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What Does It Mean to “Quench Not the Spirit”?

Quench not the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV)

do not quench the Holy Spirit showing a fire fighter putting our fire

We quench the Spirit when we stifle or suppress the operations of the Holy Spirit in our lives or a community of Christians. This devotional will examine the word “quench,” a sobering implicit truth in this command, and what Paul had in mind when he instructed the Thessalonians.

The word “quench” here is a metaphor. It usually means putting out a fire or flame. For example, in Heb. 11:34, the heroes of faith quenched the violence of fire. So Paul used the symbol of fire to describe the operations of the Spirit here.

The context tells what Paul had in mind by “quench not the Spirit .”After he gave this command, he continued and said, “Despise not prophesyings.” (1 Thess. 5:20 KJV). When we suppress the gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy, we are quenching the Spirit. Please note that Paul did not say “quench not the gifts of the Spirit” but “quench not the Spirit .”The Spirit is present and works in our lives through His gifts. However, He does more than manifest gifts in our lives. He also produces the fruit, and, as I have repeatedly taught, He is the power and presence of God with us. 

Whenever we, as individuals or as a congregation of Christians, suppress, discourage or stifle His operations, we are quenching His fire. Fan to flame, and not quench, the fire of the Spirit in your life.


Please meditate on 1 Thes. 5:19 above. Think carefully of the implications of this command in your life and the Body of Christ as a whole.

Apply the Word

God told the Israelites the fire at the altar must never go out( Lev. 6:13); that was a shadow of the true fire present with us today! Paul did not discuss the specific reasons why we quench the Spirit. For example, why would someone despise prophecy or speaking in tongues? Whatever that reason might be, the Lord says we should not extinguish the fire of His Spirit in us.


Ask the Father to help you encourage and not quench the Spirit in your life. 

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