The title of this post comes from 1 Thess 5:19. When I read that passage the other day, I ‘flashed’ on another verse, Gal 5:22, where we find that the fruit of God’s Spirit is love. When we act, think, or speak in an unloving fashion, the Holy Spirit is quenched. I never saw it in that light before, but it appears throughout the Bible.
When the flesh gets the upper hand, the Spirit is quenched. When selfishness prevails, the Spirit is quenched. The apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians (13:1-3) that spiritual gifts, mountain-moving faith, and ‘sacrificial’ giving amounts to nothing if love is absent. God is grieved when we do the right things the wrong way. In another passage Paul tells us that even in preaching the Gospel there can be found sound doctrine with wrong motives. Note Paul’s conclusion when pondering this dilemma: rejoicing that Christ is preached!
As we find in Rev 2:4,5, Christ will not stay in a loveless church. Don’t think for one minute that any church that has flaws must lack love. No, if a perfect church exists, I’d never go near it because the second that I walked in I’d ruin it! No, a church is only ‘perfect’ inasmuch as it walks in love. Love of God supremely and love of our neighbor as ourselves pleases our Father. Love covers all sins and walks in the forgiveness that we’ve received through Christ. When we repeat past failures of others, we are not acting in love, and in so doing we quench the Spirit. Eph 5:2 tells us that walking in love is walking ‘Christ-like’. We are exhorted to “let brotherly love continue” because there are so many ‘potholes’ within the church that can create ‘blow-outs’.
The characteristics of love can be found in 1 Cor 13. Take a dictionary and find the antonyms for those words, which will equip you with enough information to write a tract “How to Quench the Spirit of God”. Love doesn’t flaunt ‘rights’. Fervent love is “above all things”.
May the love of Jesus prevail in your heart and home this week. May His endless love bless your family, your job, your service to Him. As long as the love of God prevails, you and I prevail.
I’ve discovered that the only thing that can quench the flow of love is a hardened heart. Our adversary knows how to “pull those strings” to get our eyes off of Jesus and on to the problems. Let’s never allow him the satisfaction of even a slight victory. Do a word study on love. As I said earlier, write the verses in 1 Cor 13 in their opposite form.
One last thing – don’t enter this study to find out where everyone else has failed. Let the Holy Spirit pull the weeds out of your garden first, and you will find that your brother’s weeds aren’t half as bad as the devil told you they were. Let love prevail, not be quenched.