Today's scripture focus passage: Luke 11:11-13
Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”Jesus has just finished teaching the disciples how to pray. After the example of prayer He's given them, He emphasizes the importance of petitioning God, making our requests to Him. He reassures His disciples, "who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened."
God WANTS us to ask for things.
But so often we mistake this to mean things we think will make our lives easier, more comfortable, more enjoyable. Then we get upset with God or even go so far as to abandon our faith because God isn't coming through for us.
God promises us good things. We're reminded here that even the worst of the worst know how to give good gifts to their kids and would never knowingly give something that wouldn't satisfy their child's longings. Knowing God is perfect in every possible way, knowing He's the Creator of the universe, the King of Kings, we KNOW gifts from Him are beyond measure.
But He specifically tells us here what we really need to ask Him for is to be filled with His Holy Spirit.
I will confess, I have never caught that phrase in reading this passage before. In fact, I had this post finished until I was looking for a graphic to put at the end and saw this one:
...and had to rewrite almost the whole thing. Because I thought, what translation is that?? It doesn't say anything about asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit! And then I read ~ REALLY read ~ the passage as I'd copied and pasted above and realized I'd been missing the point all these years.
I, like I believe so many do, fall into the trap of expecting temporal things that we can measure with time, health, money, comfort, and relationships when we're asking, seeking, and knocking, instead of measuring them with eternity and what's really important before we get there. God wants our deepest desire to be Him and when we ask Him for that, He will ALWAYS give us what we ask.
Jesus tells us what request needs to matter most to us: having the Holy Spirit. To be so filled that we overflow.
We fill our lives with SO many things of our own doing. Are we continually asking and letting God fill us with Himself? Are we filled to overflowing? Are we so saturated that when trouble comes and we are squeezed by life, He's what comes out?
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year reading: Galatians 5; Psalm 146; Job 23-24
Tomorrow's scripture focus passage: Luke 11:14-23