Ask, and it shall be given you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
As I have been interceding for Bill and Terry these two weeks, the importance of prayer has again become for me a major interest and calling for another search in God’s Word.
I was led to Jesus’ words instructing us to ask, seek, and knock. His words are not just thrown out to us for a random catch. Every word He spoke ~ every word recorded ~ has infinite meaning. If we want to know the depths of His words, we need to go beneath the surface. If we are to understand the full meaning of His words, we must dig deeper into the whole counsel of the written Word for the heavenly substance contained in them. We must search for the legacy that is ours as His disciples.
Thinking this would be a simple 1-2-3-presentation, I started to search and as usual, discovered more, much more than I anticipated. Again overwhelmed with the treasure of God’s Word, we must break this into three parts: Ask, Seek, and Knock.
As you can tell from the title, His message is to teach us what it means to ASK with the understanding that asking, seeking, and knocking are three forms of the same desire to apprehend and claim what is promised from the Giver of all things.
ASK in the Old Testament
In Hebrew ask ~ shâʼal, shaw-al’ meaning to inquire; by implication, to request; by extension, to demand.
God commands us to ask and He tells us in His Word what we are claim from Him as the Giver. He would not tell us to ask except that He waits to be gracious to us and grant our request. The first references are from the Old Testament.
In Isaiah 45:11 the Lord says “concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
“Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.”
In Jeremiah we remember the Lord’s counsel.
“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16
“They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” Jeremiah 50:5
ASK in the New Testament
In Greek ask ~aitéō, ahee-teh’-o means to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require
There are two specific things we are to ask for:
The Holy Spirit and Wisdom
The Holy Spirit
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to His disciples as perhaps the first and most important thing to ask, for it is the Holy Spirit that gave men the words from God and interprets them for us. He is the Spirit of truth and guides us into all truth (John 16:13). He reveals what we are to ask.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
We ask in faith.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:6
We ask and receive because we keep His commandments.
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
1 John 3:22
We ask according to His will.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14
We know what to ask because we abide in Him and His words abide in us. Here, again, the Holy Spirit works through His Word in us.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
We ask in Jesus’ name.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
The power of the Holy Spirit works in us through our asking and receiving.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Dear heavenly Father, I ask that you speak through your Holy Spirit to those of your children who have not yet learned what to ask or how to ask. Bring us closer to you in faith and knowledge of your gracious bounty that is ours in Christ. Keep us abiding in your Word, filled with the power of your Spirit to live in obedience to your will for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Related Articles: Jesus’ Words are Not Suggestions
How the Holy Spirit Works
In 2014, at the age of 75, I wrote this hymn as a witness of how, over many years, the Lord brought me to Himself. I set it to a tune to be sung as a solo but I plan to use a familiar tune, instead, so that it can be sung in corporate worship. It is a hymn all true Christians should be able to sing.
I share only the text in this post. I will share the musical version when it is available.
A SINNER’S PRAYER
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19
1. LORD, be merciful to me, a sinner.
What have I to bring to you?
I am poor, and lost, and helpless;
Show and teach me what is true.
Hear me calling, gracious Father,
I am deaf and cannot see.
I am hopeless; I am dying.
No one here can answer me.
2. Lord, you said that you would save me
If I trust in you alone.
What is faith; what is believing?
It is your work, not my own.
Hear me crying, dear Lord Jesus;
Hear my pleading; see my tears.
In my sin and in my anguish,
I have struggled through the years.
3. All my trying, all my labor
Are but vanity to you.
I am dust in need of Spirit.
Breathe in me your life anew.
I confess Lord, that I need you.
I repent of all my sin.
By your Spirit, live within me.
Be my strength and be my Friend.
4. Lord, you promised life abundant
When you came and bled and died.
Let me see and hear you clearly —
Jesus Christ, the crucified.
O, I can see you, I can hear you.
You have opened eyes and ears.
You have covered sin and sorrow;
You have banished all my fears.
5. Lord, let this poor, ransomed sinner
Know you, love you, and obey;
With your guidance, daily leading,
Showing me your will and way.
Hear me calling, blessed Redeemer,
In my nights and in my days.
I am helpless, but your grace, Lord,
Will lift these weak lips to praise.
© Fran Rogers 2014
I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.
We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)
The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.
How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.
The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.
It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath. “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).” (The Bible Dictionary)
The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.
They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.
This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.
We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Continuing our thoughts on words, I want your input on this one, and it is not as easy as you may think.
Words form our thoughts. Even images are described by words. Words convey our thoughts in our speech. Our thoughts and words initiate our actions. The words that we live by determine our relationship with God and with others.
Concerning the fact that words are our means of communication, and in them is meaning in how we think, speak and live, what would you consider the ten most important words in the English language? The words we are looking for are those that pertain to our relationships with God and others ~ from a Christian view.
At some time in life, we may come to feel the point of the following video. What are the words we want to hear, that we need to hear and to use often?
If you can’t think of ten, share as many as you wish to ~ even five or less. If only one, we welcome your comment. Take your time ~ we are in no hurry for this.
LOVE may very well be the most popular word and if so, it must be with a proper understanding of the source ~ GOD, Himself.
Thank you for your response.
For many years I have been convicted of what God not only says but what He implies in His own Word, about this day. With the conviction, has come more revelation, more understanding, more commitment, more discipline, and more joy.
In His Word, I see a continual pattern of God’s will, His working, and His way established for His kingdom here on earth. As His children and joint-heirs of His kingdom with Christ, His Son, we not only have the privilege of the written law, but we have the law by His Spirit written on our hearts and in our minds.
He not only reveals through His written Word what He wants us to know about Him and His kingdom but also by His Spirit works it in our hearts and lives.
The Pattern of Rest
The pattern from the beginning of time with His creation is continued through the work of redemption until we are brought to our final destination on what will be an eternal Lord’s Day.
The first was a resting from the Father’s labor; the second, the Son resting from His labor; and the third, a resting for His entire kingdom, as the Holy Spirit works in us, preparing us for that eternal rest in glory.
There is much that I could include in this document, but a lot of it would be what Jesus’ apostles, the early church fathers, the Puritans, the Reformers, and theologians have said. Documented in different Confessions, are the statements of faith concerning the Sabbath. Remember that what I write is all from “a sheep’s view.”
It is part of studying these, especially in the memorization of the Shorter Catechism with Scriptural proofs, that my convictions have been confirmed. Continuing to review these in prayer I seek to know and obey God’s word and glorify Him in this present day.
I share today a scheduled Bible reading from Luke 23:52-56.
“This man (Joseph of Arimathaea) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”
Jesus had finished His work of redemption and His body was laid to rest until the day of His resurrection. It was the day of preparation for the Sabbath. Why was Jesus’ death scheduled for this day?
I have not searched this question, nor do I write here of its significance, except that it was God, the Father’s plan and He established the Lord’s Day in covenant with His Son as the Christian Sabbath, the day in which we would weekly celebrate the risen Lord and Savior.
Those who stayed around after Jesus’ crucifixion was Joseph, one of the counselors, who had not consented to Jesus’ death, and the women who had followed Him from Galilee. The apostles, in fear, had scattered. Joseph asked to take care of Jesus’ body, and the women returned home, and prepared spices and ointments for His burial.
But these would never be used because when they returned after the Sabbath, the law of a seventh-day had been displaced by a new law of life in Christ’s resurrection.
They rested the sabbath day according to the commandment, while Christ was establishing a new covenant for God’s people. He was resting while they were resting, but in a different rest for a different purpose.
Living in Projection of the Eternal Sabbath
Preparation for the Lord’s Day and the practice of it today is in the fulfillment of God’s promises for an eternal sabbath. When we live, projecting from one Lord’s Day to another, we are practicing and preparing for Christ’s glorious return and eternity with Him.
We go through each day of the week, in private worship, and making preparation under this projection, look forward to spending the day in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, as He has appointed in His word.
God had appointed Joseph to ask for and prepare Jesus’ body for burial. We are commanded by Him to observe the day in His honor and in celebration of our new life in Him. We are to worship God through Him and the Holy Spirit in spirit and truth each Lord’s Day.
We take part in the body of Christ, the church, in communion with His risen body, through the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day, remembering His death until He comes again.
Would I have waited to see what or who would have been there for Jesus after His death? How do we now remember His death and resurrection? This is no longer a question for me but in response to His sacrifice for me, mine is a sincere desire and commitment to spend the Lord’s Day with Him, without any division of time for other things.
How do you prepare for the Lord’s Day?
(Let me tell you!)
This is but a synopsis (though not a short post) of what I know of His presence and power in others and my own life. It is worth meditation on God’s Word to confirm our faith in what the Lord is doing in our lives.
(With this post, I will be concluding in the next two weeks the last chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity as our next book to publish, Lord willing. I am still working on Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory.)
Things we will speak of here:
How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?
What is He Doing in Your Life Now?
Why is He in Your Life ~ to what end?
How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?
We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we have chosen Jesus to be our Savior. When we read Jesus’ words, we understand more than what others say about inviting Jesus into our hearts. Follow through with me to find the assurance that He gives.
As I am speaking of the supernatural presence of Jesus in the human body, soul, and spirit, I must say that Jesus did not come into my life by asking Him.
God, our Father revealed Jesus to me by His Holy Spirit through the knowledge of His Word. I knew of Him before I knew Him. In His timing, I understood the meaning of Ezekiel 36:26.
A new heart also will I give you,
and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you a heart of flesh.
There were those of His own people who believed Jesus when they saw His miracles and spoke the good news of the kingdom of God, but they left after He told them more of what the kingdom was. So, we see that they did not believe in Christ ~ they did not believe all that He said. There were things He specifically instructed those who heard His message.
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed.”John 8:31
This quote begins with a condition and ends with an effect. We do not naturally gravitate to His Word in our natural state. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit draw us to His Word according to the will of the Father (John 6:44-45, 65-66; Galations 1:4). The Holy Spirit that inspired the Word interprets the truths of Jesus Christ so as to bring us to repentance and faith in Him (Romans 2:4; Luke 5:32).
Even as He draws, abiding in His Word is the work of His Spirit. We abide as He continues to lead us to read, that we may seek by the power of the Holy Spirit what He wills for us as His disciples.
The Holy Spirit reveals the Living Word (the logos, John 1) Jesus Christ, who was in the beginning: The Word was with God and was God. He was made flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14) and bring us to Him through the sacrifice of Himself ~ through His death, resurrection, and ascension.
Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin~ our rebellion against God; of righteousness~ the righteousness of Christ given to us; and judgment ~ the judgment that is upon the world and for eternity for those who do not believe and follow Him. (John 16:8-11)
Jesus told His disciples He had many things to say to them but that they could not bear them while Jesus was with them.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:12-14
It is the Holy Spirit that does the supernatural work of bringing us by faith into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We did not birth ourselves naturally into this world nor do we birth ourselves spiritually into the kingdom of heaven. Any interest in Jesus Christ and the things of God begin with the new birth (John 3:3-8).
The new birth is not by our free will but by the will of God as we spoke earlier of the new heart and spirit.
“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13
To fully understand everything God wants for us, we must continually read His Word as the Spirit reveals more and more of Jesus, the Living Word that dwells within us.
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you,
and shall be in you.” John 14:17
He has made us in Christ to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:12-13
Though we were alienated from God and enemies, yet now hath he reconciled. Colossians 1:21
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Ephesians 1:7-8
What is He Doing in Your Life Now?
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Jesus’ disciples were sorrowful at the news that He would be returning to the Father and sending His Holy Spirit in His stead (John 16:4-7). They were a privileged few whom Jesus personally lived among and taught ~ those who afterward recorded what He taught and spread the knowledge of Jesus, the Living Word.
The more we know of Jesus, the more we know what He is doing in us.
Continuing (abiding) in His Word convinces us that He is abiding in us, transforming our minds, and conforming us to His image.
“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly.”
I have often thought of the difference in Jesus and Superman. Superman, an imaginary character of a man’s creation, changes from a mild-mannered reporter to a super-hero. He flies down into the dire circumstances, scoops up the person in danger, returns them to their original state, and goes back to his newsroom, undetected. He has no personal relationship with those he saves.
Jesus, however, not only knows our need for salvation but reveals Himself as the Savior. He knows each of us by name. He saves us, lives with us by His Spirit and Word ~ to love, care, and share His kingdom with us forever.
He is preparing us for eternity with Him. As we wait, we grow in grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:12-18).
Continuing through His Word, we read how He enables us to live in the world, separate and sanctified for His use and to be a light to others of His saving grace.
God the Father has given us His Word through His Son.
The following is only part of Jesus’ high-priestly prayer for His people which we do well to know and meditate on what He purposes to do for us and in us.
He speaks of those who have believed that the Father sent Him (vs. 8) for them~ not for the world (vs. 9).
Believers belong to Him and the Father; Jesus is glorified in them (vs. 10).
His joy would be fulfilled in them (vs.13), He gave them the Father’s word and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
We are kept from the evil, sanctified through His Word; His Word is truth(vs.15-17)
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (15)
Jesus sanctified Himself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19
Jesus did not pray for them alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (vs.20).
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (vs. 21).
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (26).
Paul described the work of Jesus on our behalf.
Who gave himself for our sins,
that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father:
To be Filled and Fruitful
Paul spoke to the Philippians of being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11
“Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:” Colossians 1:6
Paul prayed for the Colossian church that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:9-11
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32
To Be Strengthened and Rooted and Grounded in Love
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
To Be Transformed and Conformed to His Image
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32
Why is He in Your Life ~ to What End?
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church ~ His people) with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26-27
To present us holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Colossians 1:22
He is working in us what is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:29-21).
“to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10
“Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
We can never in one chapter of a book present a full answer to the questions we have asked. As we pray and continue in His Word, He will reveal more, bringing us closer to Him, beyond anything we have known (Jeremiah 33:3).
Gracious Father in heaven, we do not deserve the life you have given us in Christ. We thank you and praise you for your Word and for sending your Holy Spirit to draw us to Christ. Fill us with your fullness that we may bear the fruit of righteousness for your kingdom and your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.