GUARDING THE GOOD DEPOSIT!
I was reading the other day in two of Paul’s epistles a counsel concerning the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 that we should, “…not quench the Spirit.” and in Ephesians 4:30 “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,” These two admonishments from Paul are exceedingly important for us to understand, for they are crucial to our safeguarding that which God has entrusted to us. The gift of eternal life! Listen to what Paul is telling us in 2 Tim. 1:14 to, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
First, Paul tells us in Thessalonians to, not quench the Spirit. The Spirit is a Holy fire, it is the fire of God that burns within us upon our heart’s altar. Fed from heaven we should be careful not to quench it, or put it out. We are cautioned to not even let it burn low or to resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart. We must let the fire burn, for in burning it consumes all that is unworthy within us. We must allow it to purify us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness until nothing unholy remains within us. We must allow it to consume our total being until our life shines as a pure and holy light for the entire world to see.
Secondly, Paul says in the book of Ephesians to, not grieve the Holy Spirit. What is the Spirit doing within us that we must be aware? Remember it is the work of the Spirit that brings us back to God. The Spirit works within us to eradicate the work of sin in our lives, teaches us what the will of God is, and then empowers us to do the will of God. The Holy Spirit enters into our hearts when still full of evil and begins to cleanse us of that evil, filling us with all that is good, and right. The Holy Spirit begins the process of removing all of our bitterness, anger, and resentment, replacing it with God’s love. The Holy Spirit brings heaven into our hearts and our lives.
QUENCHING THE HOLY SPIRIT?
But what must we do so as not to quench the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives? It would be good if we did not hinder His work but to yield our hearts and our lives to him. We must be quick to obey His voice when he prompts us and to follow His guidance as He leads us. No part of us should ever be shut off to His influence nor should we keep any area off-limits to Him.
Each of us has been created so that our lives would make beautiful music. We have been given the ability to reason, to have a conscience, a will, to have emotions and to have intellect. However, the fact remains that unless the breath of God, the Spirit of God blows upon our lives, we will not be able to produce the heavenly music that we were intended to produce.
Why would we not yield with all our being to the blessed Holy Spirit? We must open our hearts to receive Him for if we do not we will keep Him away. To do so is to resist and in our resisting we grieve Him. No door must be allowed to be shut before Him. May we be ones who obey every command and leading of the Spirit and follow every Divine Inspiration that is brought before us.
The dilemma that each Christian faces in life is not just where you attend church, or what service you may do for God nor is it in the good works you might do for others. It is to bring all the powers of the body, mind, and spirit under the influence and prompting of God.
GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is true that we are cautioned not to grieve the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a vague cloud or wisp of smoke. You cannot grieve something that has no feelings. But you can grieve a person and in doing so cause that person pain. In the same manner you can cause the Holy Spirit to feel pain because the Spirit has feelings, affections and may I add, a heart that can be hurt.
We also know the Holy Spirit is our friend. It would be hard to hurt someone who cares nothing for you, dislikes or is indifferent to you. But when the person loves and cares for you and has your best interest in front of them daily, do you not grieve them by not trusting them, by being unfaithful and not true to them or by showing them disrespect and treating them unkindly.
For a second let us think of all the evil there was in your heart before you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The unholy thoughts, feelings and desires that you allowed to reign in your life. All those things you are even now ashamed to speak of that once were kept in your heart. Then into your heart came the Holy Spirit not just to visit for a brief time but to make His home there. He came to counsel, guide and lead us into all truth so that every despicable and unclean thing would be removed, making it possible for us to be transformed more and more into the image of our Lord and Savior.
None of us denies what Jesus did in those thirty-three years he spent in this world and how much he loved us to go through such a horrific death so that we may live. But also think of the love that the Holy Spirit must have for us to come into our hearts, making his home within us for all the years of our lives so that we may grow into the fullness of the goodness of our Father in Heaven.
Lord, teach us to yield to your Spirit that we may live in your righteousness and truth. We give ourselves over to you in all that we do or say that we may be the light of Christ in a dark world.