Consuming Fire

He also said to them, “Imagine that one of you has a friend and you go to that friend in the middle of the night. Imagine saying, ‘Friend, loan me three loaves of bread because a friend of mine on a journey has arrived and I have nothing to set before him.’ Imagine further that he answers from within the house, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I assure you, even if he wouldn’t get up and help because of his friendship, he will get up and give his friend whatever he needs because of his friend’s brashness. And I tell you: Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 Everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is opened.

11 “Which father among you would give a snake to your child if the child asked for a fish? 12  If a child asked for an egg, what father would give the child a scorpion? 13  If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” – Luke 11: 5-13

When you go to someones house and knock on the door, what are you usually looking for? Yes, sometimes we go to a neighbors house to borrow something, but most of the time we go to someones house, it’s to see them, to interact with them.  It’s the relationship with that friend or neighbor that then changes us.

Look closely at the passage from Luke 11 above.  It’s starts off with the notion, of “who wouldn’t help a neighbor in need?”  and continues into what seems to be the idea, of God being better than our neighbor, will give us better things if we just ask.  This is true, but…

Notice the last verse, what is that God gives?  It’s not material help.  The Father gives the Holy Spirit, to those who are willing to receive.  Why’s that so important?

As a disciple of Jesus, I pray a lot.  It’s what we are supposed to do.  And I pray for many of the same things that most people pray for, help with this and that, healing for sick people, hope for those who are suffering in any way, help in forgiving others, etc…most of these are to help me or someone I know or care about.  However, with these words in Luke, God is encouraging us to ask for more than fulfilling our wants and desires.  God is encouraging us to ask for the Holy Spirit!

Here’s the caveat, the warning, when the Holy Spirit comes, it’s rarely to give me what I want, most of the time it’s to change me, to work on my heart and soul and mind, to change the way I think or how I live or what I believe.  Changing any one of those is usually quite painful.

So pray – ask, knock, seek, but beware, you may not get what you want, you may get the change The Lord wants to happen in you.  Proverbs 25: 4 puts it this way:

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a vessel will come out for the refiner.

In other words, you don’t have the best vessel of silver, without the refiner’s fire to remove the dross.

Prayer:  Lord, I’m knocking, I asking, I’m seeking, and I’m willing.  Send your Holy Spirit to mold me and shape me for service in your Kingdom.  I want to be the best of what you created me to be.  Amen.

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