We love sharing great stuff online don't we? After all, everyone wants more of what they know to be good. As we start to learn more about the Holy Spirit, it is natural for us to ask how we receive more of the spirit in our lives. We are a generation that always wants more! How do we get more of God? Perhaps a stunningly simple answer to receiving more is found in a slightly deceptive parable of Jesus.
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!”
Luke 11 v 5-11
There is so much we could draw from these verses about many aspects of life but let’s focus on the powerful statement at the end. To finish his parable Jesus says “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” And we thought this was a message about how to get late night bread?
This parable starts about natural provision – someone needs bread for a friend in the middle of the night -but Jesus twists the punch line to make it about something deeper. You see we use this scripture all the time about prayer – ask and you will receive what you need. Sometimes we think we need more bread but God actually wants to give us more of himself. We think we need natural provision but God wants to give us supernatural sustenance. We want to solve a crisis in the dead of the night but God always wants to point us towards a bigger and brighter tomorrow.
Jesus reveals to us how we can approach God and ask for more. It is not out of shame, timidity and fear that we beg and grovel but instead we can persistently approach God with shameless (overt and unrestricted) audacity (a willingness to take bold risks). Jesus is daring us to be bold and willing us to be relentless in our pursuit of God’s spirit. How can we be sure that God wants to answer us? Because he is our father. And secretly all Dads love to be asked when they know they have the provision in their resources.
Why not ask for more today! This parable is a good reminder of why we ask for more of the spirit. We don’t just need bread for ourselves but for others. We need more of the spirit so we can be more like Jesus in serving others. We ask for more so we can become more like Him. As we ask for more and more, our lives begin to look a little bit more like Jesus. As Frank Viola says “The Spirit takes the experiences of Jesus … His incarnation, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension … and brings them into our own experience. Because of the Holy Spirit, the history of Jesus Christ becomes our story and experience.”
What does asking for more look like to you today?
Dave Boden – Lead Pastor