Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives;
he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
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!
OK - these verses are specifically related to the promise of the holy spirit; however, beyond this specific intent, they also reveal something to us about the character and nature of God.
namely, if you're asking God for something of himself you can - at the very least - be assured you won't get something the exact opposite of what you're asking for.
so, in my former life, there was always this concern that people who prayed to speak in tongues might accidently get demon possessed. beyond the fact that this is ridiculous on ten other levels, we can have absolute certainty that if someone if praying for more of God (a.k.a. asking their father for bread), even if they don't get more of Him they certainly won't get something the opposite of Him (a.k.a. a stone).
if you ask God for more of God, you'll either get it or you won't; but you'll never be in danger of being accidently demon possessed (as if, somehow, satan intercepted your prayer and answered it himself).
anyway...the reason i'm saying all of this is simply to demonstrate a simple principle: you can trust the answers you get from God, specifically those that concern Him.
in my case, i've had many occassions to get before God and ask: am i doing the right thing?
i've asked: am i deceived? am i foolish? am i off-track? am i arrogant? am i stubborn?
sometimes, god answers a resounding YES to these questions. sometimes not.
my deepest desire is to please God, and i pray desperately to do so in every aspect of my life.
so, as we prepare to break new theological ground in our genesis series, i've repeatedly asked God over the last few weeks: am i doing the right thing? is this too risky? have i somehow been deceived?
and i feel so strong and confident that He takes pleasure in what we're doing, in where we're headed, and in our growth along the way.
because, in the end, God will seem bigger to us, receive more glory from us, and the work of His Spirit will seem more obvious to us.
cool, right? i hope so. my highest ambitions are for Him and His pleasure, for us and for Him to grow in us.