Don’t Put Out the Fire
Beware, Christians, we can act in ways that seriously jeopardize our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 62-64; 1 Thessalonians 5
10 But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. Isaiah 63:10
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Need we be concerned about our responses to the Holy Spirit? Is there a danger we will in some way offend, resist, grieve, or quench the Spirit of God? Are we not secure in our relationship to God through faith in Christ? Could we, Christians, act in ways that seriously jeopardize that relationship? Both Isaiah and Paul tell us the answer is “yes”!
Isaiah described the attitudes of Israel as those of rebellious children, laden with iniquity, despisers of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 1:2-4). God’s people will go into captivity because they have turned the Lord against them through their rebellion and grieving of His Holy Spirit.
Paul commended the Thessalonians as those who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Certainly, they had been born again and delivered “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Nevertheless, Paul was concerned about their spiritual well-being and, now, in his concluding words, he charges them not to quench the Spirit. He would not be saying this unless there were a danger that they could actually do it. He gives them several instructions as to their relationships with their leaders, their brothers who may be struggling, and their enemies. He tells them to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks. Then he adds, “Do not quench the Spirit.” He warns them about two wrong responses to prophecies: despising them and believing them without testing them. He urges them to hold fast what is good and reject all evil.
Yes, we are secure in our relationship to God through faith in Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit is God, the third member of the Trinity. Our relationship to God is no different from our relationship to the Son and the Spirit. Salvation is worked out in obedience (Philippians 2:12,13). Where salvation through faith exists, there will be obedience and, as needed, prompt confession and repentance for disobedience.
The Holy Spirit has been identified with fire (Luke 3:16; Acts 2:1-4). Paul is warning his readers about the danger of pouring water on the fire of the Holy Spirit in their lives through ungodly attitudes toward others, selfish living, prayerlessness, and other evils. The Spirit of God is Holy and never leads us into such behaviors. Today, be led by the Spirit. Beware of quenching or grieving Him.