Earlier today I was out shopping with my kids at our local mall. We passed one particular store where my son knows there is an elaborate toy train set that he loves to play with. He asked me if he could play with it before we left the mall and I agreed. A few minutes later he asked again…and again and again and again. The entire time we were in the mall his incessant requisition persisted until finally I stopped procrastinating the inevitable and I said, “Okay let’s go play with the trains.” He was elated. As we were walking towards the store he said, “Dad, I just keep asking because I REALLY want to play with the trains…can I have a drink?”
I know that I am not the only parent who has a persistent child…they all seem to come with this built in quality. But believe it or not, it does not annoy me. In fact I think we could all learn from this…Jesus seemed to think so.
In Matthew chapter 7:7&8 Jesus is teaching about asking, seeking and knocking. But it is important to note that the Greek implies continued action which is why the Amplified Bible translates it: “KEEP ON ASKING and it will be given you; KEEP ON SEEKING and you will find; KEEP ON KNOCKING and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who KEEPS ON ASKING receives; and he who KEEPS ON SEEKING finds; and to him who KEEPS ON KNOCKING, [the door] will be opened.”
Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking. Keep on keeping on. It sounds a lot like my son asking to play with the trains and asking for a drink and asking for…well…everything. Interestingly enough, in the next verse (v.9) Jesus says, “Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will he give him a stone?” Here we see that Jesus uses this type of persistence in the context of exactly what a child would do.
It suddenly occurred to me; children are persistent because they have to be. They are dependant creatures. The younger they are the more needy they are and as such, in order to survive, they must master the skill of persistence. My son asks incessantly because he sees me as his only source. If I don’t give him water, he’ll go thirsty. If I don’t give him food he’ll starve. I am his source of shelter, of clothing, of protection, of recreation, of everything. He is persistent because he must be so to survive and he has every right to be.
In fact the word “ask” found in Matthew 7:7 is the Greek word “aiteō” which means “to make a demand upon something due.” My son comes to me without hesitation or apprehension. He asks with a righteous audacity. He is not discouraged or put off in the least when I don’t immediately meet his request…he simply asks again. Each time he asks he expects to receive just as the time before. It is incredibly simple and trusting…I would say it is a wonderful example of faith.
But the older we become, the less people are willing to give us what we need simply for the asking. We must win our bread and climb the ladder of success. In order to survive, we must lose our dependency and master self-sufficiency. As we become self-reliant we hate to ask for anything. We don’t want to be pushy or presumptuous. If we must ask for something, we do so with timidity and are loathed to ask a second time.
So many people make the mistake of approaching God with this dignified, grown-up demeanor. They make cautious, but eloquent requests; logical and reasonable. If they don’t see an answer right away they assume that it was not God’s will, and they leave it at that.
But the prize goes to the ones who are bold enough to take hold of heaven with reckless confidence. I am not talking about arrogant presumption, but child-like assurance. Leave your incredible intellect, your proud rationale and your deceptive self-assurance at the door. Come to terms with your utter and total dependency upon your Father. Understand that your sonship is the only grounds upon which you can approach God in the first place. As a son it is your righteous privilege to ask and God’s divine pleasure to answer. Therefore, ask with audacity, with confidence and with persistence. Keep asking like a child asks a father for bread. Keep knocking like the widow with the unjust judge. Keep seeking as for a pearl of great price. Push through resistance like the woman with the issue of blood. Lean into the Word like a man walking against the wind. Clamp down on his promises like a pit-bull with a T-bone…place a demand on what’s yours. Give Him no rest day or night until His answer breaks through like a pent-up flood and makes your desert to blossom like a rose. If the answer doesn’t come immediately, don’t be discouraged or frustrated…with expectancy and trust just lift your eyes to the hills, and ask, ask again. Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking. Keep on keeping on until you receive…and you will in Jesus name!
James 5:16 ~ The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Jeremiah. 29:13 ~ And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Matthew 11:12 ~ …the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
~ By Daniel Kolenda