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April 7 Do not extinguish the Spirit

1 Thess 5:19 “Do not extinguish [or quench]~| the Spirit.”

When we don’t want to hear what someone is saying, we can “tune out” or refuse to pay attention. The command in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 refers to our response to what the Spirit revealed in His Word.

The verb extinguish means “to quench, stifle, or disregard” what the Spirit says.

God allows us free will to choose to obey Him. His objective is to free us “so all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—-who is the Spirit—-makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Cor 3:18NLT). This transformation can be defined in the following steps.

First, the Spirit illuminates the word of God to us, “for to us God revealed them through the Spirit” (1 Cor 2:10).  Believers can quench the Spirit by ignoring what they understand of its message in their hearts (Psa 119:11) or by not letting it dwell richly within (Col 3:16).

Second, the Spirit draws the believer into intimacy with God, “for you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal 4:6).

Paul yearned for an even more intimate walk with Christ (Phil 3:10); he wanted to “know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformed to His death” (Phi 3:10). But this desire could be quenched by refusing to accept God’s purpose in our difficulties (James 1:2–-3, 12) or by trusting in ourselves instead of seeking His wisdom (Prov 3:5–-6). If we question His will, the Spirit is quenched.

Third, the Spirit helps the believer follow God’s will by teaching us what His will is (“Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”; Eph 5:17) and doing what He commands: “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezek 36:27).

This work of the Spirit can be extinguished by self–will, pride, selfishness, indifference, and refusal to obey His commands, which all stem from a lack of trust in God’s care, His plan, and His purpose for our lives. Don’t let your everyday decisions progressively quench the Spirit’s commands.

“Thank You for Your Spirit within me that gives me such delight when I walk in obedience and convicts me when I disobey. Oh, that I would learn to always obey!”

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