As many of you know from my devotionals and in talking with me, I have been studying various aspects of walking with the Lord (Spirit) for several years now. The subject will never be exhausted, but I was searching for a more effective way to walk with the Lord than I have done in the past. Many truths have been revealed to me during my personal study, however, none has been more enlightening that a simple truth that was shared this week.
9 “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. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him 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? 12 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!” (emphasis mine)
We are to ask for the Holy Spirit. Many believers want to debate the filling of the Spirit. In my opinion, that argument can be simply explained with the indwelling of the Spirit at the time of conversion vs our surrender to continually live under His influence. Whether you believe you have all of the Spirit you could ever get or you believe you can be "more filled," clearly, this verse in Luke tells us we can ask for Him.
My small group leader shared that he and his family routinely ask the Lord to fill each of them with the Holy Spirit - to live in a way that is controlled by the will of the Lord. He shared a word picture of this by using a glass of chocolate milk. When you have a glass of chocolate milk, at first the chocolate sits at the bottom of the glass. (chocolate=Holy Spirit.) We have all we need, but until it is stirred up we do not have chocolate-y goodness (influence of/control by the Spirit.) This asking for the Spirit is asking to be stirred up. He summed it up with, "We should all desire that chocolate-y goodness." :)
Do we have within our own abilities/our own flesh to live according to the Lord's will? In Romans 7 Paul says I do what I don't want to do and I don't do what I want to do. We fight against our fleshly desires and we are supposed to die to them, but we can't do that in our own strength. It is only the work of the Lord in our lives that can change us to be more like Christ. So if we don't do the work, who does? The Spirit within us. If it is He who grows the fruit of the Spirit, then doesn't it make sense for us to ask our Father in heaven for more of that Spirit to be evident in our lives. We are then asking for the best thing. Our Father knows how to give good gifts and desires for us to ask for His indwelling Spirit to be stirred up to control us.
So many times I try to live the Christian life in my own strength. Instead I need to ask for the Spirit to do the work in me and then cooperate by surrendering to His still small voice. I encourage you to ask for Him today.