Ask for the Holy Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23; ESV)
On Sunday mornings, we have been studying the fruit of the Spirit. Some have asked, how can this fruit be ours? How can we develop these qualities in our lives? It is simple. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us. And then yield to Him.
In Luke 11, after Jesus has given his disciples a lesson on prayer he says, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, 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 11:9-13; ESV, underline added).
Did you catch that last line? He is talking about praying with a great boldness. As you and I bring our spiritual requests to the Father, we know that He is ready to help us. He longs to work in us and He longs to supply the Holy Spirit in us to meet our needs. You need joy. You ask, and God says, “I will give you the Holy Spirit who is the one who provides joy.” You need peace? God says, “Ask, and I will give you my Spirit who is the peace giver.”
So what are the barriers to asking like this?
The first barrier is doubt. Three things Jesus tells us to do: Ask, seek and knock. Jesus says, “Ask,” and we say, “Possibly”. So then Jesus says “Seek” and we say, “Maybe”, and so Jesus then says, “Knock” and we say, “We’ll see”. And then Jesus says, “For everyone who asks, everyone who seeks, everyone who knocks, they will receive, they will find and they will have the door opened.” The everyone includes you. When we have doubt – then we don’t do any of those things.
A second barrier is fear. We say, “I am not sure about this.” Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid to ask.” And then He uses the analogy of father with a son. Never once when my son or daughter have asked for scrambled eggs for breakfast have I said, “Well, you asked for an egg, but here try this scorpion instead.” Even as evil as I am I would never do that to my children.
Jesus then asks, “Why then would you be afraid to ask your Heavenly Father for the good gifts that the Holy Spirit provides?” Don’t be afraid to ask.
A third barrier is inadequacy – a feeling of not being worthy to receive. I hear people use the excuse, “I haven’t been a Christian long enough.” Or “You don’t know what my life on the inside is really like.” But Jesus doesn’t say, “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who have been a Christian for a very long time.” No, Jesus says, “How much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him”.
Have you asked Him? If you want the fruit in Spirit in your life, ask him! And then yield to Him.