A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Just kidding. But a funny thing happened. You know how you read stuff in your Bible forever, and then one day *pow! kaboom! ding, ding, ding!*? Well, I had one of those moments.
Matthew 7 and Luke 11 contain those verses that everybody at church knows: ask, seek and knock. In the original Greek it means “ask, and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking…” The point we’ve taken is keep on praying over and over and over about the same thing until God answers. And, you know what? That’s okay. But, I’ve discovered there’s more to it.
In my powder room reading, I’m in 1 Chronicles 14. David has just become king and the Philistines are coming in for the kill. The first time, David says to God, “Shall I go up against them?” God says, “Yeah, let’s do this!” The Philistines decide to attack again after a butt-kickin’. David doesn’t assume anything (I can’t repeat what my mother used to say about assuming things). The second time around, God says, “No.” Why?
‘Cause God has a plan. Different tactics this time. He gives Dave the layout for the attack. And Dave wins. Why do we need to ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking? ‘Cause God has a plan, and while it may be the same situation, the solution will probably be different. God is very creative. Innovative. Can’t put Him in a box, no siree!
How many times have we asked God something, gotten an answer and just took off at ninety miles an hour, assuming we knew what to do? Or, assuming we knew what God meant when He said what He said? Well, Connie, just what does God want from us? Communication. Communion. Fellowship. To not just be the Answer Man. The Promise Keeper. So, God does things in such a way that we have to keep talking with Him – asking questions, looking for more and chewing on what He said.
True story. I was at the airport on my way home from a visit with my godmother Doris who lived in Atlanta at the time. As I walked the passageway to board the plane, I heard: “There will be trouble on the plane, but because you’re on it, I won’t let anything happen.”
My first inclination was to turn around, excuse myself through the stream of boarding passengers and take another flight. I didn’t. I convinced myself I was hearing things. Well, nothing happened. Aha, just hearing things.
I caught my connecting flight from Jersey to Midway and was in the middle of a juicy logic puzzle as we neared Chicago. Suddenly, the Captain comes on and warns of some upcoming turbulence because of a storm. Buckle up.
The plane starts doing the Macarena, big dips, belly flops and wheelies. We’re told we must fly to Michigan to get out of the storm. I looked around at the other passengers. Fear. And calls for another drink.
And then I remembered. Oh. That really was God warning me about the “trouble.” It wasn’t the first flight. It was this one. He didn’t say *this* plane, He said *the* plane. But, He promised safety. I looked out the window. Zero visibility. It would be an hour before we could land.
I’m thousands of feet up, what could I do? I went back to my logic puzzle. I felt strange. I scanned the area around me without looking up. Folks were staring at me. I kept working on my puzzle – and erasing stuff. LOL
Next time, I thought to myself, I’m gonna ask God for more info and not assume I know what He means. So, the new take on asking, seeking and knocking? I’m learning that God is happy to answer our prayers. He’s thrilled to share things with us. It doesn’t take forever. But, He likes conversation.
So, I ask what *He* wants to do about a situation. And then I listen. I keep asking, “What’s the next step?” “What did You mean?” I keep looking (seeking) for evidence of His hand in working out things. I keep saying, “Help me understand,” (knocking). And, each time, He responds. And when I get full of myself and assume I know what comes next or what He means and then go my merry way – it always turns into a hot mess! LOL I’m learning, y’all – I’m learning.