Quenching the Spirit
In our continuing series of “The Outpouring”, we now come to a topic that is most misunderstood and yet necessary to understand -- that is the idea of “quenching the Holy Spirit”. Theologians for centuries have dealt with this compelling thought from 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit”. The 16th-century theologian John Calvin said that quenching the Spirit is when we make void the grace of God. The thought here is that we are to stir up ourselves in our daily walk with God to ignite the sparks that serve Him. Calvin goes on to say, "By not doing so was to make void the gifts of God. It would be as if one would throw wet wood into a fire". That is what quenching the Spirit is like; however, the Spirit's aim is to act in ways that promote our growth in grace.
Have you ever felt a lull or void in your relationship with Christ that seems to distance you from His presence? That may be very real in us when we feel the quenching of the Spirit within us. Taking a very cavalier view of Scripture both in its prophetic utterance and preaching is in view here. The Gospel can be spoiled when we substitute the message of the cross or for any other thing that separates us from living a sanctified life. To not quench the Spirit is to the discern and apply the Word of God appropriately and passionately in our daily lives.
As Graham A. Cole stated, “Our consciences may be bound by other than the Holy Spirit and with it our lives spoiled. Discernment was needed in Paul's day and it is still needed today".