Quenching the Spirit

Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

When I was a young man with a young family I almost burned down my house and my neighbors house by attempting to burn out a hornets nest. I learned from that experience that fire needs to be handled carefully.

Spiritually, the way God starts fires has a purpose for the ones who are willing to bear the flame. For those who choose the path of unrighteousness, the fire cleanses and purifies.

Isaiah mentions how God uses the fire of the Spirit to cleanse the land of unrighteousness.

Isaiah 4:4 “When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning,”

The Lord has used fire to bring many people to their knees, some in judgement and others to His anointing.

Sodom and Gomorrah experienced the purging effects of God’s fire, as well as the 400 prophets of Baal who confronted Elijah’s witness for the Lord. It is by fire the Lord will one day judge mankind and purge Creation from the effects of sin.

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

The fire of God’s judgement has been prepared for His enemies, while His people will be spared the consequences of sin because they walk in grace.

I find it interesting how God uses fire to both purify and to purge.

Moses stood before the burning bush and witnessed the purity of God’s presence. It was fire that led the children of Israel through the desert at night and it was the fire of God upon the mountain that reminded the Israelites of God’s power.

Fire has been representative of God’s holiness and God’s judgement from the beginning. When the Spirit of God fell upon the disciples in the upper room, the Spirit appeared as fire upon their heads.

Psalm 104:4 “He makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.”

For those who carry the gospel into the world, they are likened to a holy fire as they do the Father’s will. Setting the world on fire can either bring condemnation upon those who resist the Lord or alight the fires of righteousness in those who believe.

Wicked Fires

The tongue is likened to a fire when it gets out of control. The damage that occurs when gossip is spread or bad teaching leads people astray can be devastating.

Woe to those false ministers who take advantage of their position and deceive the people with lies, the holy fire they were meant to represent will become a scourging fire of judgement upon their heads.

Since the Spirit of God is often likened to fire, it’s interesting how Paul warns God’s people to not quench (or dampen) the work of God’s Spirit in their lives.

1 Thessalonians 5:19  "Do not quench the Spirit."

   The fire I set was meant to eliminate a threat, instead it purged the weeds in my neighborhood.  The fire of God's judgement that will purge this world of sinners will bring cleansing and purity in the life of a believer.

   The admonition to not quench the Spirit is only meant for those who walk in the Spirit and know the fellowship of God's presence.  It's interesting how certain elements of a believers walk can either enhance the work of God or diminish His work.

Ephesians 5:18  "And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit"

   For those who are careless with alcohol, the work of the Spirit is diminished in the believer who lacks self-control.  The pharisees of Jesus' day were very good at appearing righteous but the Lord knew their hearts and they lived contrary to God's will.

Matthew 23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

Holy Fire

As we look at the elements of God’s Spirit in the Word of God, we witness certain attributes that benefit those who choose to walk in the Spirit.

Holiness * God’s abiding presence * Guidance * Instruction * Power * Understanding * Knowledge * and Freedom

If a believer quenches the Spirit in their own life, the work that God desires to do will be diminished. Without the Spirit actively working in the life of a believer, they will lack the power that God has prepared for them.

How does a believer quench the Spirit? We are given a clue in Ephesians…

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

If believers exhibit the qualities that are contrary to God’s nature, they are essentially pouring water on the fire of God’s Spirit in their lives. Sin inhibits the work of the Spirit in a believer. To sin is to break God’s moral law and God’s law is a revelation of His nature. It shouldn’t be a surprise that sin quenches the work of God’s Spirit.

If the Spirit of God is quenched in the life of a believer, they will find their testimony becoming ineffective, they will struggle to hear or see God’s direction and will fail to represent His holiness before others.

Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

Everything the Spirit of God represents, every good and perfect gift He gives, every manifestation of His presence is offended when the believer goes their own way….and yet we see Jesus with the basin and the towel, ready to wash the feet of His people.

John 13:3-5 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”

The pattern of restoration and healing is found at the feet of the Messiah. Unbelievers continually offend God’s name, they have no knowledge of the Spirit of God because they are separate from Him. Believers on the other hand have a relationship that was born of the Spirit, that relationship must be restored unless they choose to walk in willful disobedience.

Reigniting the Fire

The hope of Jesus was made possible by the manifestation of His grace. He lowered Himself before us that we might see what true strength looks like. When God’s glorious love appeared and His people were at their lowest, He demonstrated power in humility.

The fire of God’s Spirit burns in the hearts of the humble servant. When the King of kings lowers Himself as a servant, His people would do well to follow.

In everything Jesus has lead the way, all we must do is follow His lead.

Walking in the Spirit is linked directly to a relationship with Jesus.

John 20:21-22 “So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

The closer that God’s people draw near to Christ, the more they will desire to please Him. The Spirit brings clarity into the life of a believer with a knowledge of sin and righteousness.

It is the Holy Spirit who supplies the power necessary to walk in Christ. He is the very signature of God who seals the life of a true believer and effectively substantiates their position in His Kingdom.

Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

Do you desire to walk in the power of God?

The life of the faithful must be authentic, any deviation from God’s standard of Truth is an offense against His name. For those who remain faithful, the image of God is made manifest through their lives.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

If you desire to walk in the power of God’s Spirit, you must learn to be obedient to God’s leading. The Spirit of God brings discernment and wisdom. Every believer that has ever done anything worthwhile, has done so by submitting to the Spirit’s lead in their life.

Walk in the Spirit and you will walk in power.

2 thoughts on “Quenching the Spirit

  1. Thanks Rick…for the time and effort you put into this blog. It blesses me every morning.
    Saturday morning Men’s Group at Calvary are now the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s each month….so twice a month. 5/6 and 5/20 in May. Have invited Bob Johnson and Tom Gray….new guys I’ve met at church, so they are starting to come…we’re all seeking to invite and grow the group. Hope you’ll be able to make it here and there….
    I appreciate what you do….


  2. Thanks Rick…for the time and effort you put into this blog. It blesses me every morning.
    Saturday morning Men’s Group at Calvary are now the 1st and 3rd Saturday’s each month….so twice a month. 5/6 and 5/20 in May. Have invited Bob Johnson and Tom Gray….new guys I’ve met at church, so they are starting to come…we’re all seeking to invite and grow the group. Hope you’ll be able to make it here and there….



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