One of the most ignored commands in the New Testament consists of 4 simple words: “Quench not the Spirit.” When we read the New Testament book of Acts, we see the amazing power and vitality of the unquenched Holy Spirit — mighty demonstrations of God’s power; transformed people, living holy lifestyles and changing their world.
When I compare my life and my Christian experience to that of the believers in the book of Acts, I don’t see the same spiritual power, the same life transformation, and the same mighty move of God that they saw. An Anglican priest once put it this way: “Everywhere the Apostle Paul went there was either a revival or a riot. Everywhere I go there is a tea party.”
So why is my Christian lifestyle so much weaker than that of the first believers? Perhaps it is disobedience to those 4 simple words: “Quench not the Spirit.”
But how do I quench the Spirit? Here are some possible Spirit quenchers:
* Being bound by tradition: Jesus, Himself, said that our tradition can make “the Word of God of no effect.” Perhaps we follow tradition in church gatherings rather than being open to and obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
* Wilful disobedience: Perhaps we know that God wants us to do or say something and refuse to do so.
* Wilful sin: Perhaps we think, say, watch, listen to, or do things that we know are morally wrong.
* Focus on self: Maybe we think of our needs, concerns, and wants rather than obeying Jesus’ command to deny ourself and follow Him in the way that He lived.
Perhaps it is time to remove the Holy Spirit quenchers. This will not “just happen.” It will take a radical passion for God and a herculean commitment to follow and obey Him, no matter what the cost.
But perhaps it is time . . . If not now, when? If not you and me, who?
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face; and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14