Matthew 7:7-8 “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.…

Living near San Francisco, I often see the homeless sitting on the corner, cardboard sign and cup in hand, asking for money. I always feel deep empathy for these souls. But I also feel a jolt. A wake up call. Am I panhandling God?

Matthew 7:7-8, instructs us on how to go about our relationship with God. We are meant to do more than simply ask for what we need. If we only asked, we would, in essence, only be beggars. We must be more than that. We must get into action.

Matthew gave us the progression we are to follow. Ask. Seek. Knock.

It is easy to ask. Asking shows that we know we need God to help us. We are dependent on Him for our needs. Seeking means we take action, and we search for His word, His guidance.  We don’t just sit back and wait for him to toss a coin or two into our cups. (I think of the leper who sought Jesus out, after he was healed, and the blessing he received due to his efforts.) We get on our feet and we make the effort to seek Him out. We also knock on doors that may appear closed or locked. We make the effort, knowing that they will indeed bear fruit.

Matthew wrote that everyone who asks will receive, and he who seeks will find. He who knocks, it will be opened. (Our prayers may not be answered in the way we want them to be, or ask them to be, but they will be answered in the way God knows is best for us.)

When you are suffering, it is all too easy to only ask. You may not feel we have the energy or the desire to do more than that. But if you can make even a small attempt to take action and to seek and to knock, you will be greatly rewarded. However, if all you can do for now is ask, so be it.

When I was at my worst in my recovery, sometimes all I could do was beg of God with one word, “Father.” I knew God understood what was in my very heavy heart. When I was more recovered, I was able to seek. I was able to knock. I was able to do more than beg God for help. I became an active, willing participant in my relationship with God, and that has made all the difference.

What might your seeking and your knocking look like in your life?