Deuteronomy 4:24 states that “the Lord your God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:28-29 tells us to “serve God via reverence and awe because our God is a consuming fire.”
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When John the Baptist announced Jesus’ ministry in Matthew 3:11, he said that One was coming who would “baptize you via the Holy Spirit and also fire.”
In Acts 2:3, on the day of Pentecost, as soon as the Spirit of God fell on the original disciples, the Scripture claims that the Spirit rested on each one “prefer flames of fire that were split.”
This exact same God is existing within our church this day in the power and also visibility of the Holy Spirit. I think it is useful to imagine our church as the kindling for the fire – we are placing the pieces of lumber together in such a method that is many conducive for the fire to burn. But we are not the fire. Only the Holy Spirit can carry the fire and collection us ablaze for the glory of God. And He is doing that. He is via us. He is igniting us. He is burning within us and also among us.
With that image in mind, I desire to rotate your attention to a crucial verse for NT spirituality: 1 Thessalonians 5:19. It is a short one – just four words – don’t stifle the Spirit.
The verb translated ‘stifle’ indicates to “extinguish a fire” to “stop something from burning.” So here’s the photo – the mental picture that the Scripture is placing prior to us:
The Spirit is a fire, and He is establishing His church on fire to burn brightly for Him. But if we are not cautious, we deserve to take a bucket of water and dousage the Spirit. We deserve to stifle the Spirit, quench His work-related in our middle. And as soon as we do that, we just go back to being a pile of wood without any type of warmth or power.
So, we don’t want to stifle the Spirit. What does that look like?
What are the things that we carry out that pour water on the fire of the Spirit in our midst?
We can not even realize what we are doing – we are just doing what comes organic to us.
But we are so despeprice for God. We need Him more than we require air and also water. Without His empowering existence, we are sindicate going through the movements. But through Him, all things are possible.
To understand also just how we are stifling the Spirit, we have to first recognize what He is doing in our midst. Only then will certainly we check out clearly how we are opposing Him and also quenching His fire.
As I have studied the Scriptures, I check out four areas wbelow the Spirit appears to be powerfully working:
1- He is leading us towards dependence on God (prayer)
Scripture: Romans 8:26-27
“In the very same method the Spirit also joins to aid in our weakness, bereason we do not know what to pray for as we should, however the Spirit Himself intercedes for us via unspoken groanings. And He that searcs the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-collection, bereason He intercedes for the saints according to the will certainly of God.”
The moments in the Scriptures wbelow the Spirit moves most powerfully in the church is with prayer – Acts 2 (Pentecost), Acts 4 (place was shaken, they were filled, spoke boldly), Acts 6 (devote ourselves to prayer), Acts 10 (Peter’s vision as he was praying), Acts 13 (praying when the Spirit collection aside Paul and Barnabas for missions), Acts 16 (Paul and also Silas in priboy praying)…
The Spirit’s fire burns wright here tright here is faithful prayer.
2- He is convicting us of sin and turning our hearts toward Jesus
In the gospel of John, Jesus talks around the minisattempt of the Holy Spirit.
Listen to Jesus’ words in John 14:25-26
“I have actually spoken these things to you while I reprimary with you. But the Counselor, the Divine Spirit —the Father will sfinish Him in My name—will certainly teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
Listen additionally to His words in John 16:7-8
“Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go ameans, because if I don’t go amethod the Counselor will certainly not come to you. If I go, I will certainly send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.”
A couple of thoughts on these passages:The Divine Spirit is working among us to allude our hearts back to Jesus.He is leading us to study and read the Word of God. And the Spirit is convicting our hearts wbelow our resides are out of line with the Scriptures.His conviction is not one of shaming us, but among transforming us.He desires us to trust in Jesus, to follow Jesus, to live like Jesus.And He is speaking to our hearts towards that end.
3- He is gifting us for making disciples (living for others)
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12-14
We simply newly taught a five-week series at our church with these chapters, and we learned some crucial truths:
ONE, that the Divine Spirit has actually gifted eexceptionally Christian for the job-related of ministry, and
TWO, that the gifts are given for 2 reasons:First, that the name of Jesus would be lifted high among all peoples (mission)2nd, that the church would certainly thrive in maturity
The fire of the Spirit involves the church not simply for the great of the church. It comes additionally to equip the church for the work-related of the minisattempt. The Spirit wants us to live for others. The Spirit presents us to make disciples – both inside and external the church. The Spirit is not simply at job-related inside your congregation. He is Lord of the whole earth and calling the church to go into the whole people. The NT is clear: the Spirit presents believers to accomplish the mission He has actually given us – to serve one one more (to construct up the church) and to reach the civilization through the gospel
4- He is bringing unity among brothers and sisters in the church
Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21 for us. Here’s what He prayed:
“I pray not only for these, but likewise for those who think in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the civilization may think You sent Me.”
I think we are safe to assume that the Holy Spirit is functioning to accomplish the prayer of Jesus in the human being now. He moves as the human being of God are linked and love one one more.
Listen to Paul’s encouragement to the Christians in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:30-32:
“30 And don’t grieve God’s Divine Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and also wrath, shouting and slander have to be rerelocated from you, in addition to all malice. 32 And be type and also compassionate to one another, forproviding one an additional, simply as God likewise forprovided you in Christ.”
A couple of thoughts:We grieve the Spirit once we don’t obtain along with each various other.Jesus wants us to be combined as His church – under One Master, One Savior, One Spirit.The Divine Spirit is functioning to construct one church through one mind and one heart.The church is powerful once we work together as one people via one heart.We honor the Spirit and stoke the fire of His work as soon as we love one one more.But we grieve Him as soon as we don’t – as soon as we can’t gain along and also are split.
All of that being said, here’s the real question I want us to wrestle with: how does Satan work in our midst to tempt us to stifle the work-related of the Spirit? Remember, Satan is a liar. He functions to deceive God’s world so that they perform not think the fact. And if we are not cautious, we will autumn ideal right into his traps. Here’s what Satan is doing to lead us to stifle the fire of the Divine Spirit:
1- Satan is feeding our independence and also resulting in us to doubt God’s goodness.
If we are not on guard, this leads us to a absence of prayer. Now God is soveregime and also He will certainly perform as He pleases, yet He has put up this civilization via a crucial spiritual principle in place – if we do not pray, He will not relocate.
It is time to examine our hearts and also minds once it concerns prayer. Are you praying at all? Is it sincere? Is it consistent? Are you and I declaring our dependence on God for every one of life and also ministry?
Or carry out we sindicate go with our daily regime without God? And then when the bottom falls out, we run ago to the Lord in prayer. If that is our routine, we are stifling the Spirit in our midst. We have to return to prayer as the church. We have to cry out to God and also lean on His strength.
Not as an afterassumed, however as our heartbeat.
2- Satan wants us to justify our sinfulness and also ignore the voice of the Spirit.
I wrote previously that the Spirit is convicting us of sin and leading us back to Jesus. But Satan doesn’t desire us to respond to the Spirit’s conviction and repent and also discover healing. And so we are tempted to excusage our sin and provide up on the search of holiness.
This is among our biggest battles. The church doesn’t look any type of different from the civilization in our worth and also techniques. This grieves the heart of God and stifles the occupational of the Spirit. We need to go back to a place of holy sorrow for our sin.
We have to not just acunderstanding our sin, yet watch it for what it is and also turn from it. The temptations don’t change – to run to sex and money and power and substances for our pleacertain, to treat our spooffers and also youngsters with hateful words, to lie and steal and also betray.
But our mindsets toward them need to change. God’s grace is adequate to cover all our sin, however that doesn’t intend we have to keep on doing it!
3- Satan seeks to convince us to pull ameans from minisattempt and mission
In the majority of churches, a tiny portion of the civilization do the majority of of the work-related. That is disastrous and dishonors the gifting of the Holy Spirit.
At its core, it takes the gifts of the totality church to construct up the church. And it takes the witness of the totality church to reach the whole human being.
I don’t think a church that is complete of human being who are sitting on the sidelines will ever check out God honor that and bmuch less it via His effective existence.
When we live selfishly (it’s all around me) and fail to live for others (both inside and also exterior the church), we quench the fire of the Divine Spirit.
4- Finally, Satan plants seeds of distrust and division inside the church (absence of unity)
This is the one that the Lord has actually been speaking to me the a lot of around freshly. I think this is the location where Satan does his greatest damage and also harms the church.
Relationships are difficult. They are complex for so many kind of factors. In the church, you will certainly endure some of the greatest friendships and neighborhood anywhere.
Talk around the obstacles of relationships here…Lack of loveUntype wordsDisrespectLack of interaction and follow throughForgetfulness
Satan supplies every one of this to plants seeds of distrust and division in our midst. And rather of reconciling as we should as soon as we are hurt, we organize on to our pain and also gossip about one another.
And we dump bucket after bucket of cold water on the fire of the Divine Spirit. We must work on this as the human being of Jesus.
We should relocate towards each other in love and forgiveness. We should stop blaming others for our relational obstacles and take obligation. We should be combined and be the one body that God has called us to be.
Jesus passed away for us all – eincredibly among us. Not so that we can develop factions and also divisions, but so that we can love one an additional.
So that we might be ONE body – combined under the banner of Christ..
With all of that being shelp, what execute we should do to stoke the fire of the Spirit rather than stifle His work?
1- We have to welcome Him and also expush our dependence on Him for our life and ministry.
2- We have to confess our sin (both of omission and also commission) and revolve back to God.
3- We need to use our Spirit-provided gifts to serve others and reach the civilization.
4- We need to repair relationships in the church that are strained.
See more: What Does It Mean To Be Set Apart In The Bible? Hebrew Meaning Of Holy
My prayer is that eincredibly church would certainly repent of stifling the Spirit and also obtain in action through the Lord again.