Whatsoever Magazine

Quench Not

Posted on: November 22, 2006

Do not quench the Spirit.

I quenched the Spirit. It hurt. Not only me, but God as well.

I had often, actually tons of times, read this verse here that says “Do not quench the Spirit” and similarly, I had wondered what it meant. I read it over and over not knowing what it was to quench the Spirit, but knowing it ought not to be done!

As time passed I slowly started to understand it, realising that we ought not to stop the Holy Spirit’s working. Say if a child came and asked for me to read them a story about Jesus, it would be wrong, and quenching the Spirit if I were to say “Not now, I’m busy”.

So that’s the simple conclusion I came to about this verse.
Now, for an example, may I tell you a story of one day when I did exactly what I ought not to have done?

I write songs occasionally, and I believe God gives them to me, for His glory. I love singing them, but I get particularly nervous when it comes to singing for other people. This one day we had some friends over and it was suggested that I sing a song for the visitors and immediately I went into resistance mode. I didn’t really want to sing because I was nervous, and I started making up all these excuses… “I haven’t practised in ages”… “My voice is dreadful today”… “I’m out of the swing of it”… But they wouldn’t have any of it.
So I reluctantly sat down and started playing and singing, getting everything out, but thinking in my head that I sounded awful.  I finished and was glad to sit back and enjoy hearing the guests sing… I tried to forget about my singing, because all it made me do was think of how I had botched it up.

That night I got into bed and I had a real heaviness in my heart.  I felt really weighed down, and guilty. God was showing me what I had done. He gave me those songs to be sung for His glory, but I was so caught up in thinking about how my voice sounded, and if the song seemed groovy and interesting to listen to. It was shocking. I had been so self-centred that God couldn’t use me that day. I had completely lost the focus of glorifying God.

I had quenched the Spirit. And it hurt.

The next time I was asked to sing, all the same feelings came flooding back. But I knew it would be for God’s glory to sing. So I sang.  Not amazingly, just simply and unpolished, but I had a heart attitude of worship, so I was able to say to God “That was Your song- may You use it, not matter how it sounded.”  And it was such a peaceful feeling to do that!  I was able to rest in God doing His work.

So please learn from my mistakes and try not to quench the Spirit okay? It hurts God, and stops His work from being done.  And you just don’t know how He’ll use you when you’re not looking!

God Bless!

by Lauren Carey 

[originally published in Volume 9 #2 of Whatsoever Magazine

Notes: Scripture from 1 Thessalonians 5:19


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