When I was employed in the religious system as a member of the clergy, we conducted regular ‘staff’ meetings with select privileged people in which ‘church’ business was discussed. During those meetings, we talked about people. People whom I loved because they furthered our agenda, and people whom I felt were a pain in the ass because they were causing problems for us.
Whether we intended to do this or not, we ended up bringing those we liked and thought were ‘teachable’ (controllable) into our inner circle of select leadership, and those who caused us trouble were pushed toward the exterior. After the obligatory two or three ‘corrective’ meetings that I would usually have with the difficult people, they would usually leave. Many were hurt in the process.
It was disgusting & Satanic.
Please understand, we didn’t do this intentionally. We were on a ‘mission’, and this is just the way things were done in that world. We had to make sure the ‘right’ people were on the bus, so to speak.
Even though I did this, each time, something felt violated deep down in my spirit. After being out of this environment for the last few years, I now know why my spirit was negatively affected. The indwelling Spirit of Christ is like a sensitive woman.
Bloom or Shrivel?
The indwelling Spirit of Christ within us is also like a beautiful flower. Under the right environment, the Spirit opens up and blooms. The Spirit is also easily quenched. Like a delicate woman, the Spirit is easily affected.
The Spirit has a one track mind…Jesus Christ. Whenever Christ is verbally slandered, the Spirit shrivels up inside of us. Every time Christ is proclaimed and exalted, however, He opens up and blooms within us. Unfortunately, Jesus Christ is regularly slandered by those of His own household.
Although the slander of Christ is unintentional, it is slander nonetheless. The next time you notice something of the flesh within your brother and sister in Christ, know that you are on precarious ground. If you choose to continue to see them through the lens of flesh, the Spirit of Christ will certainly be quenched in you and those around you.
Also, if you choose to discuss the ‘fleshly issues’ of your brother or sister in Christ with another person, know that the Spirit of Christ will be greatly affected. In Christian circles, most gossip is passed off as ‘discernment’ or ‘honesty’. It is neither. Whatever you think or speak about your fellow brother or sister in Christ, you think and speak of Christ Himself.
If you don’t believe me, do an experiment of observation. The next time you personally speak (or you hear someone else speak) something negative about your brother or sister in Christ, pay close attention to what occurs within your inner man. If you are paying attention, I am quite confident that you will notice the Spirit within you shrivel up like a damaged flower.
The Beauty Of A Quenched Spirit
When I first read Paul’s admonition to not quench the Spirit in the New Testament, I wondered why the Lord would allow His Spirit to be quenched in the first place. I mean seriously, couldn’t the all powerful God of the universe be a bit more forceful? Couldn’t He keep His flame from getting doused? Why does He allow Himself to be quenched? I recently found the answer to these questions.
I have discovered that people like to drive fast. Many enjoy getting into the ‘fast lane’ and putting it on cruise control. Many times the Lord is trying to speak to us and get our attention, but we are busy flying down the highway in the fast lane with our agendas and pursuits. In order to get our attention, He allows us to run out of gas, so to speak. When our car stops running as it once was, we have a tendency to take notice. The fuel we once ignored, now becomes our sole focus. So it is with the Spirit.
Although we have a never ending internal fuel tank (Christ), He will still allow us to run out of fuel, so to speak. When the Spirit is quenched, it is like a cut off of our fuel supply. We eventually realize how much we miss and need Him when this occurs. Running out of fuel mandates that we return to the filling station. This filling station is ‘IN’ us and ‘IN’ our brothers and sisters the Lord has sovereignly placed us in community with. You will not find this ‘filling station’ in your flesh, or the flesh of your brothers & sisters.
Until we return to the ‘filling station’ in the Spirit, His quenched love for us will actually allow us to take our cars down whatever road we think we need to go down until the fuel runs out. Love, which is the substance of Christ’s life, is our fuel. His love for you will allow you to pursue all that you think you want until you realize that His love is all you truly need.
I could go on and on, but Adele does a much better job singing about it. Take a few minutes to listen to the heart of your Lord: