What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
(Luke 11:11-13 – ESV)
(Luke 11:11-13 – ESV)
People often say that if we ask God for something good He won’t give us something evil, and they use this text as proof. This is true. However, we might ask God for something, and yet receive something else from someone else and think it is God who gave it. Just because we ask God for something doesn’t mean anything we get is from God. True, if you ask the Father for a fish, the Father is not going to give you a snake. But that is the test – if you get a snake, you know it wasn’t God who gave it to you.
Instead of looking at your own desires for it to be something good, look at what is produced. You may want a fish, but you may be asking the wrong source. It is not “look at what is given and it must be good”, but “look at what is given and you can know where it came from”. It is not that whatever comes must be deemed as good, but that whatever comes must point to the source.
What we receive must be consistent with whatever else God has already revealed. If God doesn’t give it, you don’t want it, no matter how “good” it may seem. James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
You may be wanting and hungering and needing something God isn’t going to give, but Satan will, and so when you get it you automatically think it is from God because you asked for it. To your mind it was good to ask for it, and so whatever you got was good, it was from God, or so you think. But there is the problem, we may have thought we wanted something good, but we have actually asked amiss, for our own desire to be an instrument in an area God doesn’t want us to deal with others in. We may be asking for something God isn’t giving, like some made up mantle or whatever, then when something else comes we think we got what we asked for but what we got was some counterfeit.
We must be wary at all times, not knowing the extent to which God will allow the enemy to influence our lives. If we leave a foothold to Satan, God may allow him to use it to test us to see if we are truly faithful or not. It is as if we come asking and waiting and we will wait till we get something, but perhaps God isn’t the one who gave it. As if all the asking seeking and knocking means we can always get what we ask for, even when it isn’t what God wants for us. There are things, even good things, which God in His providence does not desire for us to have. It is not about our desire it is about His.
Our motives are not what we think they are and too often we judge them by our feelings and so then God becomes a projection of our best feelings, our inclinations to do “good”.
So when we ask God for something good, it is true He won’t give us something bad, but that doesn’t mean we will get anything at all, and it isn’t true that He will prevent us from receiving something bad from someone else just because we “claim” this verse as our protection. You can “get’ something, and it not be from God.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 – But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
We can be Christians and receive the ideas of false spirits, not necessarily possession, but false doctrine and false signs and wonders and teachers, and false systems, etc. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
We must be diligent and on guard against counterfeits. We cannot just wait around till we get something and then declare that it is of God. We must learn to discern, to test what is going on. How can we do that if the something we are waiting on is some anointing that some prophet claims we can have if we ask for it or receive it when it isn’t found in scripture or it is twisted out of its context and made to seem like something we can have when it isn’t? That is the problem when using Luke 11:11-13 as some sort of defense against counterfeit gifts; when we ask for something God doesn’t allow, doesn’t want us to have, or simply doesn’t exist. So you may have this verse memorized, and that is good, but you cannot have it as an unbeatable weapon in your arsenal against deception.
Some think that their motives are pure, saying, “I just want to be used by God”. Well then just be used by God right now in whatever you are normally doing. Oswald Chambers said, “Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do” (My Utmost For His Highest: June 15).
Now what we often mean when we say “I just want to be used by God” is that we want the excitement of being used by God in some mighty way, or what we think is mighty. However, anyone who can go about the daily life giving God the glory and being excellent in whatever they are doing now, that is the person who is being used by God.
If you are growing in grace, not gifts, but fruit and holiness, in repentance and faithfulness, God is using you. If you are evangelizing out there everyday without those power gifts, God is using you. Remember those in Matthew 7:21-23, they thought that doing God’s will was using power gifts to do His work. They had the power but they didn’t have Christ.