Q. I have a question about this verse: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” My question is, did Jesus imply we have to ask for the Holy Spirit? I thought the Spirit was already sealed in us by God when we first believed?
A. You’re referring to Luke 11:13, the last sentence in a paragraph that begins in verse 9.
Since the context of Luke 11:9-13 is the Lord’s “Ask, Seek, Knock” teaching, which is about salvation, He had to be referring to the Holy Spirit being given to everyone who asks for salvation. Therefore your belief that we receive the Holy Spirit upon believing is accurate. Here’s how it happens.
At the moment of salvation we’re given the seal of the Holy Spirit, who comes to dwell within us (Ephes. 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:21-22). When He comes He brings us the spiritual gifts He has determined we’ll need to fulfill our purpose in the Church (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
As we learn to listen to His prompting and yield our lives to His guidance, He will empower us to achieve victory over the trials and temptations we face. No additional “infilling” is necessary for this. He’s always there, ready to help, from the moment we first believe. We only have to listen to His voice and follow His guidance.
Once in a while we may face a situation that requires a short burst of supernatural power, like when we’re offering a prayer for healing or deliverance, or bringing an important message to the Church. In these cases the Holy Spirit will “come upon” us to provide the necessary power.
When that happens we can sense the difference, as if He’s taken charge of us and we’re just along for the ride. Afterwards we’ll know that we weren’t acting in our own strength, but in His strength. We’ll know that He came upon us and filled us with His power, just like He did for the apostles in Acts 2.