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

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