Luke 11:9-13 (CEV)
9 So I tell you to ask and you will receive, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened for you.10 Everyone who asks will receive, everyone who searches will find, and the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. 11 Which one of you fathers would give your hungry child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 12 Which one of you would give your child a scorpion if the child asked for an egg? 13 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks.
Even More Ready
We have friends who absolutely love to surprise their kids with good things.
These friends will make all the arrangements to take their kids away – overnight, for a long weekend, or even for a couple of weeks – but keep it a secret until the kids are in the car after school one day and instead of turning towards home they turn towards the highway.
I have no idea how the parents manage to keep something this exciting from their kids, but they do.
They are so ready to give their kids good things, that if you talk to them about it beforehand you will see their faces light up with delight and their eyes twinkle with merriment.
And Jesus says our Father in heaven is even more ready to give us the good and beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit, if only we ask.
But here’s the thing.
We actually have to be ready to accept this good gift.
Imagine with me that you were one of my friend’s kids. You’re in the back of the van after school when you clue in to the fact that you’re not on your way home – you’re headed instead to Great Wolf Lodge or to Florida or to grandma’s or wherever it might be this time.
And imagine that when you hear the news, instead of getting excited, you pout.
You get angry and demand to be taken home.
You decide you don’t want to go.
You’ve never been before – so it sounds frightening.
Maybe your older siblings try to convince you.
Maybe your mom and dad try to explain that it’s going to be fabulous.
But at some point, if you’re going to enjoy the trip – if you’re going to avoid making everyone else’s trip miserable – you’re going to have to decide to join in. You have to be ready to accept this good gift.
Somehow or other, if we want to participate in the good gifts that the Father has to offer us, we’re going to have to decide the unknown is worth the risk. We’re going to have to look our Father in the eye and see the twinkle – see the delight He takes in us – and decide that if He’s offering us a gift, that it will be just that: a beautiful, life-giving gift, chosen just for us.
And then, apparently, all that is left to do is to simply ask.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to show up in our lives.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to begin to move in us and through us to draw us and those around us closer to our Father who loves us so much and closer to the life He designed us to live.
Ask each day for more and more of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power and peace in our lives.
We don’t have to screw up our eyes and try harder. No begging or manipulation will be needed. We won’t help our case by trying to gather evidence in our favour.
Apparently, we simply have to ask.
- Have you ever longed to surprise someone with something good?
- Have you ever offered someone a surprise and had them turn you down?
- Have you ever been offered a surprise that you weren’t expecting? How did you respond?
- What makes it easier or harder to accept a gift from someone?
- What would make it hard for you to accept a gift from the Father?
- What would make it easier (or possible) for you to accept a gift from the Father?