Quench not the Spirit. (1 Thess. 5:19 KJV)
The instruction above is a solemn admonition of the apostle Paul to Thessalonian Christians, which is evidently applicable to the church today. He says, “Quench not the Spirit.”
The immediate context of the verse gives us one specific example of what it means to quench the Spirit, as verse 20 demands “Despise not prophesyings.”
The underlying meaning of the word “quench” has to do with putting out or extinguishing a fire. Think of how firefighters put out a fire, and you will immediately grasp the idea behind this exhortation.
The activities of the Holy Spirit are conceptualized as fire in the scriptures, as in Matt. 3:9. In this verse, the specific activities being mentioned are the gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy. When we despise spiritual gifts, or suppress their manifestation, we are quenching the Spirit.
First Corinthians 12:7-10 gives us a list of the charismatic manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit. Prophecy and speaking in tongues are amongst the most vulnerable of the Spirit’s gifts to being quenched in the Church.
The instruction is simple: Do not stop, discourage, suppress, or hinder believers, including yourself, from manifesting the gifts of the Spirit – especially to those who do not understand or possess these gifts. Instead, the Lord wants you to encourage His activities in your life. God gave these gifts because He knows we need them in the Church.
Why do some believers despise and try to suppress the gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy in 1 Thes. 5:20 or speaking in tongues in 1 Cor. 14:39? What does the Lord want us to do with the gifts of the Spirit? See 1 Tim. 1:6.
APPLY THE WORD
Are you quenching or encouraging the Holy Spirit’s fire in your own life and the lives of others?
What can you do today to stir up the fire of the Spirit in your life?
Ask for the Spirit’s gentle conviction when you quench His activities in your life.
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