Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you." - Psalm 16:1-2
In light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, in all that we see of Him in just this one Psalm, in light of the gospel, what is it so many Christians are looking for?
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. - Matthew 7:7-8
The desires of the sinful become lusts. They are selfish, sensual, evil lusts that make the lost sinner their slave.
Those who are in Christ, by being born again desire God and His righteousness, and rise above the lower sinful self of the flesh. Believers in Christ - transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit desire the best things of God. Instead of the futile and fleeting things of a lost world, those in Christ desire purity, peace, joy, humility, beauty, etc...They desire God's righteousness and glory.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. - Philippians 4:8
The world shows the fruit of the wicked contentiously striving to satisfy their lustful desires. But the righteous in Christ seek and express their desires in fervent and persistent prayer. Those in Christ ask and receive the fulfillment of their desires from the very hand of God.
If your prayer life is stagnant, if it is void of a fervent passionate fire - then ask, seek, and knock that your heart may be set ablaze with a passion to know more of God. Pray and go to the Word in prayer.
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. - John 16:24
As a Christian, affected by erroneous teachings so prevalent in much of the contemporary Church - how much of Christ do you lack simply because you have never known to ask, seek and knock? How much more glory to God through a vibrant living sacrifice could you send up to heaven if only you could overcome the limitations of your own heart and mind? Step out of the world. Ask, seek and knock and the Lord will lift you up to heights beyond what you could ever have dreamed of. The burdensome influences and limitations of this world must be cast off!
We must pray and we must ask. Never doubt the radical transforming power of prayer.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. - James 5:17-18
And the people of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry out to the LORD our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines." So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him. As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the LORD thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel. - 1 Samuel 7:8-10
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision. - Daniel 9:20-23
Ask, seek and knock. Pray, pray and continue praying. Ask as a beggar seeking alms, as a child in distress, or as a criminal seeking mercy. When have you heard anyone in the contemporary Church beg the Lord for mercy? If you do not understand your need for mercy, then you do not understand the gospel. And if you do not understand the gospel you do not understand the need for Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is why the contemporary Church is polluted with heresy and why man is worshiped rather than the Holy sovereign God.
Seek as if you have lost the most precious thing imaginable. Seek in prayer and in prayerful meditation of God's word. If you struggle in prayer and your mind is turmoil then go to the Psalms - use them as lessons in how to pray and use them as prayers.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. - Psalm 34:4-7
Knock as one who desires more than anything to enter the house of our heavenly Father. To just ask is not enough. Being blessed and born again by the power of the Holy Spirit we are driven passionately to see the Lord and to knock on the door of heaven for more and more of what only the Lord can bless us with.
Venture through Jesus' ministry in the scriptures and take note of all who sought Him and came to Him. We must not only ask - we must seek, plead and wrestle with God.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. - Matthew 7:8
We are born in iniquity and rebel against God by nature. The world, being in rebellion will fool the unregenerate into believing their sin being manifest as addictions are only disease and their problems are the symptoms. But in truth our addictions are the deadly fruit of sin which we are helpless to ever be truly freed from outside of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" And the apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:10-12, ..."None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
So how does the rebellious sinner overcome their very inborn nature? By being born again as a new creation in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 makes clear the saving miracle of regeneration through Christ, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
The 32 Psalm
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Chad Prigmore is Pastor and President of The Way Ministry Church USA & Kenya.