If you have ever tried to read a book by candlelight during a power blackout, you know that the dim and flickering flame provides poor illumination for reading. I would prefer a bright, steady 100-watt bulb any day. Bright light makes a book easier to read and easier to understand. In the same way, the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit makes the Bible plain and understandable. Trying to grasp God's Word by reading by the dim and flickering candle flame of our human understanding is simply foolish, especially when the brilliant light of God is available for the asking.
The Holy Spirit wants to guide our steps and help us to make wise decisions—but if we quench the flame of the Spirit, we will wander in darkness and invite disaster. The Holy Spirit wants to give us the power to overcome temptation—but if we quench the flame of the Spirit, we leave ourselves wide open to Satan's deception. The Holy Spirit wants to open the eyes of our spiritual understanding—but if we quench the flame of the Spirit, we remain willfully blind and ignorant of reality.
The illuminating power of the Holy Spirit makes the Bible plain and understandable.
We quench the Spirit when we insist on clinging to our pride and our confidence in our own strength. We quench the Spirit when we cling to sin and unforgiveness. We quench the Spirit when we replace the wisdom of the Word of God with our human folly. And we should be aware that not only can individuals quench the Spirit, but entire churches can quench the Spirit. Many churches today exhibit great pride and self-confidence, tolerate sin and practice unforgiveness, and have replaced God's Word with human ideas and programs.
When individual believers and entire congregations quench the Spirit, disaster will follow as surely as the night follows the day. So Paul's counsel, "Do not quench the Spirit," is as timely today as when he first wrote those simple-yet-profound words (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times when I have quenched the Holy Spirit in my life, leaning on my own fallible understanding. Help me to turn away from such pride and to trust and hope in You, obeying Your Word by Your Spirit. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" (Ephesians 1:17).
*Excerpt adapted from Fearless Living in Troubled Times by Michael Youssef © 2017. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Until Christ Returns: Living Confidently in Turbulent Times, Part 8: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW