“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” ~ Luke 11:13
This verse is a remarkable reminder of God’s perspective on what is good, compared to man’s perspective on what is good. Present day Christian culture is so infected with consumerism, hedonism, narcissism and other me-isms, that we develop a warped outlook on what is good in life. Our prayers to God are often full of “give-me” requests: that usually start as “Lord please give me a ____ ” or “Father God I need a ____.” And we usually fill in the blanks with a material (money, machine, etc.) or a mate (future husband/wife) or something else that focuses on “me, myself and I”.
God, however, has a totally different perspective. Our Holy Father defines a “good gift” as the Holy Spirit. When God the Father looks upon His children as they struggle to cope with day-to-day living, He sees that what we need to thrive here on earth is not physical gifts, but the Spiritual Gift of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, Scripture tells us that we:
- “…wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” ~ Ephesians 6:12
Accordingly, when Jesus was about to return to Heaven, He promised His disciples to send the Holy Spirit to them. Jesus even called the Holy Spirit by an unexpected, but revealing, name: “The Comforter”. As He sent His disciples out into a world that would be hostile to them, that would imprison them and beat them and kill them, what they needed to succeed wasn’t a new car, or perfect teeth or a retirement plan. What they needed to live successfully (as God defines it) was The Comforter.
Jesus told them that The Comforter would do (at least) two key things for Believers, the children of God
- Teach them the truth (John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:13)
- Provide constant contact with God—i.e., indwell their lives (John 14:17; John 16:14)
The Holy Spirit teaches us the truth about life so that we won’t be vulnerable to the lies of the devil that permeate the societies we live in. So, for example:
►When society tells us that it is work in our careers is the most important, The Holy Spirit reminds us that it is work in the Kingdom of God that has lasting value (Matthew 6:19, 25-34).
►Or, when the cognoscenti tells us that a healthy life/lifestyle is what we should aim for, The Holy Spirit tells us to aim for a helpful life (Matthew 25:31-46).
►When banks encourage us to live on credit, the Holy Spirit exhorts us not to live in debt (Proverbs 22:7).
►When educators report that our children need more knowledge, the Holy Spirit reveals that our children need more discipline (Proverbs 29:17).
The Holy Spirit indwells us so that we have constant (always on, better-than-broadband) access to God. We can really pray to Him without ceasing. We can ask for His help always and at any time. We can draw on His grace to enable us to overcome temptation, to overcome adversity. We are never alone.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, WHAT A GIFT!!!! This gift is far more valuable than the coolest car or the fanciest house. It is more secure than a retirement plan underwritten by gold. It is more invigorating than perfect health. And the Holy Spirit gives our lives more purpose and meaning than any job could.
So as we pray to God, our Heavenly Father, let us bring to Him all our cares, all our struggles, all our sorrows. But let us embrace the Gift He has given to us, The Holy Spirit, to triumph over all the challenges that life can throw at us.
- “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4