In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 there’s a very curious verse. It says, “Do not quench the spirit.” That’s puzzling because “quench” can be used so often in a very positive way, especially when we’re talking about thirst. When I’m thirsty, what do I want to do? I’m going to quench that thirst. When I have a desire, what do I want to do? I want to quench that desire by fulfilling it. But here it’s being used in a very negative fashion. “Don’t quench the spirit.” What does that mean? I think the key to understanding this verse is to realize that throughout both Old and New Testaments, the Holy Spirit is viewed and represented as fire. Fire is a very powerful commodity. Fire purifies everything that it touches. That’s the important part. The Holy Spirit has come into our life as a fire to empower us so He can purify us in our walk. Wonderful! Do not quench that!
Let’s think about this clearly. Fire has one real enemy and that’s water. Water can put out the fire. The Bible talks about water—living water—and so we want to draw a real life from God as living water but by implication there are other kinds of water. There are other things that can temporarily satisfy our soul, never satisfy our spirit, but certainly satisfy our soul. When we take satisfaction from those things, we are quenching the power of the Spirit to completely satisfy all of my needs. So we’ve got to be very careful here, my friends. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He will never overpower your life. He will never overtake you, never control you. And also, He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always be available to you. But in the moment when you quench the spirit, you’re looking to other things than God as a life source, and you’re not allowing His power to transform you into the image of Christ.
Don’t quench the spirit, let Him energize your life in a way that transforms it so that the world will be able to look at you and see you as a letter of God and say, “There goes a man or a woman who knows God. I can see it in the way they live.”
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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