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And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Luke 11:9

For my whole life, I understood this verse incorrectly. This famous verse speaks not of earthly things. God isn’t someone who gives just because we ask. Most of the time He doesn’t, because our ways are not God’s ways.

Instead, it is for the wealth and durability of heavenly gifts that we must persist in asking. So our lives now are really a pilgrimage of purification.

A key point of the great sin of the golden calf in the desert is Moses’s desperate desire to intercede for the people:

On the morrow Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
~ Exodus 32:30

This is truly a hallmark example that we ought to follow: to persist in prayers, supplications and fasting for our loved ones and enemies, instead of hating them for their sins. This is what it means to persist in asking for heavenly things, instead of asking for things to satisfy our human appetites.


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Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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