1 Thessalonians 5:19 - How To Avoid Quenching the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 - How To Avoid Quenching the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NKJV) Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22: Various Exhortations. [Remnant SB]
INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW
When spiritual directives such as Paul gives us here confront
us--always be joyful, always be thankful no matter what happens - our
natural response is, "That's impossible!" We tend to feel inadequate and
unable to please God. How can we rejoice in tragedy, pray when we are
otherwise occupied, or be thankful in times of adversity? The key is in
Paul's next words: "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit."
The purpose of our existence is not simply to be "good"
people. God has laid hold of and redeemed us for the purpose of forming
us into his likeness as we walk through the experiences of this
life with him. We are to become a dwelling place for his Spirit. Our
challenge is learning to let him do the impossible through us! He is using
everything in our lives to teach us that apart from him we can do nothing
but through his Spirit we can do all things, even rejoice always,
pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything.
LORD, help me to understand that you are truly causing all
things to work together for my good this very day. I want to be
obedient to what your Word asks of me. I cannot do this on my own. But in
your Spirit's power, I can do what you tell me to do. May you be my
joy, and enable me to be aware of your presence with me continually
in Jesus. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re 1Th. 5:16-19]
The God of all power and strength has put His Spirit within
us - a Spirit who can sway hearts, inspire heroic acts, raise the
spiritually and physically dead into new life, perform supernatural
miracles, and bear supernatural fruit. As a member of the sovereign
Trinity, there is no limit to His power. Even so, according to the Word
this Spirit breathed into His people, He can be stifled.
How? By resisting Him. By functioning out of our assumptions
or principles instead of by His unpredictable leading. By refusing
to go with His flow because we have an agenda or a program. By
living in a way that's decidedly out of line with His character. There
are so many ways. Whenever we wonder where He is and why He doesn't
seem more powerful in our lives, one of those ways is probably the
Do not stifle the Spirit. He is all-powerful, but He prefers
to work with us and through us, not over us and around us. When His
movement is flowing and we decide to assert our own agenda rather than
His - even when ours is a good agenda that we believe is God's will
- the flowing ceases. He works powerfully when we respond to Him,
not when we attempt to manipulate His response to us. The only way
not to stifle Him is to listen attentively to Him, heed every prompt
He gives, and depend on Him for the outcomes. Anything else is
human, fleshly effort.
Hear His heart: "When you depend on Me - in faith, without
worry, and without assuming your own plans are the right ones - I am
free to work. I love that dynamic between us. That's how our
relationship flows as it should. Seek that alone, and you will experience
Spirit, I want to experience You. Forgive me for living by
principles and not by relationship with You, for assuming my best-laid
plans are Yours, and for not depending on You. I invite You to flow
through me and from me freely. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen]
We cannot prevent God from accomplishing His work in the
world around us, but we can quench His Spirit in our lives. God has
given us the freedom to withstand the Holy Spirit's activity in our
lives. When we ignore, disobey, or reject what the Spirit is telling
us, we quench His activity in us. The prophet Isaiah described the
result: "Hearing you will hear and not understand, and seeing you will
see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes have closed, lest they
should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should
understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them" (Is 6:9;
When you sin, the Holy Spirit will convict you of your need
for repentance. If you habitually ignore Him and do not repent, your
heart will grow hardened to God's Word. If the Spirit speaks to you
about God's will for you, and if you refuse to take action, a time
will come when the Spirit's voice will be muted in your life. If you
continually reject the Spirit's promptings, a day will come when you no
longer hear a word from God. If you repeatedly stifle God's word to you
so that you are no longer sensitive to His voice, He will not give
you a fresh word. Be wary of resisting the voice of the Spirit in
your life. You may not always be comfortable with what the Spirit is
saying to you, but His words will guide you to abundant life.
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re 1Th. 5:19]
Francois Fenelon urges, "Leave everything in God's hands
without looking at tomorrow. Often what you imagine to be so terrible
and unbearable is not so bad when it actually happens."
Isn't that the truth! We fret about what will happen to us -
and to our loved ones, and to our country and the world - but when
we look back, we realize how much of our fretting was needless. Bad
things do happen, yet worrying changes nothing except to disturb our
peace and drain our spirits.
Fenelon advised a friend, "I know you want to see the road
ahead rather than trusting God. Leave everything in his hands without
looking at tomorrow. Walk humbly with God."
He also gave this deceptively simple yet powerful advice:
"Find out what God expects of you in any given situation and stick
strictly to doing that."
Each of us might well ask on a particularly challenging day,
"What does God expect? How can I stick strictly to doing that?" In a
family crisis, at work or school, at a party or church service, or on a
long trip, what does God expect? How can I focus on doing strictly
When we focus as Fenelon advises, it frees us from all sorts
of confusion and the feeling - so common today - of being
overwhelmed in our electronic world.
We often hear that the way to find peace is to "live in the
moment." That's true if the moment is centered on Christ.
In the same way that Jesus advises us to consider the lilies
and the birds when worried, Francois Fenelon brings the practical
and the spiritual together: "All moments are in God's hands. Give
yourself as completely as you can to God. Do so until your final breath,
and he will never desert you."
Heavenly Father, I'm often anxious about what might happen in
the days ahead. Help me to trust you. Fill me with praise for all
you have done, all you are doing now, and what you will do in the
future. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra re Psa.
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
LIVE BIBLE PROPHECY SERIES - REVELATION TODAY:
http://revelationtodaylive.com/live [live streaming +/- download]