God Gives To Those Who Ask
April 11, 2009
Pastor Jason Henrichson
God Gives To Those Who Ask
April 5, 2009
Luke 11:13: “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.” Many sermons have been preached regarding this passage. Most of them focus on how good our Father is to us. It’s an easily related topic. Most people understand the concept of a parent lovingly and unselfishly caring for a child. And everyone can recall what it was like to be a child that is dependant on a parent for care and nourishment. However, very little attention is given to the last portion of this scripture. Our Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Regardless of the differing opinions on when a person actually receives the Holy Spirit, no Christian will argue against the Holy Spirit’s existence and working within us.
I vividly remember the evening that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit many years ago. It was a glorious experience that will always be a cherished memory for me. At that time I understood that I had just received the glorious gift as promised by our Savior but I had very little understanding of the Holy Spirit’s purpose for my life. As far as I knew I had simply reached a milestone in my walk with the Lord. I had joined the ranks of many other Christians before me who had reached the same plateau. I understood it to be a sign of achievement in the kingdom of God. It was a feather in my cap to be seen by others so that they would understand my place in the kingdom of God.
My understanding of Luke 11:13 could have been summed up in this statement: “God loves me and I can prove that He loves me by the fact that I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. A parent gives good things to his child because he loves that child and God has given me the Holy Spirit because He loves me.”
I now know that this understanding was incorrect and was developed through years of bad teaching and ignorance. I now understand that the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to use me as a vessel in which to fulfill the kingdom of God here on earth as Jesus had taught.
Recently I listened to a testimony of a Christian discussing her work with a man who was tormented by evil spirits. No matter how hard everyone tried or how loud they cried out to God the spirits would not leave. The grueling process was taking hours and hours but there was no change. The man was getting frustrated and feeling like he couldn’t be delivered. The people who were trying to help him were getting frustrated with their efforts.
From a distance this woman watched the whole event unfolding in front of her. Finally she quietly asked God to show her what was going on and what needed to be done. Instantly she received a word of knowledge regarding the man’s situation. She immediately expelled everyone from the room and dealt with the man according to the word that she received and the man was delivered.
As I listened to this story I realized that I was not yet finished with Luke 11:13 in my life. Though I had previously thought I was I thought that this verse described a one time event that happened in my life years ago. But as I listened to this story I realized that this woman had also been baptized in the Holy Spirit in the past but yet here she was asking God for the Holy Spirit to work at that moment in time and He answered that prayer.
Everyone could have given up on this man who wanted to be delivered. They could have all walked away shrugging their shoulders because they didn’t understand why he wasn’t delivered. But this one woman understood that we may not know what to do in a situation but God does so we need to ask Him. So she did just that. As stated in James 4:2 “…you do not have, because you do not ask God.” She did have because she did ask.
Luke 11:13 is to be applied whenever we need a gift of the Spirit for the situation at hand. When we do this we will quickly find that God still gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask. It is for the purpose of accomplishing His will in the situation. It is for us now. It is for us today.