How can a person stifle the Holy Spirit?


1 Thessalonians 5:19

ESV - 19 Do not quench the Spirit.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 13 2022 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Justin Hale
If you look at the next few verses, (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22), the Holy Spirit is actually giving us examples of how to avoid 'quenching' the divine fire. That same word is used in a positive context in Ephesians 6:16 when the Holy Spirit describes the shield of faith 'quenching' the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

So GOD has His holy fire and the devil has his evil version. Both are weapons used in a type of spiritual warfare. Our most powerful 'fire weapon' is called 'prophecy.' Prophecy is not only the spiritual ability through which the Bible was delivered to us, it is also the holy art form that operatives inside of us when those divine words need to be brought to mind during a spiritual battle with evil. 

"This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight..." (1 Timothy 1:18).

As you can see, this reference to prophecy is very personal. GOD speaks His word over our life based on the promises already revealed in His holy word, applying those promises to us in our individual circumstances. This gives our lives real meaning and power. The devil cannot contend with GOD's words. All he can do is try to keep us from linking up those words in any real way to our own distinct lives. He tries to convince us that GOD's words and promises are 'general' and don't have an application in the here and now, or to us personally. He claims that we are not important enough for that. 

That is why in the following verses, (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22), the Holy Spirit reminds us to 'examine everything, hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."

If you are a child of GOD, then the prophecies made about you are very real and you can apply them to your real life right now. The only thing stopping you is how you view prophecy. Prophecy can be scary because it is like a strong voice from deep inside you suddenly speaking without your direct conscious control and with great confidence, clarity and resolve. We have the ability to 'stifle' the entire experience in response for a very good reason:

"And the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." (1 Corinthians 14:32-33).

This means that GOD doesn't 'possess' people and make them speak or act on His behalf. 

This 'art' really isn't all that unusual, since the world is filled with artists, musicians and writers all describing similar experiences, where sudden bursts of ideas, imagery and thoughts seem to just come flooding in out of nowhere. Yet, the devil wants only his people doing this, so he convinces us that allowing this to occur is reckless, scary or somehow disrespectful to GOD.

None of that is actually true since prophecy is simply our sacred art and it isn't any different than when a verse from scripture suddenly pops into your mind and you begin to see links and applications to your latest circumstances. Prophecy is just the 'grown up' version of this. It is much more complete, dynamic and inspiring. We even end up inspiring little dramas around us in others that serve to illustrate the scriptures and divine promises exactly how they are to be applied now to our changing circumstances. 

When this happens, evil becomes 'slow' by comparison. It has no promises reconfirming its missions or visions. It can only respond to GOD and use some form of trickery to evade or avoid being exposed. The more acquainted we are with the prophecies and promises of scripture, the more likely we are to respond immediately and openly to GOD's sudden inspiration.


GOD never sends us prophecies about ourselves that aren't based in the ones already revealed by His prophets in the Bible. If we immediately recognize the links, we cannot be 'quenched' by fears or worries. The 'divine art'' arrives to bring us encouragement, confidence or fresh applications to our own personal circumstances.

September 14 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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