This sermon from retired pastor Jacques Morris is based on Luke 11:5-9
Inspiration for the message came form a book by Helmut Haubeil called Steps to Personal Revival
The lack of the Holy Spirit
What do we most lack, what would make a real difference in the church and each of our lives? Why is it that we have spiritual problems? Is it the lack of the Holy Spirit?
Leroy Froom wrote, “I am convinced that the lack of the Holy Spirit is our worst problem.”
This next quote by E. W. Tozer is more to the point: “If the the Holy Spirit were taken from our churches today 95% of what we do would continue and no one would notice a difference. If the Holy Spirit had withdrawn from the early church, then 95% of what they were doing would have stopped and everyone would have noticed the difference.”
Now let’s turn to the parable that Jesus gave to His disciples in Luke 11
Lord teach us to pray
Luke 11 begins with a question, what is that question? “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Don’t you think that the disciples notice how Jesus had so much influence in the lives of people? That’s why they asked Jesus, Lord, teach us to pray. Do you think that this is a good question? One that Jesus would be pleased to answer in detail?
We may not have noticed this in Luke 11:1-13, Jesus answers this question in three parts. The Lord’s prayer, the parable of the friend coming at midnight and as he climax we have the continual asking in prayer for the Holy Spirit.
The parable is in verses, 5-8. Visitor’s arrive at a man’s house late in the evening and he has nothing to give them. Now he is in need ans goes to his neighbour . He explains to him that he has nothing and ask for bread. He continues to ask until finally he receives bread. Now he has bread – the bread of life – for himself and now he is in a position to where he can share with his visitors.
Now this is where Jesus leads us in to the climax of the answer about the prayer in verse 9 (we have a problem, we have nothing), therefore, we need the Holy Spirit.
This part of the answer to his disciples about prayer is found in Luke 11: 9-13. There is no other place in the Bible where you can find Jesus so lovely inviting us to take something to heart. In these verse Jesus tells us many times that we should ask for the Holy Spirit. Let’s read verses 9-13. Count how many times you read the word ask? Did you find 6 times? Did you notice Jesus also uses the word seek 2 times and the word knock 2 times. All action words.
Are you beginning to notice that Jesus is telling us that we need to take action if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit? The last “ask” is in the continuous tense in the Greek. That means that we aren’t to ask only once in case of emergency, but to continually ask. Why is this? Because we absolutely need the Holy Spirit. We will be missing something very important in our Christian life, if we do not ask continually. Why is He calling our attention to this fact? Because He wants us to continually receive the rich blessings of the Holy Spirit.
The example of the sinful father
Jesus gives us three examples of how a sinful human father would behave (verse 11). Why does Jesus give us these examples? He wants us to know how unimaginable it is that our Heavenly Father wouldn’t give us the Holy Spirit when we ask in the right attitude. Jesus is telling us that something is missing when we are not persistent in asking for the Holy Spirit. He also is telling us that we absolutely need the Holy Spirit and He wants us to continually experience the rich blessings from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is telling us that the Father is so willing to give the Holy Spirit, that this is the best gift from heaven and the climax of the request is in verse 1, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
The gift from Jesus
We value this gift, but it is only given to those who have a desire for this gift and appreciate it.
John 7:37 – “those who thirsts” yearning desire for a relationship with God
John 7:38 – Trust in God
Romans 12:1 – Complete surrender
Acts 5:32 – Those who obey Him
Psalms 66:18 – Do not plan anything wrong
Luke 11:6 – Realize our great need (I have nothing)
Luke 11:9 -13 – Continually ask for the Holy Spirit
Can you see in these expectations how valuable the gift is? Can you also see how inadequate we really are?
In the book Desire of Ages p. 672 we read these words: “They talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet they receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies.”
Why don’t we hunger and thirst for the gift of the Holy Spirit since this is how we will receive it?
Romans 8:5-11 How is the true Christian described? He has a growing relationship with the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 3:1-4 Notice what the apostle Paul calls them in verse 1. This shows that he is dealing with church members. What is he saying, not spiritual people, fed on milk.
This shows they haven’t grown in faith, for they are asking God to “increase our faith”.
Spiritual growth has to do with a continual surrender of ourselves in dedication to Jesus and living a life guided by the Holy Spirit.
The spiritual christian
Carnal Christians can be active Christians who are trying to grow spiritually by their efforts, or they can be satisfied with their condition as sinners, Look at Matthew 7:22, 23
They are active, but they do not have a real relationship with Jesus. Jesus is not living in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.
The book Desire of Ages p. 623 says: “Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have, all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God.” How tragic that we can be in church and be lost. This is what the parable of the tern virgins teaches in Matthew 25:1-11.
All the 10 were virgins
All had the same doctrine
All had lamps
All had the Bible
All of them wanted to be ready to meet the bridegroom
All of them looked for the 2nd coming
All of them went to sleep
All of them heard the call to wake up
All prepared their lamps
All the lamps were burning
Half of them had oil to refill their lamps.
To the other half Jesus says, “I don’t know you.” Five were spiritual, five were carnal.
Jesus is saying to us that a relationship with Him has something to do with the Holy Spirit. Whoever is not led by the Holy Spirit won’t be acknowledged by Jesus (Romans 8:8, 9). This means that we can have the assurance that Jesus live in us through the Holy Spirit (1John 3:24).
Matthew 6:33 and Luke 9:23
What is the Christian experience? The Bible gives us the answer in Ephesians 3:16 -21
We all need a daily baptism of the Holy Spirit, if we want the righteousness of Christ.
What is our response to the invitation given by Jesus in Luke 11:1-13?
Will we continually ask, will we knock, will we seek. This is your personal choice, only you can decide to do this.