From Pauses for Pentecost
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!
Asking is at the heart of our interaction with God. There is a good reason for this. Although God really wants to give good gifts to us, God will never force them on us. I am sure you have noticed from your own experience that God is seldom pushy. God always respects our freedom and waits for us to ask. Nothing is automatic about the way our relationship with God operates. Not surprisingly, throughout the gospels, Jesus often speaks about the importance of asking. For example, the Lord’s Prayer is made up of requests that Jesus invites us to make our own. (See Matthew 6:9-13.)
Today’s verse invites us to ask the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, by now we have seen how important it is for us to be filled with God’s Spirit if we want to live faithfully as Easter people. We cannot operate effectively out of our own resources and wisdom. We need to experience more of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus makes it clear that his Abba, Father in Heaven wants to give the Holy Spirit to us. In this regard, God’s lavish generosity far exceeds our own as parents, who know what it means to give good gifts to our children. Still, God waits for us to ask.
In our asking, we need to come to the Father simply, vulnerably, and honestly. You can begin where you are, right now. Maybe you feel you have come to the end of your own resources and need strength from beyond yourself; maybe you are tired of simply going through the motions in your faith, and you long for a sense of immediacy in your connection with God; maybe your Christianity has become a cold, ethical system, and you deeply want something that is more personal and intimate. Wherever you are in your journey of faith, there is always more of God’s Spirit to be experienced. Easter people know this, for we are a Spirit-empowered people!
Meditate on these words: “How much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him,” (Luke 11:13). Receive them today as an invitation from God for you to ask. Respond to God’s invitation by making a simple request from your heart for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask and receive in Jesus’s name!