, and that He sent His only son to save whoever will believe in Him. So when you think about it that way, to say that God is our puppet master forcing many to condemnation, you are establishing contradictions in the way God works. He has given us free will to make a choice. To choose to follow Him or not, and that leads me back to the passage at hand in Matthew.
Jesus is giving us three actions: to ask, to seek, and to knock. Notice that it is action on our part, not God’s. There is a reaction from God, but in order to gain that, we have to act. This is known as synergy. It is us cooperating with God in order to achieve what God has in store for us. As I said before, too many Christians are just sitting and waiting for God to act in their lives, but, really, God is waiting for us.
God acted when He created us in His own image. God acted when He established a covenant with us through Jesus Christ. God acted by sending us His Spirit to help us in our times of need. And God continues to act today throughout the world, but for us to grow completely and fully in Him, we must act in return.
Remember Christ’s words when He said, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” He then continues, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” To be a true Christian requires a complete denial of oneself and a complete following of Christ. We have to act in order to receive.
So what are we asking, seeking, and knocking for?
We are asking for what we need. The answer may not always be in the form we expect or the way we want, but if we truly ask God in full faith to help us, He will answer. We are asking for help in seeking. Seeking to return to that true image that God created us. To seek out that perfect example that Christ left for us to follow. By seeking, we find. Then we knock. By knocking, we prove our diligence and we continue forth with our actions that have led us up to the point of knocking. And God will act again by opening.
It is at this point we find what we have been looking for. God will be there the whole time working with us. Guiding us to make sure our feet stay on the proper path. He isn’t going to force you to do it. You have to choose to do it. And by doing so, we prove to God that our faith is pure, strong, and earnest, and that we are diligent and willing to give up our lives to follow His will. This is what God is looking for. He doesn’t want “lukewarm” Christians, but Christians that are on fire for Him. Don’t be a puppet that is just lying around waiting for a master to take control, but cut the strings and seek your Master’s calling for your life.