“Ask and it will be given to you. . . .” — Matthew 7:7
I love buying things for my kids. Whether it’s a game, a stuffed animal, or a Lego set, I love seeing the look of joy on their faces. But I don’t buy them everything they want. Sometimes we just don’t have the money in our budget. Other times I know that what they want isn’t good for them. And still other times it just isn’t necessary.
Sometimes this passage in Matthew 7 baffles me. Jesus is telling his followers that whatever they ask for, they will receive. But many of us have asked God for certain things, and we have not received them. What does Jesus mean in this teaching?
Well, we’re mistaken if we think of God as being our own personal genie. It’s not as if God should give us a new car, a grand vacation, a raise at work, or an A on a test simply because we ask for it.
Jesus is teaching about God’s character in relation to us. God loves us more than an earthly father loves his children. And as part of that, God wants us to be in communication with him, asking and seeking. In all of our living, God wants what is best for us. He wants what will bless us and lead us to follow him more closely. As we learn more about God and the full life he wants for us, we ask for things that we know are in line with his will for us. Sometimes we may be mistaken about those things, but no matter what happens, God is there, loving us and providing what we need. God always wants what is best for us. We may question that sometimes, but it’s the truth.