Quenching the Holy Spirit

Quenching the Holy Spirit. By Pastor Nkhosana D. Chongo

1 Thessalonians 5:19 & Ephesians 4:30

When the word “Quench” is used in the scripture, it is referring to “suppressing fire” or “extinguish” or “to go out”. The word was used to refer to putting out fires or lamps.

We see the advent of the ministry of the Holy Spirit manifested by fire in Acts 2:3, and this fire can be put out in in our lives if we are not careful. Similar to how we “quench” fire by pouring water on it, the fire of the Holy Spirit in one’s life can be suppressed and eventually extinguished by the way we live our lives. On the way to quenching the Spirit in our lives, the first stop is that we grieve Him. The enemy of the Holy Spirit is Sin, and when we live our lives contrary to the will of God, or when we live sinful lives, we grieve the Holy Spirit, and an unrepentant lifestyle will cause the fire to be eventually quenched.

Every Christian must know to never grieve the Holy Spirit of God! Any believer that wants to live a successful Christian life must learn to befriend the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is actively working and moving in a believer’s life it is easy to see souls saved and lives transformed. Likewise if there is a lack of traction in seeing people come to Christ and witnessing transformed lives, it may be time to befriend the Holy Spirit as He may not be actively at work in one’s life. The secret of ALL Christian success is the Holy Spirit.

There is an authority in the voice of a believer who is filled and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts 19:11-17, the seven sons of Sceva tried to use the name of Jesus but had no Holy Spirit authority to produce the desired results. When the wind of the Holy Spirit is not moving the believer becomes an ordinary person. The Holy Spirit, in both Old and New Testament times is the catalyst for the supernatural. Examples – Judges 16:18-21, 2 Kings 3:11-16. Likewise, when He departs, miracles cease. Psalm 74:9,  Zechariah 4:6.

What can stop the wind of the Holy Spirit from moving; or rather what can quench the Holy Spirit? Below is a list of a few key reasons why the believer quenches the flow of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Pride:

Pride will cause the Holy Spirit to be quenched in one’s life. Instead of moving with you, God begins to resist you. –James 4:6, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 16:18. A common example of pride is the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, whom God had to humble by causing him to live on grass for 7years! Remember, it was Pride that caused Lucifer’s downfall. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying the riches of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in your life!

Sin:

Sin will quench and grieve the Holy Spirit fast! Sin is the enemy of the Holy Spirit. The two are contrary to one another. A lifestyle of sin will quench and grieve the Spirit to the extent that you will no longer have a sense of God in your life, and your life will not be a witness of the faith you espouse.

Prayerlessness :

When you do not spend quality time with God, how do you expect the Holy Spirit to lead you, especially when you need Him the most? Let us not be too busy to spend time with God and the one who does the work in our lives, the Holy Spirit.

Lust of the Flesh:

One of the greatest challenges facing the believer is the lust of the flesh. Our flesh is busy pulling us in the opposite direction to the flow of the Holy Spirit, and he who fails to control his flesh cannot be Christ’s. Galatians 5:16-26, Romans 8:1-14. It is important for the Christian to exercise self-control. 1Corinthians 9:24-27. Continual indulgence in the lust of the flesh will harden our hearts and bring us to a state of “deafness”-we will no longer hear what God is saying.

Materialism:

A Christian’s material prosperity should be tied to their spiritual prosperity 1 John 2:15-17, 3 John 2. God wants to prosper his children, however the moment “things” begin to have a hold of you, the Holy Spirit will begin to withdraw from leading you. Again this calls for self-control and patience in the life of a Christian. You have to make a choice between a Holy Spirit led life and a life controlled by materialism.

A life led by the Holy Spirit is a life of peace, joy and exploits. The fellowship and leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives is something every child of God must pursue for effective Christian living. We are not meant to live this Christian life devoid of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let us therefore make every effort to fan into flames the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives for effective Christian living and ministry.

By Pastor Nkhosana Chongo

Being Born Again!

Holy Bible at Pastors Desk
Being Born Again! By Pastor Nkhosana D. Chongo

The Key to unlocking your destiny and retaking dominion in your life!

When God covered Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden, He shed the blood of an animal. When God wanted to reconcile the world to Himself, He shed the blood of his only son, Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in Him would be reconciled to the Father and receives eternal life. The process of regeneration when man accepts the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross is what we have come to call being born again, or being saved. The phrase, “being born again”, was first used by Jesus when He spoke with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a teacher of the law. We cannot understand the process of Salvation or being born again without first understanding what we are being saved from.

We learn in the third chapter of Genesis about the fall of man or the entrance of sin into this world (Gen.3:1-6). Sin is disobedience to the word of God. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God ushering in sin and death, they tried to cover their sin with fig leaves, representing Man’s humanistic attempts to make things right with God through self effort. God made the first blood sacrifice for sin when he made tunics for them from animal skin. He obviously had to kill animals to make the tunics (Gen3:21). Thus we see the payment of sin through blood. This practice is seen throughout the Old Testament where atonement for sin is made through the sacrifice of animals. However, the blood of bulls and goats was not sufficient to take away sin forever, thus the requirement for sacrifice year after year. God gave up His only Son to make the supreme sacrifice, that with Jesus’ death on the cross, there would be no more sacrifice of bulls and goats, but through the blood of Jesus we can be cleansed of our sin. Only the blood of Jesus Christ has the supernatural power of removing sin’s power.

  • And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb 9:22 NKJV).
  • So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many (Heb.9:28a NKJV).
  • By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Heb.10:10 NKJV).
  • For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Heb.10:14 NKJV).

 In the Old Testament sin was paid for by the blood of animals. In the New Testament, sin was paid for through the shedding of the blood of Jesus on the cross.

The bible tells us that God so loved this world so much that He could not just watch man die in his sin. Instead, He provided a way for us to come back to him through the acceptance of the sacrifice His son made on the cross.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NKJV).

Through this sacrifice, God offers his gift of salvation to anyone who will receive it by faith. In order to be forgiven of your sins and have eternal life with God, you must believe in Jesus Christ and receive Him into your life as your personal Savior. Jesus took care of the price of sin forever; past, present and future.

The bible tells us Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that He is the only way to the Father. So how does one receive Jesus Christ into their life? What is the process? In order for a person to enter the kingdom of God, he must be born again, not by a second biological birth, but a spiritual birth from on high. That is the ONLY way to enter heaven. In our first birth, we are born of the flesh. In our second birth we are born of the Spirit. Our first birth leads to death. Our second birth leads to eternal life. Physical birth is not enough. We must also be born spiritually. This second birth is what is called being born again. When we confess with our mouth the Lordship of Jesus Christ, that He came to die for our sins and believe in our heart that God raised him up on the third day, and we yield control of our lives to Jesus, we experience a spiritual birth. Our confession activates the Spirit of God in our lives. The only requirement we have to fulfill for the Spirit of God to begin a work in our lives is to confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior from the depth of our hearts. The second we do that, we become a new creation spiritually. The old passes away and a new life in Christ Jesus begins! Here is what Jesus said when asked on how to enter the Kingdom of God…

 ”Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him,”How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered,”Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5 NKJV)

 The scriptures also testify as follows:

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Rom.10:9, 10 NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2Cor5:17 NKJV)

 Being born again begins with a choice. It is an act of faith. To agree intellectually that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins is not enough. God has given us free will to decide what we want to do with our lives. He has shown us the consequences of not accepting Jesus into our lives and the rewards that accrue to us when we do. Once you make the choice to be born again, it must be backed by action. The Spirit will not impose upon us. The Spirit of God will only operate in our lives to the degree that we let Him. This new birth therefore requires a conscious effort on our part to purpose to know what part we have to play in this relationship with God. When we are born again, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power source of the new life. However, not every person who is born again experiences the power of the Holy Spirit. Only those who have trusted Christ as Savior and allowed Him to take control through the Holy Spirit will experience the true potential of God power. Those who have trusted Christ as savior but have not yielded control to Him through the Holy Spirit will continue to struggle. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit only by faith, by trusting God to produce in you the fruitful life He has promised. God does not want us to be conformed to this world. Knowing God’s will starts with the study of the bible. Everything we need to know concerning the will of God is in the bible. When we are truly born again, we must make it a daily habit to study His word so we can be programmed by the Word of God and not by the world system.

Another way we can know the will of God when we are truly born again is through prayer. Just as the bible is God speaking to us, prayer is the way in which we talk to our Father in Heaven. As we begin this dialogue, we will get to the point where there is communion and we will learn His will as He reveals it to us. In all that we think, do and say, we must always align ourselves to do the will of God. When we do that, we will live as free people and God will find us useful in his kingdom. The Holy Spirit will abide in us and teach us all things.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God(Rom12:1,2 NKJV).

When we are truly born again, we will have a helper during our times of difficulty. At times like that, the Holy Spirit of God inside of us helps in our human limitations and weaknesses by interceding for us to God our Father. The Holy Spirit will pray through us to the father and cause us to tap into the heavenly realm. This can only happen when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

God loves us. If He freely gave us his Son, will He not with Christ also freely give us all things that pertain to life and godliness? Ours is to trust him and yield control of our lives to Him and it will be His utmost pleasure to give us the desires of our hearts, according to His will. God is faithful. Even in our times of unfaithfulness, and those times will be there, He remains faithful. He loves us with an everlasting, unconditional love which is without regard to our due. The only cost to us is acceptance of his Son Jesus Christ into our lives and life eternal is ours. The consequences of not being born again are eternal damnation. The bible says to know Christ is eternal life, which means we can experience heaven on earth as long as we are in Christ. It therefore follows that we can also live in perpetual hell on earth if we do not have the Son in us. The choice is ours to make as we have been given free will. What will your choice be? Eternal life or Eternal damnation? As for me and my household, we choose life eternal. Choose Christ and you will live.

Steps to receiving Christ:

  1. Acknowledge your need for a Savior.
  2. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and is your only way to eternal life.
  3. Repent your sins and ask God for forgiveness
  4. Confess Jesus as Lord and invite Him into your heart.
  5. You are Born Again!

Your next step is to find a bible believing church where the incorruptible Word is taught so you can grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This will cause you to know the Purposes of God for your life, demonstrate His Power and ultimately display His Glory on the face of the earth.

By Pastor Nkhosana Chongo

 

Overcoming the power of Distraction in our lives

Overcoming the power of Distraction in our lives by Pastor Nkhosana D. Chongo

1 Cor. 9:24-27

Many a great life has been derailed from the purposes of God in their life through the force of distraction. Distraction is a tool the devil has used for ages to derail and most cases stop the children of God from fulfilling destiny.

What is a Distraction?

A Distraction is anything or anyone that derails your divine destiny or delays it. It is something that causes you to lose focus or attention, and is one of Satan’s most destructive tools against the believer. Many people fail in life, not because of lack of ability or resources, but because they lost focus. Focus is defined as any center of activity or attention; or to fix or settle on one thing. A distraction is anything that will pull you away from the object of focus.

One of the devil’s chief aims is to ensure that you never fulfill your God given purpose. No matter how spiritual you are, distraction can bring you to a place of defeat and despair. The enemy will use natural circumstances to fight you spiritually.

Some of the doors the devil uses to derail you are:

  • Disappointments – Everyone is disappointed in life at one time or another. What you expected is not what it is. Disappointments will cause you to be sidetracked from your destiny. Disappointments are a stepping stone to your destiny and should not stop you. Many unfinished projects due to disappointments – in relationships, business, academics, betrayal of trust.

  • Opposition – Nothing of substance has ever been achieved without opposition. If you build your life with the approval of men instead of God, their disapproval will stop you from building. Whenever a great opportunity arises, opposition will not be far behind.  Opposition will come from those closest to you in the name of protecting you, and also from your enemies. This will in most cases bring distractions in our lives. 1 Cor. 16:9; Neh. 6:1-3

  • Paying attention to other people’s successes – Many have looked at what others have achieved and compared to themselves instead of keeping eyes on God, who is perfecting all things that concern you. When you become too concerned with what someone else has, you will lose focus on God’s assignment for you. You will step out of your lane and try to pursue what others have, or destroy what they have, and in the process stray from God’s agenda. 1 Samuel 18:6-9

  • Criticism and human opinion – This comes in mainly two forms; constructive and destructive. Some of us never take criticism well and it derails us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. Let us pen our minds to it, extract truth and learn from it, and move on. Always ask the question – “Is there truth in this and what can I learn from it?” Also many are crippled by what others think about them. The malicious criticisms must not find a place to roost in your life, or else you will never achieve God’s best for your life.

  • Sin – Is a major distraction in our lives. Hebrews 12:1-3. Unrepented sin will wipe out your spiritual energy and will cause you to lose sight of God’s plan for you. Jer. 29:11

  • Wrong Associations – The wrong company will cause you to drift from the vision and become a distracting force. 1 Cor. 13:33

  • Pain – We have all been hurt at one time or another. Anytime we do not allow for the healing of the hurts we have gone through in relationships, it will give birth to anger, bitterness and a hardened heart, causing distractions in our lives.

How do I deal with distractions in my life?

  • Vision – Locate the destiny that God has for you. People who have a clear revelation of God’s plan for their lives are focused. The vision for your life will empower you to move forward in the face of extreme difficulty. You need to know your purpose of existence; otherwise you will be tossed to and fro, building someone else vision but yours. What is your personal vision? Prov. 29:18; Habakkuk 2:2-3. Revisit your vision regularly to keep it in front of you all the time.

  • Passion and commitment – what you are passionate about will always be achieved. Become passionate about fulfilling God’s plan for your life. Make a commitment and follow through on your commitment!

  • Christ must be Lord in your life. Either He is Lord of all or none at all. Make a commitment to daily prayer and study of the Word; assemble with other believers during meeting times. This will help you locate your destiny in God.

  • Develop meaningful relationships that will be of mutual benefit. Relationships that will spur you on in moving forward to your destiny. Amos 3:3

These are just some of the tools you can use to stay focused this year. There are yet mountains to climb and territories to conquer and it will only happen to the degree that we get rid of distractions in our lives and focus on our God given destiny in this year of divine favor. We become our own enemies if we do not deal with these things in our lives. May God help us to overcome distractions in our lives and be all that Christ has purposed for us to be. In Jesus Name, AMEN.

BY: Pastor Nkhosana Chongo

About Prayer and Fasting

Fasting for the Christian is a voluntary abstinence from food and the desires of the flesh, either completely or partially, for a specified period of time in order to dedicate time to the spiritual development of our inner man. Fasting is endorsed not merely by the teachings of Jesus, but also by His personal example as evidenced in scripture; Matthew 16: 16-18; Mark 2:18-20; Luke 4:1, 2, 14. For fasting to be effective, it must be accompanied by a time of prayer and bible reading and study, or else it is just a “hunger strike”. In this day and age when the forces of evil abound and are working overtime to distract us from destiny, fasting is a critical part of the believer’s life as it helps us to refocus on God and His word.

Examples of some people in the bible who fasted:
Moses – Deut. 9:7-21
David – 2 Samuel 12:15-25; Psalm 35:13
Jehoshaphat – 2 Chron. 20:3
Joel – Joel 2:12
Nineveh – Jonah 3:7
Esther and the Jews – Esther 4
Anna – Luke 2:37
Jesus – Matt 4:2; Luke 4:2
Paul – Acts 13:1-3; Acts 14:23

Some reasons for fasting:
Repentance – Jonah 3:510; Joel 2:12
Deliverance – Esther 4:14-17
Guidance and protection – Ezra 8:21-23
Commissioning unto ministry – Acts 13:1-3

From the book of Acts, we see that collective prayer and fasting played a vital role in the growth of the early church. It was through much prayer and fasting that the believer received direction and power from the Holy Spirit to carry out the God given mandate. There is no power in the act of fasting itself; the power is in Christ Jesus and the finished work on the cross. Also, effective fasting is that which is driven by pure motives. A True fast releases Kingdom power and destroys satanic strongholds. God is very serious about His business and is not interested in religious games. Isaiah 58.

It is generally accepted that there are three basic ways to fast as seen in the bible:
Partial Fast – as seen with Daniel. This is where we take light meals.
Normal Fast – Abstinence from solids, taking only liquids.
Absolute Fast – abstinence from both water and food.

It is according to one’s preference, ability, or the leading of the Holy Spirit which type of fast one chooses to undertake. The most important thing is that the fast should please and edify our Father in Heaven.

It is important to take time to spiritually and physically prepare for the fast.

A few keys to achieve this are tabulated below:
Praise God for the opportunity and dedicate the fasting period to Him.
Ask Him to sustain you during this time of prayer and fasting. Submit your flesh to Him.
Dedicate yourself to prayer, studying and meditating on the Word of God and make time to listen to what God is saying.

A few things to remember about Fasting:
True fasting enables us to humble ourselves before God.
Fasting changes man, not God. God is Omnipotent and unchanging.
Fasting is neither a gimmick nor a cure all. God has already made total provision for the well-being of His people in every area of their lives. Fasting is therefore not a substitute for any part of God’s provision.
Fasting is a means by which a believer brings his body into subjection to the Holy Spirit, thereby causing the breaking down of barriers existing in man’s fleshly nature that hinder the effective operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Fasting intensifies prayer and enables the believer to become more effective spiritually.
Fasting empowers the believer to obtain deliverance, spiritual breakthroughs, answered prayers and victory.
Fasting puts the believer in a position to more readily receive a fresh outpouring of the Spirit and the blessings of God.
Fasting has medical benefits.

THE IMPACT OF FASTING

In order to make it to the next level, sacrifices must be made. Even our Lord Jesus Christ made sacrifices too. Remember that Jesus Christ did not start His ministry until He had fasted. Being born again and living righteously in His sight would guarantee access to His kingdom; however, in order to live a Spirit empowered life, fasting is definitely needed in our lives.

We can emulate Ezra and the Israelites who sought the face of God through fasting (Ezra 8:21-23). In return, He met them at the very point of their needs. Through fasting, God will provide the right way for your possession including finances, job, education, and family. Through fasting and prayers, you are bound to step into the open doors which God has opened for you. Be encouraged and seek God with a purpose, so that you may become the dwelling place of God in the Spirit, a person of S.P.E.E.D.(Selfless, Prayerful, Evangelistic, Empowered, Disciple maker).

Don’t take the impact of fasting and praying for granted. As written in the book of 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 (verse 2-4 and 15), God took over the battle of King Jehoshaphat. God will take over your battles for you; however, you need to understand the importance of making a sacrifice and seeking Him through fasting and praying. Choose God to be your helper in execution of duties. With God in the picture, you will lose nothing.

We are also reminded that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit but that was not enough. He was led by the Spirit and fasted for forty days; after which, He returned in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1-2 & 14-15). Believers in Jesus Christ are filled with the Holy Spirit, but there’s a need to be filled with the power as well. Fasting will open the doorway for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, destroying the works of the devil in our lives. Through fasting and praying, the shackles of the enemy and demonic manifestations will be broken. Don’t get comfortable thinking that certain issues are the norm as defined by society.

Also, through fasting and praying, the wrath of God can be averted (Joel 2:12). The king of Nineveh understood the effect of fasting, and ordered everyone (including the animals!) to fast. In turn, God relented from the disaster He intended to rain down on Nineveh (Jonah 3:6-10). Some issues can’t be resolved by mere prayers; but rather, by making sacrifices through fasting.

While recognizing the impact of fasting, let the Holy Spirit direct you on how to do so. In addition to praying, reading and studying the word of God is needed for one to know the Lord’s will and make fasting effective.

It is time to go to the next level through this important Christian discipline of prayer and fasting.

Keep the faith. The best is yet to come!

By Pastor Nkhosana Chongo