|Do Not Extinguish the Spirit
By Greg Sanders
1 Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Do not extinguish the Spirit.” Paul is urging the church then and now to be people who allow the Holy Spirit to fervently burn in and through them. You need His Spirit burning and active in your life to experience the full life He has for you. Today I want to give you four ways we inadvertently extinguish the Spirit’s fire.
1.Hesitation – The first way we extinguish the Spirit in our life is by simply hesitating when we hear Him speak. This does not seem all that evil. Our hesitation usually begins with this phrase in our heart, “Lord, is that You?” You can spend so much time hesitating and waiting for confirmation that the opportunity the Spirit spoke to you about expires. So when the Spirit speaks, don’t hesitate but rather embark on the direction He gives you.
- Limitation – The second way you extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit in your heart is by questioning whether God will actually do what He says He will do in your life. It is easier to believe God will do something in someone else’s life than it is to believe God wants to work in yours. When you put limitations on what God can and desires to do in your life you are quenching His Spirit. Remember that God wants to do abundantly more than you could ask or think.
- Infatuation– The third way you extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit in your heart is by loving things more than we love the Lord. We all know the story of the rich young ruler. He was grieved because Jesus caused him come to the realization that he was more infatuated with his things than with following Jesus. Anytime you love the created things more than the Creator, it brings an extinguishment to the fire of the Holy Spirit.
- Imitation– The fourth way we extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit in our life is by trying to force God to move in our life in the exact way He moved in someone else’s life. If you look through the word of God you will find that God rarely, if ever, did the same miracle the same way twice. God is creative. You are evidence of that fact. So don’t try to limit God by forcing Him to operate in your preconceived idea.
When we listen and respond to what the Holy Spirit says we are creating an environment in our lives where His Spirit can burn bright. Don’t extinguish His fire; nurture it.
Today’s Challenge: When the Holy Spirit speaks to you He will often say things that stretch you, challenge you, and sometimes scare you. Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire. Instead, respond and expect Him to move in your life in great ways.