This is Part 2 in our series on theologically quenching the Spirit of God. We saw in our 1st post that we may theologically quench the Spirit of God when we fail to be Berean believers. That is, when we don’t test all we hear or read or see with the Scriptures, we are effectively disarming the Spirit of God. If His primary tool in our lives is the Word of God, the Bible, not to take the Bible seriously concerning all matters of life and belief (theology) inevitably quenches His work in our lives and thinking.
The second way we may theologically quench the Spirit of God is —
II. WE DON’T LISTEN TO HIS SPEAKING TO US THROUGH OTHER BELIEVERS.
The late John R.W. Stott in Authentic Christianity put it this way: “We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thunderclap of God’s, then indeed he will not speak to us and we shall only be confirmed in our own prejudices. We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.”
How does the Word of God “confront us”? How does it “disturb our security”? How does it “undermine our complacency and overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior”? God’s Word can certainly do those things when we individually read and study what it says, but so often those outcomes are the result of God the Holy Spirit using other believers in our lives.
I believe that much of the work of the Holy Spirit which He does He does mediately, not immediately. “Immediately” here does not refer to time but to directness. In other words, much of His work (conviction of sin, illumination of our minds, assurance of our adoption into God’s family) is done through the Spirit using God’s people. He works mediately through the people of God to convince us of our need to call sin sin and to repent, to aid our understanding and receptivity to what the Word of God is saying, and to remind us that our place in God’s family is neither earned nor retained by our own goodness. (to be continued)
1. What do you think? Why are we so reluctant to listen to the voice of God’s Spirit through other believers?
2. Some make claims today that the Holy Spirit is speaking directly to and through them. How do we test such claims?