““So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”” (Luke 11:9–13, NIV84)

These are wonderful promises from Jesus about the certainty that our prayers are answered by our loving heavenly Father.  These are wonderful words of promise that have been often misunderstood and abused by many Christians.  I know of many Christians who use these verses to support the “name it and claim it” approach to prayer.  They say that if you pray in faith for anything, God will grant it to you.  Let’s clarify this right away.  The text does not say “ask, seek and knock for anything you want and God will give it to you.”  It actually says “…Ask and IT will be given to you…”  The question to ask is, what is the IT?  Jesus tells us in verse 13, “…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Jesus is telling us that in our prayers we should be asking, seeking and knocking on the throne of God that He would give to us His Holy Spirit.  By giving us His Holy Spirit, He has given us the greatest gift one could get in this life.  By acquiring the Holy Spirit, we will grow in wisdom and discernment to know what all the rest of our petitions should be.  I am not saying we should not ask the Father for things.  I absolutely think we should, and I do every day.  But I believe that as I have grown closer to the Lord through the power of His Holy Spirit, I have gained a wisdom to know what to ask and a faith that confidently believes that God will grant me those things according to His will.

The one thing we need to take away from this devotion is that God is not tight fisted when it comes to spiritual provision.  We do not have to bribe or convince God to grant us our desires when it comes to spiritual matters.  Like a loving Father, He promises to lavish upon us His Holy Spirit and all the associated blessings that come from being in contact with that Spirit.

Peace!

Pastor Tom

www.firmlyrooted.org

  1. October 5, 2011

    Tom,

    When you say “…that He would give us His Holy Spirit…” I think that I already have the Holy Spirit when I became a Christian. I believe that the Holy Spirit enters us when God gives us faith to believe. The comment makes it sound like we are to ask for more of the Holy Spirit.

  2. October 6, 2011

    Dean,

    You are right in saying that we gain the Holy Spirit when we come to faith. But there is so much more the Holy Spirit can do in our life of faith. We need to continually ask that the Holy Spirit grow His influence in our lives as we seek to be transformed into the Christian God desires us to be. The Holy Spirit also causes us to grow in wisdom and discernment as He access to more and more of our heart.

    Peace!

    Tom

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