“Do not quench the Spirit.”
I Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
One major misconception we see a lot amongst Christians today is the idea that spiritual fervor is given by God, therefore we have no part to play in it. Ever heard the song “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning”? Yet, Scriptures sing a different tune; it is our responsibility to stay fervent in the Spirit.
We see a type of this in the role of the Old Testament Priests in the temple. The Bible records “and the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings”. (Leviticus 6:12)
The fire on the altar that burned consistently was not arbitrary. It did not happen by chance, someone had to maintain it. This is the same for the fire on our spiritual altars. God is not going to keep us burning, that’s our responsibility.
In John 7:37-38, Jesus said “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Jesus did not promise thirst, rather he called on the thirsty to come. The thirst is your responsibility. Again in Matthew 5:6, He says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled”. He isn’t the one supplying the hunger, rather he is saying “Come hungry!”
You have a responsibility to maintain your glow in the Spirit in spite of how you feel. You begin to grow spiritually when you realise that you don’t pray because you feel like praying, rather you pray because it is expedient for you to pray. You pray because you ought to commune with your Father. You pray because it’s an instruction in scripture to pray always.
It is very instructive that Paul says to the church “Do not quench the Spirit”, making it obvious that just as it is with natural fire, there are ways to quench the glow of the Spirit in us, there are actions that are as water to fire.
It’s also important to note that the key to not quenching the spirit is not just having a consistent prayer life, it’s to live a life that yields to the promptings of the spirit. The fire of the spirit is fanned into full flame in us when we give the Spirit freedom to accomplish His will in us.
This entails that we walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), that we meditate on the word (1 Timothy 4:5), that we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), that we are kind and affectionate to one another (Romans 12:10), that we covet the gifts for the purpose of edification (1 Corinthians 12:31), that we forsake not the gathering of the brethren (Hebrews 10:25), that we preach the gospel and that we are are active as supplying joints in the body.
To do contrary to these is to quench the Spirit. It’s to our advantage that we yield to the Spirit and do not quench the intensity of its flame in our hearts.
I declare that today and beyond I am on fire for the Lord
I am fervent in prayer and devoted to the word
I am yielded to the Spirit of God and I walk according to His dictates
I fan to flames the embers of the Spirit in my heart
Bible Reading Plan:
Luke 23: 38-43, Hebrews 10: 19-39, Proverbs 27: 1-14, Isaiah 46-48