You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
This is my 7th post in a series on 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25. This week we are looking at what I’ve numbered the 15th (out of 22) commandment/guideline Paul lists on how to live our lives worthy of the gospel. I pray you have been following along in this series and God is speaking to your heart about how to live your life. I feel it’s important to emphasize once again that we can’t earn our way into Heaven with acts and great deeds, but when we truly believe in Christ and all He has sacrificed and given to us it’s impossible for our hearts, actions and lives to every look the same. This is where Paul’s Holy Spirit inspired words come into play.
(15) Do not quench the Spirit.
I have pondered these five words for hours and many thoughts have rolled through my head. If we define quench and Spirit and then reread these five words it does so much to deepen our understanding. Let me throw out a few variations for you:
Do not extinguish the Fountain of Life (Psalm 36:9, 87:7), Do not suppress the Consuming Fire (Deut. 4:24), Do not extinguish the Thirst Quencher (John 4:13-14), and Do not suppress the Spring of Living Water (Jer 2:13).
These concepts work against human nature because when we have climbed to the tip-top of a mountain (with a REALLY heavy backpack) to enjoy the view, we are thirsty and drink all we can to quench that thirst along the way. (Oh, and the view below was worth every step! This is a picture my husband and I soaking in God’s artistic talents on a recent camping trip with friends.)
Human nature also beckons us to race into action when there is a fire consuming lives, homes and beautiful forests. Our desire to extinguish the damaging deadly fire is so natural we often act without even thinking first. However, when it comes to the Living God, the Holy Spirit who dwells in us we need to work with the opposite frame of mind. Working against human nature and the world. Paul reminds us that we are never to satisfy, extinguish, suppress or quench the Holy Spirit. In other words, we need to look beyond ourselves, our plans, our perceived strengths and rely on that of the Spirit. If I had written this commandment/guideline I would have said, “Quench Yourself, Not the Spirit!” We never want to be rid of the desire to seek our Heavenly Father and follow His plans for us. We never want to extinguish the passion we have to seek Him daily and in all things. I pray God continues to give us an unquenchable thirst for His word, His ways and His plans. He will fill us up each minute, day or hour without tiring, without hesitation and without delay if we only seek Him.
Therefore (1) encourage one another and (2) build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to (3) respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and (4) to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. (5) Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, (6) admonish the idle, (7) encourage the fainthearted, (8) help the weak, (9) be patient with them all. (10) See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but (11) always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. (12) Rejoice always, (13) pray without ceasing, (14) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (15) Do not quench the Spirit. (16) Do not despise prophecies, (17) but test everything; (18) hold fast what is good. (19) Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Brothers, (20) pray for us. (21) Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I put you under oath before the Lord to (22) have this letter read to all the brothers. 1 Thessalonians 5:11-25