Quench Not the Spirit
In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we read the instruction, “Quench not the Spirit.” The word quench means to extinguish or put out a fire by using water or some other means. If something has been quenched, there is no more life in it.
The devil wants the Spirit of God to be extinguished in our lives. He is working in these last days to attack three resources that are necessary in the life of a Christian to maintain spiritual health: the Word of God, prayer, and family worship. By understanding the attacks of the devil in these areas, and guarding against them, we can ensure that the Spirit is not quenched in our lives.
The Word of God
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).
There are many things in our day that choke the Word of God. We live in a busy and fast world because of the pressures of this life. Some hardly have time to even cook whole meals, they rely on fast foods that have little or no nutritional value. However, such a busy and fast life should not take away our time for reading the Word of God. We do not want to treat the Word like food we quickly warm in the microwave.
In Joshua 1:8, we are told how we need to value the Word of God—we must always meditate on it. When we read it, we need to stop and digest it. We cannot quickly read the Word of God like a newspaper, selecting what we want to read and what we do not want.
We must ask ourselves two very important questions—how often do we read the Bible, and how long do we spend reading it? We need to deliberately and consciously spend a considerable amount of time studying the Word of God. If our physical bodies need to be fed three times a day, and sometimes also snacks between meals, how much more do our souls need nourishment? In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us to seek the Kingdom of God first. God knows our economic challenges and that we need many things in our lives, but even then, He calls for us to put first things first.
Sunday school lessons are vital for us. Even if we have already learned the lessons some time back, we cannot say we already know it all. Sunday school is also an opportunity to pass lessons on to new converts. How do we value Sunday school lessons? How do we value the memory verses? Do we just see them as mere words? We shouldn’t just set it aside, only remembering to go through it quickly on Saturday evening. The Word of God is what keeps us from sin. It is what helps us to know the mind of God. With God’s Word in our hearts, we will be better equipped to obey Him, and His Spirit will not be quenched in our lives.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
We all know that prayer is talking to God. But there is a difference between knowing what prayer is and doing the action of praying. Is it possible to faint? Yes it is. No wonder Jesus encourages us to pray always.
Luke 6:12 gives us the example of Jesus himself. The Son of God, who came from Heaven and had all power, prayed. He lived a life of prayer. Why would Jesus pray the whole night? Because His ministry did not depend on experiences. Jesus always wanted to be connected to God the Father and the Spirit through prayer.
A Gospel chorus says, “Jesus started with prayer and ended with prayer.” Jesus depended upon God through prayer, and we must determine to do so too, because it is possible for the spirit of prayer to be quenched.
A clutch plate is what allows a vehicle to transition into gear. If the clutch plate is broken, the vehicle will not move no matter how good the engine may be. Prayer is the “clutch plate” that connects us to Heaven. If we are going to be sound Christians who not only look good on the outside but indeed are connected to Heaven, then we must pray.
If ever there was a time that we must pray, it is now. We are moving against the wind in these last days. We are in the final minutes of the battle because the devil knows that his time is short (see Revelation 12:12). We must not allow our spiritual lives to be quenched by neglecting to pray.
And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him (Genesis 18:17-19).
God knew Abraham, and knew he could be trusted to faithfully pass on to his children and household the importance of following God’s ways. God sees our homes every day as He did Abraham’s. We want to follow what Abraham did and be faithful examples and teachers for our families.
Family worship is another area that is under attack during these last days. Satan wants to remove this vital practice from our homes. When our lives are too busy, our children become vulnerable to the influence of the teachings of the world. Consider that children may only spend a few hours in church each week, and the rest of the time is spent at home, in school, in their community, and elsewhere. One minister said, “If parents do not fulfill their spiritual responsibility, Satan will shape the children in his mold.” Our children are vulnerable to the mold of the devil, so we must do all we can to protect them.
The world today is suffering from juvenile delinquency because society has thrown away the Word of God. Television and video games may be fun for children, but they can also be dangerous. We need to know what our children are exposed to at all times. There is a false teacher out there who will take advantage when parents are negligent.
We must know our children. We need to know their character traits and counsel them with the Word of God, correcting them in love. Negative traits that are uncorrected and uncontrolled are what lead to child delinquency.
We also need to have family worship time. Children should not be strangers to the Word of God. As parents, we lead by example. We should not only send our children to Sunday school, but also read the Word of God and attend church with them. If we come to church late, after Sunday school is over, our children will see it. As parents, we are their life coaches. If they notice that we force them to read the Bible but don’t read it ourselves, they will not value the Bible. If they have never seen us kneel down to pray at home, they will not see the value of prayer. When we are mindful to read the Bible and to pray together as families, we will protect our spiritual lives and protect our children’s lives too.
Consider the times
We are living in perilous times. These are times in which the love of many is waxing cold. The devil is not concerned about unbelievers because they are already his. He targets the true Christians and wants by all means to make them cold, relaxed, and entangled with the affairs of this life so that Jesus’ Second Coming will take them unaware.
In the Bible, Jesus gave a parable of the ten virgins “which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1). They all had received the same invitation, they all accepted it, but they waited in different ways. Five of them were wise because they prepared adequately. They carried with them some oil in their vessels because they did not know the exact time of the Bridegroom’s coming. The other five virgins were foolish because they did not prepare. Perhaps they thought they had enough oil already, and carrying extra would be doing too much since their lamps were already trimmed and burning. Perhaps they got busy with other things and neglected the most important thing—the oil. They thought they were ready but they did not know that their oil was slowly depleting and their lamps were getting dim. In that state, there was a cry that the Bridegroom had come! Alas, their lamps had gone out. They were not ready to meet the Bridegroom and the door was shut.
In these last days, we are waiting to meet our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. There will be a “midnight cry” for all to meet Him in the sky, but only those who are ready will meet Him. The return of our Lord Jesus Christ is eminent; we must trim our lamps and keep the oil of the Spirit full in our lives.
We must not allow the enemy to be successful in attacking our reading of the Word, our prayer times, and our family worship. We do not want the Spirit of God to be quenched within us. Therefore, let us be diligent in guarding these vital aspects of our walk with God, and purpose to continue in the faith until the day of His appearing.