Gush With the Holy Spirit
Standard; Lu 11:5 And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 'for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him';
7 "and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you'?
8 "I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 "Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 "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!"
Context. So very important as we seek to understand God's Word. The context of this section of Scripture is found in verse 1.
“And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Jesus had just come from prayer in a certain place. This is what we have been stressing lately at Living Word. Find a certain place and keep an appointment of prayer with God.
Invite others to come and meet there with you on a regular basis for the purpose of having a conversation with God. Let God speak to you through His Word, then tell each other what He has spoken, and then speak it back to Him. By inviting others you also build in accountability. I think I would weary of this early morning prayer thing if I didn't realize that someone else was counting on me to open up the building.
This “certain place” is more important than we think. To my knowledge we never hear of Jesus finding a spot in the house or rolling over in bed to pray. He always went away for these special appointments with His Father. Hear His invitation to prayer for you from the Song of Solomon:
2:13Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!
14 "O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely."
Not too many people will view your face as lovely in the early morning hours, but God will!
All right, find a certain place, make an appointment. Make as many as you can during the week, invite at least one other person to help build in accountability.
So the disciples have been observing the results of the prayers of Jesus, and you know, as you start putting these things into practice, others will start noticing the difference in your life as well. And they, just as the disciples will want some of those results in their own lives. “Lord teach us to pray, John taught his disciples!” How about teaching us!
And so, at the beginning of this chapter, Jesus gives them the words to say for effective prayer and we have what is now called the Lord's prayer. It's not a magical incantation, but rather a very useful form of prayer. It is a prayer that simply put, asks God to meet all our needs until Jesus returns. But His lesson on praying does not end with the Lord's prayer. There is more to be learned.
God has more in mind for you and I than just meeting our needs. And this next lesson on prayer is to teach us to enlarge the conduit of grace from the throne of God. Grace. Divine influence on the heart. It's heavenly power! It's every good thing that comes from above.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
In v5 we read, “And He said to them,” The word and connects what He is about to say to His instruction on prayer. In addition to asking God for our needs, we also are to ask for more grace. More power, more Holy Spirit.
Now in verses 5-9 we have an illustration that Jesus uses to prepare His disciples for His next instruction for prayer which picks up in v9 and 10. Then in v11-13a, we have another illustration to make His point, and in 13b we see what we can expect from such praying.
How does the illustration in v5-8 prepare us for His instruction of asking, seeking, and knocking?
In a nutshell, God is better than your best friend.
Picture this, it's midnight, you've been in bed for a couple of hours, and you hear this banging on the door. “Hey _______ an old army buddy just showed up, and I don't have any snacks. Can you lend me some chips and dip? How would you respond to such a request from a good friend?
Jesus knows how we would respond, “for crying out loud, it's midnight! We're all in bed! Go to bed and eat in the morning.”
“Aw c'mon. I thought you were my friend!”
“Were,” is the operative word buddy, friends don't come waking up people at an outrageous hour just to put out some chips and dip for an old army buddy!
You see, the friend card isn't going to work here. But if he is persistent, eventually, he'll get out of bed and give him the chips and dip. Friendship doesn't claim the prize persistence does.
But since we are talking about prayer here, we are talking about God who is so much better than your best friend. God doesn't care if it's midnight. You can come to Him at anytime. And when you come to Him, He's just glad to see you! God never replies with excuses. He responds with promises and assurances.
We don't have to wait for a friend to unlock the door, God's door is always open for His children, and we can burst into the throne room at any time for our needs..
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
So, Jesus says, “because God is better than any best friend, what are you waiting for?” Ask, seek, and knock! If you need bread, you'll get bread, but bread is nothing compared to what God wants to give you.
Mt 4:4 "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
The Father wants to bring grace and mercy to you for your every need. He wants to enlarge your conduit of grace. And if we look ahead to v13b we see how the Father responds to our asking, searching, and knocking. He promises the Holy Spirit.
“But I don't need the Holy Spirit just now, I need.....a job, healing, guidance, and you can fill in the blank. But Jesus anticipates our complaint by asking us to trust our perfect heavenly Father. He knows what you need!
What father among us sinners would give his son a stone that looked like bread, or a snake that looked like a fish, or a scorpion rolled up in a ball instead of an egg? God is not going to meet your need with something counterfeit. And so often, the world convinces us of counterfeit needs. But God, is going to give you what you really need. And we really need the Holy Spirit. We really need the grace of God that comes to us through Him.
All our other needs are appropriately asked for in the Lord's prayer, and in the promise that if we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these other things will be added unto us.” And so let us seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness....something that is best found through the Scriptures, written by the Holy Spirit.
Do you have a dilemma, a need? Ask God, not for your perceived need, but for the Holy Spirit. Then search for the Holy Spirit's answer in the Scriptures. He is found here in God's Word.
Joh 14:15 "If you love Me, keep (treasure) My commandments. (My word)
16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--
Joh 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
So the Holy Spirit comes to us in greater measure as we treasure God's Word. The proof of treasuring God's Word is found in a desire to be in it, and to act on what the Holy Spirit reveals to you.
So, Number 1. Ask for the pipeline of the Holy Spirit to be enlarged. #2. Search the Scriptures to learn, to trust, to respond in faith through your actions of obedience and trust, #3. Knock - ...a persistent rapping, letting God know that you are serious about getting an answer. Don't give up, keep coming, and the door will be opened....the floodgates of the Holy Spirit, the pouring in of the graces of the Holy Spirit will come.
As we prayed this Thursday morning I asked those present, why they were here. Why are you coming to pray? One person answered, “to get closer to God.” the other, “to know God's will.” Good answers! An asking, a seeking, and a persistent knocking will surely be answered by God in the form of a pouring into one's life of the Holy Spirit and all the heavenly power he brings with Him.
Ah, the precious Holy Spirit. The pipeline of God's grace, given to us by God and sent to us by the ascended Jesus. Everyone who asks the Father, seeks and knocks will receive of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who searches for the things of the Holy Spirit will receive of the things of the Holy Spirit,
So the Lord challenges us this morning to stop being content with a soda straw flow of the graces of the Holy Spirit, let's seek after a larger pipeline. Think about how easily a soda straw would clog as compared to say a stovepipe.
A little trial, a little tribulation, a little distraction, and the flow is stopped. This is less likely to happen if the pipeline is enlarged. And we enlarge the pipeline by getting into the Word of God.
One more word of caution, get beyond the mere accumulation of knowledge and grace. Because it doesn't matter what size the conduit is, if the end is stopped up, the net result is the same.....nothing.. This grace must flow, and it flows as we trust His promises and obey His commands with action.
In closing, commit to enlarging your pipeline of grace. Come often to the source of all grace. Ask for it, seek it, and don't be a flash in the pan, be persistent! Because God says, Ask, seek, and knock, and He will give you the Holy Spirit.