What did Jesus mean when he told us to ask, seek, and knock?

Mathew 7:7- “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

When Jesus says ask and it will be given to you, He is referring to prayer. Prayer is how we communicate our needs and desires to God. Of course, God knows what we need whether we ask him or not, but prayer is the means by which God has chosen to bring about those answers.

Jesus is not saying we will always get what we ask for. Asking for something that doesn’t line up with God’s ways or his will, or asking with wrong motives, will hinder answers to prayer. However, the more time we spend in communion with God the more we will know what to ask for according to his will.  

Jesus went on to say seek and you will find. 

What are believers to be seeking? It is God himself: “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8) Seek the Lord and his strength. Seek his presence continually (Psalm 105:4). Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart (Psalm 119:2). God is not hiding from us; God is always pleased when we are passionately and persistently seeking him. 

 As we seek him and as we “delight” ourselves in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). This is because as we seek him wholeheartedly he will place those desires in our heart that line up with his will.

In one of the opening parts of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to “Seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness” (Mathew 6:33). Seeking God’s Kingdom means putting God’s plan first before your own agenda. We seek his righteousness as we seek him daily, knowing we are a work in progress. Our righteousness is perfected over time through our obedience.

Jesus also said, “Knock, and the door will be opened.” If a person needs something that is behind a door the most natural thing to do is knock –and keep on knocking until the door is opened and the desire is met. In the same way, we should pray in faith for God’s provision and be persistent in prayer.

Ask. Seek. Knock. Notice the three different senses. Asking is verbal: Christians are to use their mouths and petition God for our needs and desires. As believers we are to seek God with our minds—this is more than asking, it is setting priorities and focusing our heart. To knock involves physical movement, one in which we step out and take action. Although asking and seeking are important, they would be incomplete without knocking.

The Apostle John wrote Christians are not just to love in words alone but also by our actions: “Dear children let us not merely say we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18) 

 And what follows are God’s promises to us (Mathew 7:8).  Everyone who asks receives, the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.