7 ¶Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matt 7:7-8)
Obviously the main idea of this verse is we can ask of God and He will give. But I found myself asking the question of why Jesus went to the trouble to say this three different ways—ask, seek, and knock. What does each of those words express that the others don’t?
Asking seems to evoke the idea of inquiring on matters we must have answers from God about. If only God knows, then only God can tell. It sounds easy, as though He’s just waiting for our questions. Perhaps without asking the questions we wouldn’t appreciate the answer anywhere near as much.
Seeking makes me think of something that requires a lot more of our effort and participation. The thing sought may be hidden. Or it might require a complex process or journey to get there. When we’re told to seek with a promise we’ll find, that teaches that God can lead us along until we find what we’re looking for.
Knocking makes me think of how sometimes it seems like there are barriers and obstacles we must overcome. Knocking represents our use of agency to show we want to overcome, yet we need the Lord’s help. It also makes me think of wanting to be with someone and see them. We want to return to God’s presence, and He must let us in, so knocking might represent our attempts to draw near to God, to have His Spirit with us. Knocking also makes me think of trying to get into a special group of people, or wanting more knowledge. Maybe it is about wanting to be in the know with the heavenly council, to know what’s going to happen.
What do those words—ask, seek, and knock—make you think of?