Terry R. Baughman
“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).
Persistence is not always seen as a virtue. A persistent child may weary you with the continual repetition of a request. Regardless of how many times you refuse to grant the plea the child continues to find another way to present the question to produce the desired outcome. Finally, in exasperation you may grant the request only to give you some peace of mind, thus further confirming to the child that persistence pays and if one asks long enough the desire will be granted.
That was the story of the woman in Scripture who sought a legal remedy from an unsympathetic judge. (See Luke 18:1–8.) Though the judge cared little for the opinions of people or the personal problems of the widow, he did care about his own peace of mind. It became apparent that he would get no rest until he heard the case of this woman and provided an answer to her situation. God is not an unrighteous, uncaring judge. He is concerned about our needs and ready to hear our petitions. We can trust Him to hear our cause and judge fairly.
The King James Version of the Bible uses an old English form in some verbs that denote a continuing action. It is the addition of the “eth” in the verb form that denotes this action as seen in this verse, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:8 KJV). So the one who continues to ask, seek and knock will continue to receive, and find, and experience open doors. This is the power of persistence. Jesus instructed us to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking!
A real knock is seldom just a single tap on the door. That type of knock is more like an, “I don’t want to disturb you, but if you hear this tap maybe you’ll come to the door.” A knock that seeks to be heard and desires an answer is often repeated. It is firm and sure. It is a knock that insists on a response. A persistent knock will not be ignored and demands attention.
Jesus again spoke of someone who had a late night guest and was compelled to prepare food for the traveler. However, lacking bread he hurried to a neighbor to seek to borrow some. Being late, everyone was asleep and did not wish to be disturbed. They tried to ignore the knock of their friend at the door. When he did not give up, but continued to knock and call for assistance, finally the man arose and gave him what he sought. (See Luke 11:1–7.)
Later in the chapter Jesus pointed out the comparison of an earthly father with the heavenly, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11–13). We can be assured that God hears us when we pray and it is His pleasure to give us the desires of our hearts. Keep on knocking!
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).