Summary: “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” Luke 11:9-10.
Theme: Ask and it shall be given
Text: Gen. 18:20-32; Col. 2:6-15; Luke 11:1-13
Jesus often used parables to teach so that His lessons would not be easily forgotten. In most of the parables depicting God, He normally uses the main character as a God-type. In today’s parable, the unsympathetic friend, bears no resemblance to the loving and compassionate God whom Christ taught us to call Father. Similarly the behaviour of our earthly fathers often bear no resemblance to our heavenly Father and very many people have come to have a wrong picture of God. By contrasting this man’s friend with God is to direct our attention and trust to the goodness of God. If an ungodly person can be prevailed upon to respond to human need, how can we doubt the willingness of God to respond to our needs when Jesus tells us to ‘ask and it shall be given’?
The Scriptures reveal God and His goodness. The Psalmist declares “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever and his faithfulness to all generations”, (Ps. 100:5) and in the words of Jesus “There is only one who is good”. (Matt. 19:17) God is good and invites us to come before the throne of grace in time of need. God is love. “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”. (1John 4:8) “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him”. (1 Jn. 4:16) God is faithful. “The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one”. (2 Thess. 3:3) The Lord is at work in our lives. He is doing what we do not deserve or are even capable of accomplishing on our own. He alone is trustworthy and reliable to fulfill His abundant promises.
The only person we can approach with our requests is a good, loving and faithful God we call Father. Today, however, many people feel they are capable of meeting their own needs and see no need for the goodness and compassion of God. Science and technology seem to have made many indifferent to the goodness of God by making many people believe they are capable of meeting their own needs. The truth however, is that no one is truly self-sufficient and independent. Even those who feel no need for God because they do not have a care in the world will often turn to Him in times of need or danger. No amount of careful planning and management can take care of all our needs. They help reduce our helplessness or vulnerability to expected circumstances, but not in the event of unexpected emergencies such as an unexpected guest. We have all been caught in such an embarrassing situations before or we may even find ourselves in such a situation today. Someone has come to visit at a time when the house is in a mess and all the food had been eaten with nothing left to offer. What Jesus is talking about here is more than just an embarrassing situation; He is talking about the difficult situations we encounter in life. The recent fires in the country have led to destruction and loss of life. This has happened to some people when they least expected it and has affected others who have lost loved ones. The only option left to us is to turn to God. Such crucial times can come when we least expect it and there is nothing we can do to prevent it. When we experience such threatening situations we can always come to God. God is faithful and He is the One who says ‘ask and it shall be given’.
God wants us to know Him. He wants us to know His will so that we can live a life that conforms with His will. This enables us to ask for the right thing in times of need or in times of emergency. We cannot wait for an emergency before finding out His will. This may come too late as life is such that we can be confronted with unexpected demands without prior notice. These unexpected demands could be child delinquency, addiction, criminal behaviour, divorce, a business failure, a crippling accident, a terminal illness or even death. The only one we can go to is God. God has what we need and also wants to meet our need. How can He meet our need when we do not ask Him? There is no point going to ask someone who does not have the means to meet your need. He can only give what he already has. God can meet our need for the Holy Spirit. Jesus says “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13) God does not want us to come to Him and continue to live a life of defeat and discouragement. He gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can live His abundant life.