>> February 21, 2011
How many of you play the alphabet game when you travel with kids? If you do, then you know what I mean when you all get bottled up in search of Dairy Queen. Not because you’re craving a Blizzard, but because you all need the “Q” to move on. And it always seems no matter how sharp your eyes are or how large the lead you created at the beginning of the game, everyone always gets caught up in search of Q.
So here I am facing a big fat Q. But then I experienced something recently and I knew what the Q word should be. Quench.
I have three quick ways I’ll discuss that qualify quench as my Q word for this Christianese series in which I will quote scripture to support my quest. Warning: I may choose to be a bit quirky and if you have qualms to this behavior, I suggest you quietly move on so as not to squish the joy out of my brilliant quick wit.
When I worked as a youth minster, the students would come in jabbering nonstop about their day/week: sometimes negative, sometimes positive. To keep them from dwelling on the bad stuff in their lives, we had my version of “testimony time” geared for teens. I don’t remember exactly what we called it, but basically it was: Good, Grrrumble, Great. Share something Good, then you can Grrrumble, then end with something Great. That’s how I’ll address quench in spiritual terms.
Quench means to put out or extinguish. Here are some things that can be quenched in our spiritual lives:
Fiery darts: Good
Ephesians 6:16- Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Here we have the portion of scripture that talks about the armor of God, specifically the shield of faith. When the enemy spits fiery darts our way, we can stop them with the shield of faith. Doesn’t that sound easy?
Simply stated, we will have times of battle in our spiritual lives. The Bible doesn’t say put on the armor of God then turn and run away. This lesson teaches us to daily clothe ourselves in a manner in which we can walk forward and defeat the enemy along the way. Notice that people don’t strap their shield onto their backsides? Retreating will only land those fiery darts in our big ol' bums. What an easy target!
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather it be the shield of faith that does the quenching, not the cheeks of fear.
Holy Spirit: Grrrumble
1 Thessalonians 5:19-- 22 Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Remember the definition of quench? (To put out or extinguish.)
The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a fire or flame, something that can be put out or extinguished. There have been many times where I’ve experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence spark in my heart and then felt like a big bucket of water was poured on the flickering flame. Often it’s when spiritual leadership is caught up in the “schedule” and not the Spirit.
I understand the need to be orderly and on time/task but I also understand the need to let the Spirit of God spark and ignite something in individuals that could spread among His people. You know…revival fire?
Another thing that I believe can quench the Spirit is our behavior. To put it short and to the point: When Christians behave in a manner that is clearly unChristlike then step into church, maybe perhaps in a position of leadership, the Spirit of God is doused quickly. If sitting in church feels cold, dead, and boring…more than likely the Holy Spirit has been drowned.
John 4:14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Have you ever been so dry and thirsty the back of your throat sticks together? You can’t get your lips to close over your dry teeth? Maybe you have a hard time blinking? And then you finally get to drink refreshing cold water…ahhhh.
Transfer that analogy to spiritual context… You haven’t been in the Word like you should be. You haven’t been to church, or participated in worship that is genuine and free. Maybe you attend one of those churches that quench the Spirit and it adds to your thirst.
And then it happens. You attend a conference, or read an awesome spiritual book that points you back to His Word. Or you shut the blinds, lock the door, and crank up worship music and just sit and absorb it. Ahhhh.
If only we could realize that it’s us that quit drinking, not Jesus shutting down the drinking fountain.
In conclusion: (I feel like I just preached a three point sermon)
Don’t quench the Spirit, drink up the Living Water, and move forward in faith with your shield attached to the proper body part to extinguish the fiery darts that are sure to be spit your way.