Do Not Grieve or Quench the Holy Spirit!
The Bible warns us: “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” (Ephesians 4:30) How would one grieve or quench the Holy Spirit? First let’s discuss how we “grieve” Him and then we will cover how we “quench” Him.
When we study the verses before and after Ephesians 4:30 we see that we can grieve the Holy Spirit by hateful speech and by treating other people badly. Let’s read those three verses together: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building one another up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 29-31)
And the next verse reads: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as God has forgiven you through Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32) Clearly these Bible passages tell us that we grieve the Holy Spirit when we do not walk the love walk. Scripture says that those first early Christians really loved one another and took care of one another. And I believe the Holy Spirit did mighty works among them because of that. The lame walked, the sick were healed, and many miracles happened when they prayed. (Acts 2-5) All because the Holy Spirit and the love walk are connected.
One of the ways we honor God is by honoring His people. We can learn something about how God is grieved, by looking at how we are grieved. We parents are grieved when our children or grandchildren treat us or each other badly. When one family member is hurt or excluded by another or when the family itself is broken or torn apart. Just before Jesus died on the cross He prayed for us that we would be close and loving and together as He and the Father are. (John 17:20-25) That His followers would walk the love walk. Jesus’ prayer was that the world would be able to see Him through the unity and love and kindness of His followers – the Church. Has His prayer been answered in your home and your church?
But what if someone in your family or your church has hurt you deeply or done something really wrong? How do you walk the love walk then? Love will tell you to forgive that person even when you don’t think they deserve it. Love will call you to do all you can to make peace. To be the peacemaker when you would like to make war. Love will call you to keep some of your opinions to yourself and to be willing not to always get your own way. We are called to forgive and forget. Give up selfish pride. Walking the love walk is hard to do. It will cost you something. Are you willing to pay the price?
The love walk is a supernatural walk and it brings supernatural joy and laughter along the way. The Holy Spirit can freely fill us with his strength and power when we are walking the love walk. Love will tell you to give time to someone when you would rather spend that time on yourself. Love will require you to not say some things you would like to say. And command you not to do some things you would like to do. Hold back gossip when you would like to tell all. But the Holy Spirit will give you the desire and joy to do those things if you will allow Him. Our willingness to obey and walk the love walk will have a lot to do with how much the Holy Spirit will be free to give us His gifts and fruits.
I think we all may have some work to do to walk the love walk and stay on the path. I certainly need help as I can be judgmental and unloving. I pray to God to soften my heart. I have made a decision to try to think nicer thoughts about the people I know and not gossip but forgive. I am trying to stay on this joyful love path but it isn’t always easy for me. I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit.
And how do we “quench” the Holy Spirit? The word “quench” means to “put out” or to stop or slow down, to make less intense. We want to increase the Spirits’ flow in our life and not slow it down. If we believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit lives in us. And our attitudes affect whether the Holy Spirit increases or decreases in our lives. Satan will try to fill our minds with wrong attitudes and thoughts. Scripture says: “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it (the heart) flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
If we desire God and seek His truth, have faith in Him and help the poor, we open ourselves up to more and more of the Holy Spirit. But if we desire worldly things above God, live disobedient lives and turn our backs on the needy, we quench the Holy Spirit that lives in us.
Scripture says: “Live by the Holy Spirit, and you will not give in to the desires of your sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” (Galatians 5:16-17) We are told here to “Live by the Holy Spirit” or to let Him guide our lives otherwise we will follow our natural sinful nature. We quench the Spirit when we refuse His guidance and give in to the desires of our sinful nature.
The Holy Spirit is our divine helper. He councils and comforts us. Guides us into truth and teaches us. And He gives grace to us. Grace is spiritual power enabling us to live good lives and do the work that God has for us to do.
One of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is oil. (Zechariah 4:6) Oil soothes and medicates. We use oil in engines to keep the parts of the machine moving. And when we face our tasks and jobs with the Holy Spirit as our helper it seems that our problems are overcome and the oil of the Spirit just keeps things moving along smoothly. I ask the Holy Spirit to give me strength and help me with my tasks, especially the ones that seem too difficult for me. Or give spiritual guidance and inspiration when I write these blogs. I count on this supernatural grace- this oil that keeps our souls alive and moving- breathing life and grace into each day. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Another symbol of the Holy Spirit is fire. The Holy Spirit in us is a supernatural fire – a fire to burn away the dross of sin in our lives and a flame of light to light up our lives and show us the way. A power to help us pray for others, and guide us into the Truth. (Romans 8:26-27)
God has given this marvelous Gift of the Holy Spirit to us and we need to value Him and take full advantage of all that He offers us. We grieve Him when we forget to love others. We can welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives and be careful not to grieve or quench Him! I believe we do this by learning to live our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Some of the Scriptures and ideas in this blog were taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “Knowing God Intimately”. Pages 222-256.