Ask, Seek, Knock – Luke 11:9-13

Knock and it will be opened – Luke 11:9-13

Opening Thoughts: Many of you that are following our blog will notice that we have attempted to be faithful to our daily posts but have come up seriously short this past little while. Our desire is to blog daily but good intentions are often interrupted by the most wonderful things in the world “children”.

We have 3 wonderful kids and I can’t imagine life without them, but these little people are many times why we don’t get around to blogging. Their regular bedtime is 7pm and by the time we close the door to their room it’s often 7:30. Then there’s the “Mommy & Daddy, can I have a drink?” questions…. or the “I have to use the bathroom!” requests. Being a parent is super tough, there has to be a limit right? I mean by the 4th request for a drink we know they aren’t thirsty any more but they are trying to stay up. Their request for a drink wasn’t sincere in that they needed it, but rather because they just wanted one. To decipher a need from a want is often difficult for a parent like myself. Can you imagine if we could see our kids hearts and intentions? They ask for a drink and we say “You’re just trying to get us back in the room so you can stay up longer” … If we could see their hearts we would have no issue making the decisions on their requests. We would know if their request was a legitimate need or just an attempt to buy some more waking hours. This brings us into our passage for tonight.

Scripture: Luke 11:5-13 ESV … And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, 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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!”

Nothing to Serve: Have you seen someone stare into a closet full of clothes and say “I have nothing to wear”? Almost seems ridiculous when you think of that statement. I heard a joke one time “Eve was the only woman in the world that said ‘I have nothing to wear’ and meant it”. So if the truth be known it’s not that the person staring into a closet full of clothes has nothing to wear,but rather it’s that they have nothing NEW to wear.

It’s very important to take note in this story that the man calling on his friend at midnight for three loaves of bread had NOTHING to serve his guest. I think it’s safe to assume that when Jesus says that someone has nothing to serve that they aren’t staring into a fridge full of food and thinking “I have nothing to serve”, this is a legit need and a critical time for aid.  In Jesus day, to have nothing to set before your guests was a disgrace.

Have you ever been on a long journey and feeling hungry and tired you pull into your resting destination and all you want to do is eat and go to bed? I have, and boy does the food sure taste good and bed feels even better on days like that. The guest Jesus is talking about was on a journey, likely weary, tired and hungry, he arrives at his friends place and panic breaks out because there is no food in the house whatsoever. He leaves his weary friend and runs to the neighbors at midnight pounding on his door, when he hears nothing he pounds even louder and finally hears a response from his annoyed friend telling him to go away. To go back to his house empty handed especially after leaving his tired and hungry guest alone would be unthinkable, so the immediate need outweighs his annoyed friend’s response and he continues to call for help. 

The Answered Request: When my son asks to watch a movie 10 times in a row and I have already answered no, it doesn’t matter how much he annoys me with his requests, the answer will remain no, because this does not qualify as a need. Luke uses an interesting word, he says “yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.”  The Greek word for “impudence” is anaideia means “lack of sensitivity to what is proper“, in other words it wasn’t a proper thing for this guy to go to his friend at midnight and persist that he get out of bed and lend him some loaves of bread. But when there is a legit need “proper” goes out the window doesn’t it.

Screwed Up Culture: In today’s modern culture the church has been so heavily influenced by the world’s standard of living that we, at large, have our ‘need’ and ‘want’ categories seriously confused. We have preachers who tell us that we should ask God for the best of everything, lay hold of it and claim it! Many of these men preaching this message are raking in serious cash from the pockets of greedy people who desire the luxuries of life. God will not honor that style of request. Many of these men look like they have blessing because their bank accounts are loaded. But in reality they are smooth talkers that sell a twisted form of the gospel.

What is a Need: We need to bear in mind that this passage is still in the same context of the “Lord’s Prayer” where Jesus teaches us to pray for our “Daily Bread”. We have a heavenly Father who is sovereign over all things. He rules the heavens and controls all the earth, there is nothing that surprises Him and not a single thing He cannot do. If you are a child of God He is very aware of your situation and ready and able to provide. Many times the things we ask for are not legit needs and therefore we hear nothing. God is not a genie in a bottle that answers our every whim. He’s an all planning, all loving, Holy Father that provides our needs in times of lack according to His sovereign plan and will. So if you find that God has not answered your need, in a heart of humility, keep asking, seeking and knocking then wait and see.

Giving Us the Holy Spirit: It’s interesting that this passage is ending on “how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him“. It’s a sad state that many people who claim to be followers of Christ desire the luxuries of life over the Holy Spirit in power. God’s ultimate gift is His Holy Spirit given to all His children for the purpose of wisdom, council and boldness. This is the same Spirit that regenerates us and changes us. In the same way the passage says “how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” I wonder “how much more should His children desire the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance over earthly things?” Should that not be our main concern, that we are empowered to be about our Father’s business? That’s what I want, I know that God will provide my physical needs, but even if He doesn’t, “His Grace is Sufficient for Me!”

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 ESV .. So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Preparing The Way
~Shane Martin