I heard a tale about a little boy who went upstairs to his bedroom to write a letter to God about what he wanted for Christmas. “Dear God, he wrote, “I’ve been very good these last twelve months. Please send me a bike.” Then he thought about it and figured that wasn’t quite truthful, so he screwed it up and started again. “Dear God, I’ve been very good these last few months. Please send me a bike.” But then he thought, ‘No, I can’t even say that’. So he screwed it up again and paced up and down thinking what to write… he really wanted a bike! Finally, he went downstairs to the sitting room where there was a Christmas tree, and beside it, a model of the nativity scene complete with figures and animals. He picked up the Virgin Mary and went back upstairs to his bedroom, took a fresh piece of paper, sat down again as his desk and wrote: Dear Jesus, if you ever want to see your mother again…!”

Clearly, here’s someone who was desperate for a bicycle and would go to any lengths to get one… But does God need to be persuaded like that, or will God withhold the Holy Spirit from those who want to be filled? No He will not.