Qualifications To Receive God’s Wisdom
“‘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’” (Matthew 7:7–8).
The promises in these verses are limited only to believers who meet certain qualifications. First, “everyone” refers to those who belong to the Father. Those who are not God’s children can’t come to Him as their Father.
Second, the one who claims this promise must be living in obedience to his Father. “Whatever we ask we receive from Him,” John says, “because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
Third, our motive in asking must be right. “You ask and do not receive,” explains James, “because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). God does not obligate Himself to answer selfish, carnal requests from His children.
Finally, we must be submissive to His will. If we are trying to serve both God and mammon (Matt. 6:24), we can’t claim this promise. “For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:7–8).
Another possible qualification is perseverance, as indicated by the Greek imperatives ask, seek, and knock. The idea is continuance and constancy: “Keep on asking; keep on seeking; and keep on knocking.”
If you meet these qualifications, be sure you’re taking advantage of your access to God.
None of us can entirely attain to these lofty ideals, but God knows when our hearts are tender and sincere before Him, genuinely seeking His glory over our personal gain. In whatever situation you’re most in need of His guidance and provision today, ask in faith while surrendering yourself.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008