202. Ask for the Spirit.
"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 ( gift of the) Holy Spirit to those who ASK him!" (Luke 11:13) A gift is usually unsolicited (not asked for; given or done voluntarily) because the recipient has no entitlement ( right to something) to the gift. Therefore, it would be awkward to ask someone for a gift but not when children ask their parents for gifts because they consider it as their birth right and take the liberty to ask their parents for anything. Though parents may not be able or willing to gift everything that their children may ask, they still expect their children to ask them and not others, because it means that their children have faith in them. For that matter, no mediators are required between parents and children as they can ask directly. Even so, God expects us to ask him boldly for the gift of the Spirit because it is an act of faith to ask. Ofcourse, our 'heavenly Father knows that we need it' ( Matthew 6:32) and even 'before a word is on our tongue, he knows it completely',(Psalm 139:4) but still he wants us to ask 'for everyone who asks receives'. (Matthew 7:8) And if 'you do not have' its 'because you do not ask God.' ( James 4:2) God is glad when we ask for his Spirit because after the gift of his Son to the world (John 3:16-17) the only other 'good gift' that he has for us is his Spirit, which he promised to pour out upon all flesh, and he did, on the Jews (Acts 2:33) and the Gentiles. ( 10:45). The gift of the Holy Spirit is still being poured out on different people groups and nations and India has not been forgotten. There is a ground work that needs to be done before it can happen. The Apostolic mandate is to teach ( Matthew 28:20, Acts 2:42) so that the vessels can be gathered and be washed to receive the Spirit.
However, the 'gift of the Holy Spirit' and the 'gifts of the Holy Spirit' are to be differentiated from each other because they are not one and the same! The 'gift of the Holy Spirit' is what Jesus referred to in Acts 1:4 "Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised ..." The Apostles tarried in Jerusalem, not for the 'gifts of the Spirit' but the 'gift of the Holy Spirit'. Once the Spirit came upon them, they received the power to operate the gifts of the Spirit that were given to each one of them as the Spirit had determined. 'There are different gifts but the same Spirit ... All these are the work of one and the same Spirit and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.' (1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ) We need not pursue the 'gifts of the Spirit' but the 'gift of the Spirit', for in doing so, we receive the power to operate the giftings in us.
We are therefore exhorted to ask for the Spirit because it is a sign of our faith. We ask because we believe! But we also got to believe that we have received what we asked for, in keeping with God's nature, 'who calls things that are not as though they were.' ( Romans 4:17) Therefore, "whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you received it and it will be yours." ( Mark 11:24) If we have received by faith what we asked for, then why wait for that which we have already received? For sure, God has already granted, but the delay is in getting the vessels ready to receive the Spirit. The Apostles themselves had to wait for ten days in Jerusalem before the person of the Holy Spirit came upon them. However, they already had the presence of the Holy Spirit in them which was the deposit guaranteeing them the gift of the Spirit. Infact it is the presence of the Spirit in us that enables us to tarry and it is also the guarantee that we will receive the gift of the Spirit. BELIEVE, ASK, WAIT. Amen.