Life’s Most Important Question . . . “God, What Do YOU Want?”
Teachers love it when students ask questions. Relevant questions are even more invited.
- Students are interested. Students are listening. Students are involved.
- Most Often Asked Questions . . . Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?
- Questions can assist the student in the critical thinking process.
Question AUTHORITY; Young people are expected to question authority
Questions can challenge authority. Genesis 3:1
Questions can help us be honest about ourselves.
“Adam, where are you?” Genesis 3:9-13
“Why?” Attitude in questioning is important / Job – 40 times, no answer
Questions from son to Father:
“Dad, what’s the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool?” “ We can talk about that later, son.”
“Hey, Dad, what’s the difference between a frog and a toad?” . . . you’ll want to ask your teacher at school tomorrow.”
“Dad, what’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” “Well, son, we’ll have to talk about that at another time.”
“OK, Dad.” “I hope you don’t get mad at me for asking so many questions.”
“No, son, I’m not mad at you. How can you learn if you don’t ask questions?” J
Sometimes, we ask questions to which there are no answers. “Why?” Sometimes, God wants us to keep pursuing an answer. He knows the process in pursuing the answer is just as important if not more important than the answer.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that as Christians,
WE NEED TO REMEMBER TO ASK OFTEN: “GOD, WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
Would a person keep asking questions if there never is an answer?
God, what do YOU want . . . me to learn; to say; to do
Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13 – God’s own Son, “Not My will, but Yours be done.”
Before we can relinquish our selfish wills to God’s will, we must be eager and persis-tent to ask God what He wants.
Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? (11) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
All three verbs, Ask, Seek, Knock – imperatives (commands). There are two basic kinds of imperatives in the New Testament.
The aorist imperative – a command to do a particular thing at one specific time,
The present imperative – a command to do something and to keep on doing it.
Ask, Seek, Knock are not only imperatives but they are present tense commands.
Ask, keep on asking, seek, keep on seeking, to knock, keep on knocking.
Each of these terms presents what we desire of God in a different light. We ask for what we wish; we seek for what we cannot find; we knock for that from which we feel ourselves shut out.
ASK the question. KEEP ASKING. Illus – church staff meeting / other churches using successful programs, let’s try that. “What does God want?”
It is presumed that he asks aright—that is, in faith—and with an honest purpose. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (undecided – is this what God wants?). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (Jam 1:5–7). Hence, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).
There is a direct correlation to our understanding of the character of the one we are addressing and how we frame our request. It’s similar to how a child makes a request from his father.
The child with a kind, gentle and firm father, doesn’t fear to ask anything, because he trusts his father’s wisdom and experience. He knows that his father would not give him anything harmful.
The child with an extravagant but uncaring father will arrogantly make demands knowing his every desire will be met.
The child with the stingy, ill-tempered, abusive father will seldom ask for anything, fearing another emotional explosion.
This tends to be true spiritually. We tend to pray in agreement with our view of God. At times, our view of God can be influenced by our view of our earthly father.
One who believes God is arbitrary, will tend to be apprehensive and on guard.
The individual who believes that God is vengeful will be fearful.
The believer who trusts that God is gracious and always has our best interest at heart, will come humbly, but boldly to God.
TRUTH: The more we know God, the more we WILL be asking in union with His will.
The more we understand of the nature and character of God, the more we can TRUST Him to meet our need. Deepening our intimacy with God has valuable eternal benefits – it’s worth realigning our priorities.
SEEK the answer. KEEP SEEKING.
There are some situations where the need is so clear that we know exactly what we are to ask. “Seeking” implies a deeper level of prayer than just asking. Sometimes we may doubt or be uncertain and we need to first seek God’s will before we know what to pray. God has made provision for us even in such times. Romans 8:26-27, “. . . the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27) . . . He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Hebrews 11:6 Presupposes: God exists. God knows and cares about me. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Finding God:
You will find God if you seek with all your heart (Deut. 4:29; Jer. 29:13)
let all the godly pray at a time when You may be found (Ps. 32:6);
those who seek me [Wisdom] will find me (Prov. 8:17)
that men would seek him and find him (Acts 17:27);
GUIDELINES IN SEEKING
Search Scripture. God never directs contrary to principles in His Word.
Seek the advice of godly leaders.
Pray individually and collectively
Church decisions: Wait for God to bring oneness/unity
KNOCK. KEEP KNOCKING. Indicates seeking entrance, or desiring fellowship.
The more I deepen my relationship with God, the easier it will be to pray in partnership with His will.
Promise – We will Find God’s answer. When we know God’s answer, we need to be Determine to DO what God directs.
ASK: Ask, Seek, Knock
WE TEND TO FOCUS ON THE “FINDING.” GOD’S EMPHASIS IS FOR US TO KEEP ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING. “GOD, WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
Little reveals more about our walk with the Lord than our prayer life. How we approach God and what we ask for reveals much about our understanding of God.
There is also within this verse a suggested progression in prayer. The words ask, seek (determination), knock (action) suggest an increasing intensity in prayer