Do not quench…

I was brought up in churches where the Spirit of God, and the workings of the Spirit were held in high intellectual regard. Passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:18-22: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.” were read with a kind of wonder and awe, while thinking “if He ever chooses to use me, I definitely won’t quench it!”.

However, rarely, if ever, were the fruits manifest. Once in a while, at revivals or summer camps, He might show up and be allowed to move, but those cases were few and far between. Services were always pre-scripted and setup in such a way that God rarely had the opportunity to move, and if He tried, someone would usually interrupted with “Oh, look at the time!”, or something with an equivalent effect.

I’ve had a problem with this for quite a while, and scriptures like this mean a lot more to me now than they once did. It occurs to me that Paul did not write this to a congregation who would be looking at their watches to make sure the letter didn’t take more than the allotted 15 minutes to read. He didn’t write it to a group of people who thought the Spirit sounded pretty cool, but who weren’t quite sure if the Spirit still bothered to move anymore. He was writing to a group of people who had all spoken in tongues. He was writing to people who saw the Spirit move in mighty ways on a daily basis. He was writing to a group of people who were under constant persecution.

If he needed to remind THESE people not to quench the Spirit, how much more do we need to hear that message today? If you have been sitting on the fence, thinking that it would be great to be used but not really giving the Lord opportunity to move, I would like to challenge you…

Take some time to read through 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians 14, but read them with the intention of seeing what Paul was taking for granted… and after you’ve read those, seek after the gifts — Paul encouraged the Corinthians to seek after the greater gifts, but perhaps we need to start by seeking after the lesser…

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