When you quench the Spirit you limit God!
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies”, 1Thess. 5:19-20.
Is this scripture relevant today? Yes it is.
Just two weeks ago I was preaching in the Philippines and on the last evening I was to meet several potential preachers and their wives. By 9pm they did not show, so I went to bed. Moments later, the preacher who had organized the gathering, told me they had finally come. I got out of bed, dressed and followed him to where he had gathered the five of them in one part of a large room. He then asked me to stay separate from them and he called each individually for me to pray for.
I asked him why he didn’t want me just to pray for the group and go back to bed. He said he hardly knew them and wanted God to reveal anything about them to me. So I prayed for each of them and the Lord did indeed reveal secrets about their lives and their intents for seeking to be preachers. I then left and went back to bed. The next day I asked how it went after I left and he said they all broke down in tears, confessed all that was revealed was true and one even said it was like being X-rayed, everything about me was exposed he said.
This ministry of the Holy Spirit turned out to be very advantageous to the preacher interviewing them because Pilipinos avoid one-on-one confrontation and so people never confront issues with others, but do it through third parties. In this case they could no longer hide; the secret intents of their hearts were exposed by the Holy Spirit. This preacher was delighted with the outcome because he was now able to minister openly and distinctly to these young preachers in training.
This charisma ministry should be common in the body of Christ as it deals with core issues in people’s lives immediately and releases Christ’s servants for service. It releases them from the spiritual hypochondria of their own choosing in most cases. If we are honest, it is easy to discern that we have far too many hypochondriac believers in the churches. Believers who need to be set free from the bondages many embrace so lovingly.
The world sees little value these days in “feel-good, happy-clappy, churchianity" that promises entertainment and not eternity! They are looking for the genuine kingdom of God that came with true power, 1 Cor. 4:20. The kingdom of God never failed the world; it turned it upside down in a few years and struck fear in the hearts of some and awe in the hearts of others. The church fails the world because it quenches the Holy Spirit’s genuine participation and substitutes it poorly with religious denominationalism.
The scriptures reveal that the Holy Spirit was poured out in His fulness to minister to the body of Christ, convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, seal the saved unto eternal life and to confirm the preaching of the gospel with signs and wonders. Nothing has changed and when we say it has, that’s when we quench the Spirit and effectually become dependent upon our own power and aptitude to expand God’s kingdom in the earth. That’s when “church” replaces kingdom.
When we quench the Spirit’s ministry to Christ's bride (1. Cor. 12-14), we master in personal aptitude and psychology and counsel the broken hearted and those living in the shadow of death with worldly wisdom that’s from beneath and not from above as James says, James 3:13-18. When we quench the Spirit we relegate Him to merely sealing the saved unto eternal life. When we quench the Spirit we fear signs and wonders rather than participate in genuine signs and wonders. When we quench the Spirit we become spiritual policemen and women scrutinizing gatherings rather than ministering to one another, Eph. 4:11-16. Then we wonder why the world is not convinced the living, participating God is with us.
Paul told the Corinthians that if they allowed the Holy Spirit to minister through them genuinely, the world would cry out that God was with them indeed. “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or uniformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you,” I Cor. 14:24-25. Such ministry is necessary today; particularly in the Western cultures where “church” is the focus and not the kingdom of God.