April 7, 2021·Dan Hicks
“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
We hear it all the time. A little phrase that has made its way into the vocabulary of our culture over the past several years. When the phrase is spoken, it has the power to call forth almost unanimous approval over any action. What is the phrase?
“DON’T JUDGE ME!”
“Judge” has become a dirty word. What a person really means when they say, “don’t judge me” is:
Anywhere you go today, it seems to be a “no judgment zone.”
If you limit the word judge or judgment to the idea of condemning or condemnation, then you’re in the same neighborhood of what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7 in this week’s Pause Bible reading plan. When I suggest limiting the word “judgement” in this context, it’s because there are other passages which define the word differently and with different instructions. But that will be a subject for another time.
The context of Matthew 7:1-6 is one which has to do with condemning or judging another. Here, Jesus warns, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2). This is to be taken literally, and it’s an extremely demanding standard for any of us to try and apply on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but I know about me, more than once (perhaps more than several thousand times), I‘ve struggled with doing exactly what Jesus is telling me not to do, even though my intention might have been otherwise.
What I’ve found is that I don’t need better intentions; what I need is more of God’s power at work in me. That (more power) is what I think Jesus is trying to get me to ask, seek, and knock for in verse 7. I need more of Him and less of me.
I once read a quote from the great preacher of another generation, Charles Spurgeon: “Those who look for Jesus will see Him; those who truly see Him will worship Him; and those who worship Him will consecrate their substance to Him.”
So, I wonder, if with a little adjustment and re-application of Matthew 7:7, there might be an important point to consider as I pursue the Resurrected Lord, whose power lives in and is available to me?
Here is one way I’ll try to cancel my censoring attitude and apply Jesus’ life-giving instruction to my prayer life. Maybe you’ll decide to join me. I hope so.
Pastor Dan Hicks