This weeks blog post comes from my son-in-law Benj Nichols, he writes…
Recently I have been subbing at Pocosin Innovative Charter. The main thing I do is teach PE with the 6th-8th graders. One thing I love about it is all the different questions I get asked: “where do you live?”, “how old are you?”, and “What other job do you have?” With such diverse questions it always ends up at the Church, no I am not talking about a building, but rather I am talking about God’s people. The kids start asking where do I minister? What do I teach? What fun things do we do? And I Just love it because I can teach them, no matter how small, about Jesus.
This makes me think more and more about childlike faith. Are we asking all the questions that come to our minds? Are we trying to find the answers in the Bible? Are we doing our very best to gain a closer and more personal relationship with God? Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” This verse in sum is three different aspects: “ask, seek, and knock.” Are we doing those things? Even more than that are we doing those things as much as a child would?
ASKING. “Why” is a question phase that all kids seem to go through. Benji isn’t quite there yet but I am hesitantly looking forward to it. Kids are just curious, they want to know every aspect, you explain the why and then they have 5 more. They want to know so much because their brain, their knowledge is expanding, they have a yearning for it. As Christians we hear things all the time, whether it’s through Sunday morning sermons, self-study, or just talking to fellow Christians. We hear things all the time and just accept it, instead of asking “why”. Now I’m not saying to question God, but we should see why God loves us so much, why we ought to respect those in authority, etc.. If we ask why it helps build a relationship because you truly want to know the mind of God. Now we might not be able to find an answer to all the whys, but God will never get tired or annoyed of those who want to grow a relationship with Him by asking “why”.
So why don’t we ask why? Most of the time it’s because of our own fears. We don’t want to ask any dumb questions, for if we do, people might think less of us. We fear that if we ask a question, we might not always get the answer we want. For the answer could cause a change in beliefs, tradition, a way of life and change can often be frightening to people. We might not want to change, so ignorance is bliss right? Not necessarily.
SEEKING. My son is 1 year old, and he is already walking all over the place, and his curiosity is showing. When we walk with him into new places his eyes brighten up and has the biggest grin on his face and he starts to take off to explore to seek the unknown.
It’s okay to ask others why but do we try ourselves first to find the answers? Or to find out more about God? Do we seek Him? We are blessed to be able to have our own copy of the Bible easily available to us whether it is a hard copy or even through a Bible app. We have the opportunity to read the Bible and find out answers to our “why” questions. With such availability God would want us, expect us, to seek the truth about His Word even though it might mean a change.
So, I ask again why don’t we seek? We already talked about the fear of asking, so we won’t talk about fear, but in my opinion, I think we are lazy and don’t want to take the time. Now in general you might not be lazy, you might honestly have a busy schedule: work, kids, spouse, parents. You might get up and lay down once and fall asleep and then get up the next day and do it all over again. That’s not being lazy, however, it’s not putting God as a priority in your life, if you’re not trying to seek Him first. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” If we are seeking first God’s kingdom, we will make time to be with Him and in His word. You can go to God with your family, make it family time. If you do that your kids will see you showing the importance of seeking God, and it will rub off on them if you continue on. So even in your busy schedule seek God, seek answers to your questions.
KNOCKING. Whenever we leave the living room or try to use the bathroom, you better believe little Benji is going to be right behind you calling you back or knocking on the bathroom door until you let him in or you come out. Even if you are in a room for a long time he will just sit on the other side of the door banging on it every now and then just to remind you that he is waiting for your attention. Are we persistent when we wait for God? Are we patient while we ask Him to lead us in the way we ought to go? It’s easy to ask God to lead us or give us an answer but we want an answer right away. We want the doors to be either open or closed shut as soon as we knock, instead of waiting patiently. Think about it, if you go to someone’s house unexpectedly, do you just knock once and if they don’t answer the door right away you just leave? No, of course not! We knock again, we try the doorbell, and if we don’t hear the doorbell go off, we knock again and wait. God has a timing for everything; it just might not be as quick as we want. But the promise still is the door will be open.
So, why don’t we knock or rather keep knocking and waiting? I think sometimes we don’t want to knock at first. We might be afraid of what’s behind door number one. We might not want to walk through some of the doors. Like if God is calling you to be a minister, elder, teacher, etc. we might have this urge that we should do something, but we are comfortable in the room we are right now, so why even bother going to the door? I try to have the mentality of: if I see something is wrong or I know someone should fix something, then I should do it. Because God might be laying it on your heart to do something about it. We all have different skills, different perspectives of things so why don’t we act on it. For example, maybe you know of a church that needs a preacher, or the church you are at needs a deacon, elder, worship minister, youth minister, whatever and you think to yourself someone really needs to fill that role. Examine yourself and ask God “should I fill that role?” For instance, as a preacher or an elder you might see that you don’t quite fit the qualifications, and that’s okay. But how can you help out the church in times of need? Sometimes we just stop knocking all together because the door doesn’t open up fast enough for our liking, so we move down to the next door. Just because one door doesn’t open or a door closes, doesn’t mean God just wants you to give up, He might be saying “just hold on a bit, I’m still training you.” remember it’s all about God’s timing, not ours.
Be like a child and continue to ask, seek, and knock. Be curious in trying to learn more, be persistent and find the answer, be patient and wait for the door to open and see what God has instore for your life.