When the month of November draws near, there is an excitement that becomes tangible in the air. Yes, the cooler weather has many people feeling refreshed, but the anticipation for the special time of year is what really gets me excited. I absolutely love the holidays, and Thanksgiving Day is one of the best days of the year in my opinion. The time with family, the delicious feast, and the overall attitude of thankfulness create the perfect recipe for absolute joy and happiness. Yet “thanksgiving” should not be reserved for one day or even one season; it should be the lifestyle of every believer. First Thessalonians 5:16-19 holds encouragement and direction on how to thrive during every season of life.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the spirit. I Thessalonians 5:16-19
What does it mean to “quench the spirit?” The word “quench” means to extinguish, put out, suppress, and stifle. So, quenching the Spirit is basically limiting the supernatural and move of the Spirit in our lives. You don’t want to quench the Spirit in church, but you also don’t want to leave church to live a quenched life the other six days of the week. I don’t know about you, but I want the supernatural working continually in my life, and it comes down to the decisions we make on a moment-by-moment basis.
In light of this passage of Scripture, I want to give you a few ways that we can avoid quenching the Spirit in our lives. Complaints, a begrudging attitude, and even worry all result in a formula for failure and frustration. Being unthankful is a sure way to inhibit the flow of the Spirit, which can keep you from being in the right place at the right time. As easy as it is to slip over into ingratitude, if you’ll make up your mind to be thankful, you’ll quickly and easily develop a habit that will have the potential for producing endless blessing in your life. The possibilities that come with a thankful heart are endless.
Another way to promote the move of the Spirit is to open your mouth to speak or sing praise to God, whether you feel like it or not. As a matter of fact, it’s even more important to praise when you don’t “feel” like it! Have you ever noticed how it is harder to hear from or act on what God says when you are feeling down or frustrated? When you take the instruction of praise to heart and put it to practice, it is easier to communicate with and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Praise is also connected to your prayer life, and it is an undervalued element of success in prayer. If you’re going to be a powerhouse in prayer, you’re going to have to be a powerhouse in praise. Why is this non-negotiable? Because when you are praying through a situation, you are standing on a covenant between you and God and entrusting the matter to Him. Entrusting it with God requires faith, and praise is the voice of faith! However, when you worry or speak words that oppose your faith, you take the matter back into your hands.
A life of faith is, by definition, a life of praise. We are called to live lives of faith; therefore, we are called to live our lives continually praising Him. How do you answer that call right now, right where you are? Start praising! It really is that simple.
Dr. Lilian B. Yeoman has a chapter in one of her books called “The Praise Cure.” She told the story of an individual who was afflicted with some kind of a disease and was given up to die. As they laid in bed, they saw a vision of the scales of justice. On one side was prayer, and the other side was praise. The prayer side was full and weighted down, while the praise side was way up in the air. The Lord said to them, “when the praise catches up to the prayer, you’ll see a manifestation.” So, they got up and began praising God. They praised and praised and praised, and as a result, they received their manifested healing. Praise God. There’s a good lesson in this for us. We do a lot of praying, and that’s good! But we must not neglect the necessity of continual praise.
These three ingredients that we find in I Thessalonians 5 should be our lifestyle and living this way will keep your problems in the right place—out of your hands and in God’s hands. Whatever you’re facing today, it doesn’t belong to you! The worry or anger associated with it isn’t yours. You don’t know how to fix it, but He does, and He will show you what to do. When you’re “quenching not the Spirit,” it’s easy to hear from Him and work with Him.
Philippians 4:6, Be careful for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto God.
So, take comfort, child of God as you enter this season of love, family, and rest. Keep praying, keep praising, and stay THANKFUL! It really will make a difference in your life and in your faith walk!