So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?
If we take this passage at face value, we run the risk of having a very shallow, transaction-based faith in God. Ask and it will be given? Seek and we shall find? Knock and the door will be opened? Sweet! This sounds like I can get whatever I want if only I let God know what that is.
So why am I not an independently wealthy philanthropist writing this from the deck of my yacht? Perhaps I haven't asked God nicely enough, searched long enough, or knocked hard enough on the door. Or, perhaps, that's not quite what Jesus was getting at.
I used to go to church camp every summer and perhaps my favorite part was singing songs around the campfire. As soon as I read this passage a song from those days started running through my head. The song is called "Seek Ye First" and you can listen to it on YouTube here if you are unfamiliar with it. The lyrics go like this: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you, Alleluia. Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you, Alleluia.
The Kingdom of God. This is the good that God will give us when we ask, when we seek, when we knock. Not the kingdom that we might like in our wildest dreams - where we never have to worry about money, get everything we ever wanted, and our every wish is fulfilled. No, the Kingdom of God - where the first shall be last, the last shall be first, where blessed are those who mourn and those who are persecuted. In the kingdom of God things are turned upside down and inside out and blessings our poured out on everyone in jubilee.
The kingdom of God might not bring us everything we ever wanted, but it will bring us everything we ever need. Let us ask, seek, and knock on God's door today, till God's kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven.
God, I'm knocking, seeking, and asking. Help me to have the right desire in my heart when I do. Let me pray as Jesus taught me to pray, that your will be done, not mine, that your kingdom will come on this earth. Amen.