But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. - Galatians 5:16
We all struggle to hear the Spirit when we quench it. Quenching the Spirit is different than grieving the Spirit - grieving is when we commit a sin. It's when we intentionally do something against God's Word. There's really no arguing with it - scripture tells us it's wrong, but we do it anyway. This causes the Spirit to grieve, and the only way to right that wrong is to confess and repent our transgressions.
In contrast, we quench the spirit when we don't do something we're prompted or convicted to do. Quenching is a bit more slippery slope, and a lot more tempting. It isn't necessarily sin to ignore the promptings, but we choose to anyway because it's easier. This is what makes the quenching of the spirit more tempting for many of us - because we know it's not sin, we can rationalize it away as being okay.
For example, we all know we're supposed to get into the Word everyday, but we have so much to do, we choose to let it go for today. It's not necessarily sin to not be in His Word, but we know we should. We hear the promptings and we ignore them. The same is true with small group or church, or giving of our time and resources to serving people in need.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg - how many times have we been prompted to do something or say something, and we've ignored it? We give in to fear of man in the situation, or sheer laziness because we don't feel like doing it. And we rationalize it away because it's not sin. We must be so cautious when we choose to quench the Spirit. We all struggle in our lives and we all have people we are praying come to know Jesus intimately. It should be our desire that the Spirit shines brightly from our hearts through our struggles - not only so our loved ones see Him radiate from our faces, but to bring Glory to Him and Him alone.
When we quench the spirit, He gets quieter and quieter, and we find ourselves out in the wilderness, wondering how we got there. There are signposts along the way, my friends. Pay attention. When we find ourselves feeling lonely or lost or we're disconnected, when we're frustrated or we're angry, when we're overwhelmed or we're anxious, when we we don't know what God is telling us to do....those are all signposts. Stop where you are and do an inventory of your life. Where are you quenching the Spirit? Where are you not following through on God's promptings?
If you want to feel His peace and His joy in a trial and you're not, if you want to hear His voice of wisdom in a difficult decision and you're not, you are probably quenching the Spirit somewhere. Find it and change it, and you'll feel His presence come in like a breath of fresh air.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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