1. To put out (a fire, for example); extinguish.
2. To suppress; squelch.
3. To put an end to; destroy.
Notice that the first 3 definitions of the word “quench” are negative….extinguish, squelch, destroy.
Also notice that “quench” is the word used to describe what we can do to the Holy Spirit whose Biblical symbol is Fire. Ouch.
Grieve. Quench. Stifle. Suppress. Extinguish. Doesn’t matter what word you use. None of them are good.
To quench the Spirit is to prevent Him from doing what He is DOING in our lives. When we fail to submit. When we try to control our lives apart from Him. When we disobey. When we ignore Him and live as if He didn’t exist. When we fail to respond to His promptings. When our deeds are counter to His declarations. And if not with our actions, then with our thoughts. Pastor Alistair Begg said that whatever we think, HE THINKS IT WITH US, reads every book with us, sings every song with us, does every thing we do WITH us, etc. because it’s impossible for Him not to! He lives in us. That’s when we can HURT HIM…..because He loves us.
According to Alistair Begg, quenching the Spirit doesn’t mean that we can put out His fire in our souls – or lose our salvation. He does not abandon us. But our disinterest, our rebellion, our bitter heart, our contention our laziness, our immorality, etc. cause a rift in our relationship with Him. The result of quenching or grieving the Spirit is that the “gracious manifestations of His presence are withdrawn in my life.”
Three things happen when I dampen the Spirit’s fire in my life:
- I am deprived of a sense of God’s love for me.
- I am devoid of a sense of joy of my salvation.
- I lose a sense of assurance and peace and intimacy.
Who is hurt? The Spirit is. AND I AM.
I highly recommend you listen to ALL of Alistair Begg’s “Do Not Grieve the Holy Spirit.” At the beginning, you think he’s going to speak of the other verses but shortly gets into “quenching or grieving the Spirit.” It’s a little long but WORTH IT!!!!!! He just explains it so plainly and so honestly. So convicting.
Thanks to Nancy, my Sister in Christ, for recommending Begg’s video.
- Quench Not the Spirit (claudia4christ.wordpress.com)
- The Holy Spirit Is Emotional (byhisgrace211.wordpress.com)
- Feeling Unloved? (ninaroesner.com)