We tend to think of God in very human terms. It makes sense because outside of God’s Word that’s all we have to go by. This is why the Bible is not optional. We need Scripture to get the right perspective on ourselves and on God.
From this passage we can see that when it comes to His love for us, we need to think of God’s love in the most extreme superlatives we can muster. Jesus gives us a blank check: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, ESV). God is giving and exceedingly generous when it comes to His children. He is not bothered by us when we come to Him with a need and He is not miserly in His giving. He is superlative in it: “Everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (v. 8).
To help us grasp the concept, the Lord puts this in human terms – but only for the sake of comparison:
(9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
(10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Most parents love their children enough to at least meet their children’s needs and to meet those needs in a loving and responsible way. Jesus acknowledges this but also reminds us that our giving ability is tainted in a way that God’s is not. In verse 11, He reminds us that we by nature are evil and even our best giving is hindered by that. Of course, we know enough to give good gifts to our children, but our giving can be tainted with resentment. Our giving can be obligatory. Our giving can be grudging or selfishly motivated (to win our children’s affections or to get them to stop whining). God’s giving has no such restraints and by comparison far exceeds any giving we can do. Can parents be sacrificial in the way God can be? Of course. We see it all the time, but that kind of sacrificial giving is evidence of our Creator and that we are made in His image, not because of any intrinsic good in us. The good that man accomplishes are vestiges of the good that God created in us before man fell. But now it is all tainted and hindered by our sin. The giving of my God is infused from its very core with God’s holiness.
God’s holiness is what tempers all His giving. When He gives, it is not only good, it is also good for me. Yes, I can ask Him anything, but His giving is always balanced with His holiness. My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (See Philippians 4:19.)
A child might come to his mother and say: “I’m thirsty” and expect some kind of sugar-laced soft drink only to get a glass of cold water in response. I might come to God with a request that I see as a real need, only to have God reply with something wholly unexpected. He might even tell me “No.” Why would God do that? Because as a child of God, I don’t always know what is best. That’s why I need my heavenly Father to give me what I need. What He gives in response to my needs (real or perceived) will often expose the real need. Remember those conversations with Mom when all she gave you was a glass of water? “No, Mom! I want _______.” To which Mom would say: “Then you’re not really thirsty.” But then do you remember when you really were thirsty, and how good a glass of water tasted? How much more will your Father Who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11b)
On a personal note:
Our current circumstances necessitated our move to Zionville, NC. I now need work and my wife is more confident that God will supply my need than I am. It’s one thing to know the truth and another to live by it with confidence, I’m afraid. Please pray that God will supply my need of a job according to His will.
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