Stifle Not the Spirit
1 Thessalonians 5:19 (Williams Version) “Stifle not the Spirit”
1 Thessalonians 5:19 (KJV) “Quench not the Spirit”

To “Quench not or Stifle not the Spirit” of God, is set in the closing exhortations that
Paul sends at the end of the letter.
He begins this ending exhortation with:
1Thessalonians 5:1 “But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”
And he goes on to say:
1 Thessalonians 5:6 “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
And so he writes a series of short, to the point, exhortations about what they should be doing, as they are looking for the coming of the Lord.

Quench not the Spirit, is one of these. It means: don’t put out the fire of the Holy
Spirit’s influence in your life.
Stifle not the Spirit, to me, is more exact. To stifle is to choke off.

We stifle the Holy Spirit by our attitude at the way He is working; Or with a hesitation to do what He has told us to do; Or by refusing His joy, peace, or any of His helps.
(I remember one time when someone I had helped, treated me unjustly; saying unkind things . Yet I can honestly say that none of those things bothered me….at least, at first.
Instead I felt real peace about the whole situation, until I started thinking about how that person should have been. Then, when self rose up to be recognized; the Holy Spirit was stifled; and my peace was gone, and I had a real hard battle with myself. Which would never have happened if I had not stifled the Spirit’s peace.)

I remember when I was first given this verse; I said, “Yes, Lord, I do this; but what should I do about it?”
And the Lord told me, “It’s right up there!” The answer was in the verse right above this one.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ” In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ
Jesus concerning you.”
If I would give thanks to God for everything…then a great deal of self pity, self righteousness (how we like to take credit for things), self in so many forms; would be denied and the Holy Spirit would not be so easily stifled.
But that requires a little effort…
But it should be pleasant effort. Going back over the day’s events; or the situation you just came through; to thank the Lord for His help, His deliverance, His words to say, His…, His…, His…everything. And there begins to be so many things to thank Him for.
As the verse says, “In everything give thanks:”

For myself, I began to be thankful for so many things I never even saw before.
It began to be a joy to find them.
The joy of the Lord is our strength ( Nehemiah 8:10)

Here is a principle point of our warfare as Christians soldiers:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ;”
When it comes to our warfare as Christians soldiers, we need to remember that the battle is the Lord’s, and we must use His weapons.

These are not the carnal weapons of: trying to put temptation out of our minds; of pretending everything is alright, when we know something needs to be dealt with; of going along with other Christians, ( because they are Christians, it should be O.K.)
All these things are carnal weapons, not Spiritual.
Spiritual Weapons pull down the strongholds of reason within our minds to show us how God feels about what we are doing; Spiritual Weapons pull down the strongholds of feeling “happy”, to show us God’s joy.

“Casting down imaginations,”. This is a weapon the Adversary of our souls uses almost everyday. What if? And then we think about: what if.
Our imaginations, if not checked and kept under the Holy Spirit’s control and lead us so far from what God has for us…we can be lost in our own thoughts; and never accomplish God’s will for our lives.

“And every high thing that exalts itself against the genuine knowledge of God.”
Now notice, it does not say, “destroys the knowledge of God”. No, we would immediately reject anything like that.
But “exalts itself against”, is another matter.
Our own experience from the past, someone else giving advice, or what we would like to happen, or (and there are a lot of these) suggestions of our Adversary, the devil.
These are things that can “exalt itself against” what God is saying to us.

Our message is “Stifle not the Spirit”.
The holy guest within us, comes into our spirits with light, love, peace, help, grace…
All the things we need to get us to the end of our path.
When we stifle Him, we close our lives to His help, right then.

Picture you letting Him into your darkened heart’s house. He comes in with light , warmth, and peace. You and He set at a table and eat and talk….everyday. The joy that comes is wonderful. One day, you invite to the table an angry word, an evil suggestion, a lustful thought; to eat with you and He.
When they come, He gets up and goes to His room…shutting the door; leaving you, with them, in the dark.
What next?
What will you do?
Who do you want to be with?
The answer to that is what we deal with in “Stifle not the Spirit”
To go and knock at His door and ask forgiveness; to throw out those others; and to “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7), is what we are called to do everyday.
But it is a wonderful calling. What will you choose?

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