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!”
This is a dearly loved Scripture, especially by Charismatics and Pentecostals. Along with the rest of the teaching on prayer that precedes this, along with the parallel passages in Matthew, the problem seems to be in how we ask and how we receive. By definition it’s not in God’s supply, because He is the omnipotent Creator who spoke the universe into being, and He is love itself. James deals with this issue. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3) Jesus said very clearly that we are to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) When our focus is on the immediate thing desired, we often lose sight of God’s kingdom and His righteousness. That all deals with how we ask, but there is also the issue of how we receive. The verse from Mark leaves no doubt: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) Much of the time we lack faith: faith that God is able or that He’s willing to give us what we ask. Jesus is touching on that factor in this verse. Sometimes we think, “But I’m not worthy to receive.” Right here Jesus says we are evil! Now, we aren’t worthy, but God loves us anyway. This isn’t an excuse to go on being evil, but it is a reminder that it doesn’t depend on us, it depends on God.
In relation to this specific verse, I didn’t receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit until I stopped putting conditions on how it was going to happen, but simply thanked God for being true to His Word. I felt nothing at the moment, but later got confirmation of His faithfulness through a fulfillment of Acts 1:8, rather than Acts 2:2-4. God has poured more blessings out on me than I could possibly count, yet I still have trouble at times being quiet enough before Him to receive His supply. Right now I feel assorted pressures, and I mostly feel tired. God has told me to rest, relax, and rejoice, but I am reminded that I don’t know well how to do that. I know that it isn’t a matter of passive inactivity, but rather a matter of yielded obedience coupled with expectation, which is a manifestation of faith. I need to trust and expect that God is going to give me the energy, the wisdom, and the time necessary to do everything He has placed on my schedule, and that includes the wisdom to discern what He has placed there and what others are demanding of me. I do need to know how to say no, and have peace about it.
Father, You know my situation better than I do. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in that assurance. Thank You for all You enabled me to do yesterday. Thank You that You are going to enable me to do everything on my slate today. Help me neither be anxious about any of it or resent any of it, but allow You to carry me along to Your conclusion to the day, accomplishing Your purposes on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!