1 Thes. 5:19 – Do not quench the Spirit.
This verse is a very important verse in today’s church. It has become too common and too easy to stamp out the gifts of the Spirit in public worship. The common position many churches have taken is that they believe in the gifts (in theory) but it is way to messy to allow any public use of spiritual gifts. The result, they quench the Spirit. Much of the problem comes from not understanding the very source of these gifts. The gifts of the Spirit flow out of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. The prayer language is at the center of the manifestation of these gifts. You stop people from praying in the Spirit and you will put out the Spirit’s fire in that spiritual community (you know, stop the spread). Paul saw the importance of spiritual gifts, they are the very power source of the church. Here are some comments from the Fire Bible on today’s verse.
“Paul equates despising and rejecting the expressions of the Holy Spirit in the church with putting out the Spirit’s fire. Paul encourages the believers to let the Spirit operate through people by his spiritual gifts (i.e., God-given abilities and empowerments to benefit the church), such as the gift of prophecy. This special gift enables a Christian to deliver a message or revelation directly from God under the impulse and prompting of the Holy Spirit. For any of God’s people, to repress or reject the orderly use of prophecy or other spiritual gifts can result in the loss of the Holy Spirit’s activity among a group of believers.”
I often think back of the early days of my spiritual journey and the spiritual community I was part of. I was part of a Jesus Community in California in the 1970’s. Spiritual gifts were part of the fabric of our culture. I can remember our pastor giving a word of knowledge about how many unbelievers were in a given service and then watching as they responded to the altar call. During those services we would worship together in the Spirit (singing in tongues in harmony together) for extended periods of time. It was in that atmosphere that the gifts of the Spirit would begin to operate. Over the years I have seen the charismatic and Pentecostal churches quench the fire of God all across the country. A restoration of these gifts is critical if want want to see an awakening in this generation. I have to agree with Paul, “DO NOT QUENCH THE SPIRIT”.