Want, Ask, Seek, Wait, Find

How do we go about ‘getting’ something we want that’s spiritual and in God’s will? I never thought I’d write a post about ‘steps’ to get something or somewhere or ‘XX’ reasons for… which I generally don’t like, but that’s what this post will end up being.

I believe that Proverbs 2:1-6 is a model for this. Since it’s about knowledge (Col 1:9-10) and wisdom (Prov 9:10, 1 Cor 2:6-7, Eph 1:17) we’ll use that example. We know that God wants us to acquire spiritual knowledge and wisdom and he will give it to us. Although I don’t mean to say that God “helps those who help themselves”, he’s not usually going to give it to us if we don’t want to receive it, don’t ask for it, or don’t care or bother to look for it (Matt 7:7).

If you don’t want something but want to want it, pray for that. (It almost sounds like humorous, or circular thinking, but really.) If it’s difficult to pray for, ask God to give you a spirit of supplication (Zech 12:10).

Proverbs 2:1-6
My son,if you take my words to heart
and treasure my commands within you,

Take what it is that God wants you to do seriously and put a high value on it.

2 if you pay close attention to wisdom,
and let your mind reach for understanding,

We need to look for wisdom and focus on understanding it.

3 if indeed you call out for insight,
if you ask aloud for understanding,

We need to earnestly ask God for it.

4 if you search for wisdom as if it were money
and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure,

We need to both put a very high value on it and search for it as if it were something that’s hard to find, but so worth it if we do. If you had a million dollars hidden in your house somewhere, wouldn’t you tear it up to find it?

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and you will find the knowledge of God.

That’s what we need to do. But this may not come right away. We may need to do these things for weeks, months, years or even decades and wait on the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

6 The Lord gives wisdom.
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

One more thing. This comes from God. We need to strive, but it won’t come because of our striving or our own intellect. We need to seek with humility.

I think this can be a model for obtaining many things that we know are God’s will–as prescribed in Scripture (Psalm 37:4). I have seen this happen again and again the last few years regarding things in my life and persistence in prayer for others. It never stops amazing me. It’s important that we remember that this is for things that we know God’s want us to have, spiritual things, not things that are material which may or may not be his will for us and with good motives (James 4:3). He “lavishly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17b) but not anything we want. Comparing our prayers to Paul’s is very helpful in this regard.


2 Responses to “Want, Ask, Seek, Wait, Find”

  1. 1 Joe

    Good post. I particularly liked the part, “One more thing. This comes from God. We need to strive, but it won’t come because of our striving or our own intellect. We need to seek with humility.”

    In academia, in the field of biblical studies or ancient near eastern studies, there would be (is?) an interesting contrast between the attitudes of the believing academics and nonbelieving academics. The latter group would not necessarily approach their studies with humility and would certainly rely upon their “own strength”. The former group, we hope, would have the attitude that you describe in your blogpost. The result is a much richer understanding of scripture.

    In a way, it’s like the difference between just playing the notes, and actually ‘making music’.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Thank you. Good analogies. I tend to read the scholars who also live their theology, or present it ‘pastorally’, whatever that means. I appreciate the music thing since I used to be a musician and can really understand that one.

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