You can't be on the spiritual journey for long until you realize that there must be an easier way. If God is who He says He is then He can heal any disease, feed any starving nation, and stop any war. But He doesn't.
Just take your life for example. Most of the readers of this devotion have not been born into extreme poverty without hope of a better life. Most of us face battles of an irritating kind. We come up short of answers to why a tragedy had to happen. Even so, there is a lot of evidence in this world that God does not match His unlimited resources with our human tragedies.
This is how Jesus explains it in Luke 11:11-13: 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? 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! Jesus first points us to the goodness of human fathers. A lot of people have had the privilege of having a dad who tried his best to give what was needed. However, there are fathers who might give a snake when a fish was asked for—or even worse, a scorpion when an egg was wanted. Jesus is speaking to a general public who experienced fathers who protected and provided for their children. As we apply Jesus’ words to our lives, it is as if Jesus is saying, if you ask for anything and you are given the Holy Spirit, note that the Holy Spirit is really all you really need.
The Holy Spirit is not like receiving a snake when you asked for a fish or a scorpion when you asked for an egg. The Holy Spirit is the key to making what is so wrong with this universe right again. Whatever we ask for, we could never come up with the notion of asking for the Holy Spirit. Thus if God, as a good Father, better than any father any of us have ever known on earth, gives us the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit must be more than we realize.
Some of us would rather give back the Holy Spirit and take a cure for our cancer please. But think that through. Though your cancer may be cured, you still will die at some time, and where will you be without the Holy Spirit?
God knows that more than relief from our present suffering, we need hope of no more suffering. He solves this problem by coming to live in us through the Holy Spirit. Those who have the Spirit have everything they need to survive their lives and their deaths. The Holy Spirit is our answer to our current and future needs. The gift of the Holy Spirit is no scorpion or snake. The Holy Spirit is more life-giving than a fish or an egg. We don't know enough to ask for the Holy Spirit, so God in His mercy gives us the Holy Spirit in response to our asking.
The Holy Spirit has helped me see this truth. Knowing that God has given me the Holy Spirit doesn't prevent me from asking for what I think I need for myself and others. I still ask. I have discovered that God always answers with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes with exactly what I ask for, and sometimes with far better than what I ask for. Through it all I realize that He always gives me what is best for me. He knows what is best for me even when what is best for me is often something I could never conceive.
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