Do not extinguish the Spirit. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19
There is a beautiful fire roaring in your fireplace. It keeps the room warm and even provides light. In fact. the closer you get the more obvious those two things are. It will blaze on for a while, eventually flicker and turn to glowing embers, and finally die out. And now the room is darker, and colder. What happened?
Carelessness. Inattentiveness. Laziness. In order for the fire to keep going, you have to continue to feed it. You have to put fuel on the fire, and occasionally you have to poke the ashes and wood to keep a steady flame. In other words, if you do nothing the fire will go out.
We often think of quenching God’s Spirit in terms of a spoken harsh word or selfish act. Something that, like a big bucket of cold water, douses the fire and sends up a cloud of smoke and ash. Yes, this does happen. But more often, don’t we just put it out with neglect?
We don’t read God’s Word. We don’t pray. We don’t seek out ways to love others. In other words, if we do nothing the flames will die out. This doesn’t mean God’s plan is thwarted or His power is diminished. It doesn’t mean His love and forgiveness dwindles. It means that we have taken away the fire that could be burning inside us. It means that we have stifled our gifts, and our joy. God has promised He will never leave us, but now through our neglect, we sit in room that is darker and colder.
God’s love and grace has brought us everything. In return, He only asks for faith, a trust in Him that grows into love. This is when the Spirit is not extinguished—when we are relying on Him in all things. Trust your heavenly Father. Kindle the fire. Fan the flames. Your faith is the fuel. Let the Spirit warm you, and bring you light.