Quench not the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV)
Paul gives the Thessalonians Christians a sobering command from the Lord not to quench the Spirit. The metaphor here is that of putting out or extinguishing a fire. The operations of the Spirit in our lives is often described as fire. Quenching the operations or activities of the Spirit can be compared to quenching or extinguishing a fire.
The most critical truth I want to share from this verse today is the reality that the Holy Spirit can be quenched. This does not mean losing our salvation or that God has withdrawn His Spirit from us. It means it is possible to stifle or stop the Holy Spirit’s operation in our lives or in a Church. The opposite of quenching is encouraging, so it is possible to encourage the Holy Spirit’s activities in our lives. The sobering truth in this is that it is not God who quenches or encourages that activity. It is you and me, or the leader of that congregation or Church.
Commentators have a lot to say about what specific activity Paul had in mind in this verse. However, the context speaks so loudly what Paul had in mind. In the verse following, he says “Despise not prophesyings” (1 Thessalonians 5:20 KJV). When we stop, discourage or treat prophesy with contempt, we are quenching the Spirit. So Paul had in mind the activity of the Spirit in the spiritual gifts. It is certain this can fully apply to all of the Spirit’s activities, including prayer and the fruit.
A Church or a believer can suppress and annihilate the fire of the Spirit. If a Pastor does not believe in speaking in tongues or gifts of healing, that fire of the Spirit will be forever quenched in that Church. That is how powerful this is. We must be careful not to extinguish God’s fire in our lives or local gatherings.
Is there a flame of the Spirit that is currently burning in your life, whether gift or fruit? Can you think of one thing you have done that encouraged it or even extinguished it?
APPLY THE WORD
Be careful not to extinguish God’s fire in your life. Your doctrine is a bucket of water that is very effective in quenching the Spirit’s fire. Watch carefull what you believe or what you have been made to believe. As I have repeatedly taught, the Holy Spirit is so important that every one of you should personally study the scriptures for yourself on this subject. Do not allow your church doctrine, the inclinations of a Bible teacher, your pastor or your own prejudices to quench God’s fire in your life. It is not because we feel “uncomfortable” with prophecies, miracles or speaking in tongues that we should quench it. It is not about our feelings or comfort zones but what God has said. You have to personally be assured of what the Lord has said about the Holy Spirit. In all, be careful not to quench the Spirit in your life without realizing it.
Ask the Father to help you encourage and not quench the Spirit in your life.