FlamesBackDon’t quench the Holy Spirit, Paul says in I Thess. 5:19. Don’t extinguish that flame. Don’t do something that will make him withdraw his manifest presence from you, his obvious, tangible, felt presence.

How would you do that? What would do that?

Unbelief will no doubt do it. Ridiculing the Holy Spirit, despising the unusual manifestations that sometimes occur when God shows up in power, that may do it. Attributing his works to the evil one, creating a hostile environment for the presence of God, no doubt those will do it.

Grieving the Holy Spirit will do it. Christians sometimes grieve the Lord, making him displeased by their bad behavior. Ephesians Chapter 4 will give you an idea of those things.

People tend to discount the Holy Spirit, as though because he is the third person of the Trinity he is also third-rate. Not quite 100% God. But the Holy Spirit is not some wispy, ethereal creature that gets his feelings hurt so easily that he is frightened away. “Spooked.”

When the Holy Spirit withdraws his palpable presence, it’s because he decided to do it. His patience has run out with unholy antics.

He is 100% God. Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth. God of power and might. God of Hosts. Holy God.

God with feelings. God with ideas. With definitions. With principles and standards. God who is pleased with faith, amazed at unbelief.

God who calls certain things unacceptable in his children. Like lying. Stealing. Corrupt communication. Bitterness. Wrath. Anger. Evil speaking. Malice. Sin. (Actions and intentions.)

Those are just the ones mentioned in Ephesians Chapter 4. Keep reading. Chapter 5 lists more bad things, including having fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness — probably those items listed in Ephesians 4:25 through 5:6. You can add pride, selfishness, self-righteousness, arrogance, hypocrisy, listed as unacceptable in Romans and elsewhere.

And all of this is addressed to Christians! Imagine that. Lost people act like lost people. But believers are not lost people any longer. Father God is patient with new believers. He gives them time to learn, to discipline themselves, to grow in faith and to grow up. Continued bad acts on the part of his people grieve the Holy Spirit. They quench the fire of his presence.

So, how can we encourage the Holy Spirit to make his presence known, and to remain with us? Repent. Hunger for him, seek to know, really know him. Study his works and ways in the scriptures, listen to his voice, obey him. Worship him.

Invite his presence. Welcome him without restrictions, without conditions, without preconceived ideas of what that might look like.


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