Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Even Saved People Make Dumb Decisions



Matthew 7:7-8 “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 he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.


Aladdin’s Lamp

In the Middle Eastern folk tales called “A Thousand and One Nights” there is a fable about Aladdin and his lamp.  Without going into detail, Aladdin comes into possession of a lamp which when rubbed produces a genie who says he can fulfill three wishes for Aladdin.  Aladdin uses the wishes to get rich and powerful and to defeat an evil sorcerer.  Now the story is fiction with a moral point.  Unfortunately, many people seem to treat the Lord like a genie (magical spirit who takes human form and performs miracles).  They use this verse to believe that they can get anything for which they ask.  The only trouble is that experience proves that they can’t.  This out of context interpretation of the passage is detrimental to our faith.  When we find out that the verse as it is often interpreted does not work, it would be fairly easy to lose confidence in all that we believe about Christ being the eternal Son of God and the Savior of Sinners.


Proper Prayer is Powerful

The Lord did command his followers to pray and He usually tells them to pray in His name.  That simply means that they are to pray for things that He authorizes.   We need to forgive others in order to be praying in full fellowship with the Father and only then can we really be praying in the Lord’s name.  Nearly all of the portions on prayer have conditions associated with the prayer, but not this promise.  So is this promise an open ended prayer where we can treat the Lord like a “Genie in a lamp?” The answer is “no!”


The Key is near the Door

Good preachers that I have heard over the years always said that when interpreting a difficult passage that the key was always near the door.  That was another way of saying, “let the context determine the interpretation.”  In this case the context has to do with a very misunderstood verse about judging.  Most think the passage says we shouldn’t judge when what it really says is that we shouldn’t judge in a way that we would not want to be judged.  The passage says do not judge hypocritically and if you do, it will come back to haunt you.  In addition, we are to get our own lives in order before trying to correct others.


The passage also has a well-known verse about giving that which is holy to dogs and not casting pearls before swine.  Again, in the context, the Lord is saying that we should not go to unbelievers to judge spiritual problems.  Paul clarifies this in 1 Corinthians 6.  Then the Lord gives this admonition that we have quoted above. Quite clearly the Lord is saying that if we don’t know how to judge a problem rightly; if we ask, the Lord will give us the wisdom to do so.  This is clarified by James the Lord’s brother who writes, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).”  So when the Lord says ask, seek and knock he is not trying to make us feel like failures for not being able to do miracles, but He is encouraging us to diligently seek for the wisdom we need in judging or discerning right and wrong when a problem is difficult.  If we seek for that wisdom, the Lord will make sure that we find it.



There are some things for which we don’t need to ask the Lord.  We who are believers in the Lord don’t need to ask for the Holy Spirit since we were sealed by Holy Spirit the moment we believed.  We just need to say thank you.  But wisdom—now that is different.  Even saved people make dumb decisions.  Because of that we do need to ask for wisdom.


This verse is not an Aladdin’s lamp.  The Lord is probably not going to make you miraculously rich (though if you are saved, He has promised to meet your needs.) This verse encourages us to know that the Lord will give us wisdom if we ask Him for it.  Please don’t take this verse to mean that the Lord will spare you if you intentionally jump off a third-story roof.  We were not made to fly.  I guarantee that you will get hurt.  Even the Lord did not do this


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 8, 2015

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