Don’t Quench the Spirit
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
How do you NOT quench the Holy Spirit? You cultivate a framework of truth within your soul.
At the gym, I saw a woman who I hadn’t seen in a while. I use to see her just about every time I was there. She looked great! She noticeably had still been coming. I felt a little prompting in my spirit to tell her how good she looked; to tell her the hard effort was paying off. Though, I had seen her many times, we had never exchanged words. The regulars at the gym know each other. We may not always say much, but we know who we are. I walked over and said something like, “I just wanted to tell you, you look great, I mean really good.” She smiled and said, “Thanks”. Then I went on with my workout and she hers. A week later, I saw her again. She handed me a card. She thanked me for what I had said to her. She had been struggling and I said exactly what she needed to hear. By her eyes, there was a lot behind that simple statement. For her to take time to write a note, it must have meant a lot. I thought I was giving a simple and obvious compliment. I’m learning that following a little prompting can manifest something much bigger.
We’ve all felt that little nudge in our spirit to do or say something. Sometimes we listen. Sometimes we don’t.
Why do we listen to some nudges and ignore others? This may seem like a superfluous issue, but it’s important to spend sometime contemplating it. If it’s the Holy Spirit leading us, we want to be responsive to Him and not ignore Him. Following His lead is the life we are to walk. Following His lead takes us down the paths of abundant life. When we listen and respond to Him, our ability to hear Him grows. If we don’t; it diminishes.
As we seek God’s face in the Bible with the instruction of the Holy Spirit, a framework of truth is established in our soul. This framework enhances the voice of the Holy Spirit because it’s a support system for His words. It allows Him to dwell more fully in us. Imagine your mind as a vast place. It’s filled with lies and truth. Whichever one is more predominant affects your ability to hear the Spirit, the voice of truth, at any one time and in certain areas. In the areas you know truth; you are more likely to hear Him. In the areas you don’t, you are less likely. In other words, if what He says is in line with your beliefs, His voice is more likely to be supported and acted upon. If what He says contradicts what you believe, it’s more likely to be ignored. This is why gaining the truth from the Bible by the instruction of the Spirit is critical.
For example, if you believe that compliments are great encouragements to others no matter how big or small, when the Spirit prompts you to give one you are more likely to. If you believe that they don’t really make a difference, you are more likely to ignore Him.
If we believe something contrary to God’s truth, it will be much harder to hear and thus respond to the Spirit’s leading. As soon as it enters our head, the lies start to quench His voice. Thoughts derived from fears, laziness, or irrelevance begin to smother the prompting.
For example, suppose we are part of an unhealthy fellowship and God wants to move us into a healthy one, so His Spirit starts nudging us. If we are untrained by the Word in this area, then we will be quick to dismiss the prompting. At that nudge, a flood of thoughts will pour into our minds about fear of being excluded, fear of appearing judging, justification that no fellowship is perfect, the lie that there’s no where else to go, and fear of losing friends and that little voice is suppressed. Without an accurate framework of truth about a healthy fellowship, we are more likely to dismiss the prompting to better pastures, because there is nothing to support His leading. Conversely, if we have been abiding in the Bible and building truth, then we are more likely to respond. When we do, then we move into a place where God wants us to be.
The key to walking in truth and following the Spirit’s prompting is to read, abide, and meditate on the ENTIRE Bible trusting the Holy Spirit to teach us. When we understand the lies that abound, then we realize our need for the truth. Truth breeds life, lies breed death. Thus whatever we are following, lies or truth, will manifest death or life in our lives.
Everything in the Bible is for our instruction. It’s the tool by which the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. Over time, as we abide in His instruction, a framework of truth is constructed in our soul. This framework guards us from deception and allows our spirit to flourish. Then as He prompts us to act, we have the support system within us to respond to His nudges and to follow them. This is how we begin to walk in wisdom, truth and abundant life.
How many times I haven’t followed those promptings, but justified them away. This post has been truly convicting and enlightening to me. But the past is done. It’s time to press forward and persist in cultivating the framework of truth in our souls so we don’t quench the Spirit, but listen and act. When we do, we will become a useful tool of God. We are able to walk in His will of life and not ours of death. We are able to walk in a unity with God. We are able to impact others in ways we’ll never thought we could because the Spirit is moving through us.