“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,” (Matthew 7:7).
Christmas is the season for asking. We make lists . Children sit on the lap of Santa and ask for what they want.
I hate pretense. As a child, I avoided clowns, mascots, the Easter bunny, and Santa. I only remember sitting on Santa’s lap once during a Christmas party at the local fire station. It was awkward.
On the other hand, I sat on my father’s lap frequently – to read books, to watch TV, to say prayer, or just to have a family chat.
I find it ironic that the Lord of heaven and earth invites us to ask, and we hesitate. We don’t think twice about asking each other for things that we need or want. But somehow, when it’s the great I Am who wants us to ask, we clam up, or we offer casual requests from a distance, with constraints like “if it’s your will.” We don’t want to be presumptuous.
The problem is, we don’t understand what it truly means to be presumptuous. Would you like an example? Consider Isaiah 7, when the Lord invited King Ahaz to ask him for any sign. King Ahaz refused, saying, “I will not put the Lord to the test.” And God was mad. God sent his sign anyway. Ahaz was presumptuous – conceited in his idea that he would not trouble the Lord, faithless in his refusal to take God at his word.
It’s arrogant to say no to the Living God. He’s not the boss that frowns upon your vacation request. If the Lord says ask, then we ask, even if it feels unnatural or we’re not good at it. We ask for healing of a broken relationship, for money for our daily bread, for simple joy that has been lost. We ask to find lost keys.
The size of the request does not matter. Don’t save only the big requests for him. Take the little things, too, especially the little things. Asking for the little things shows great faith. It shows that you believe God cares for every part of you, that he’s worth your time. It shows that you refuse to limit his involvement to things you deem too big for you. No request is too small for God, and no request is so small that you can handle it on your own.
And when you ask, do not do so from a distance. Sit on your heavenly Father’s lap. The little children came to Jesus and he took them in his arms. Being a child of God means being intimate. Children are not only good at asking, they are good at being close. My daughter said this morning, “I don’t want to be by you today.” I had just scolded her for back talk. Her response was to withdraw.
Distance is the response of unbelief. It’s an action that shows refusal to ask. Intimacy is the response of faith.