This is Part 3 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. We saw in Part 2 in our series that we quench the Spirit when we don’t listen to His speaking to us through other believers.
The third way we may theologically quench the Spirit of God is when —
III. WE CONFUSE OUR IMPRESSIONS WITH THE SPIRIT’S SPEAKING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD!
We read in I Thessalonians 5: 19 Don’t quench the Spirit, 20 don’t despise inspired messages. 21 But do test everything — hold onto what is good . . .
I was visiting a friend in Dallas a few days ago and, while I was waiting for him to finish work, I stopped in at a local Starbucks. As I began to work on my laptop, I noticed a dark-haired woman, maybe about 40 (always a dangerous thing to guess a woman’s age), packing up her things and getting ready to leave.
Now, I don’t know what you think of such things, but I’m not into words of prophecy or words of knowledge, so this took me a bit by surprise.
The note reads: “Do not allow what you think you see & hear be the reality. I am God & I work in ways you cannot see but it does not mean I am not working on your behalf.”
How should I respond to this note from a total stranger? Had she just lost her job at a Chinese fortune cookie factory? I did not follow her out the door or engage her in any way. For some reason, she felt she needed to write me this personal note — to encourage me, I guess.
I don’t find much in her note that troubles me. I don’t see anything that is clearly contrary to Scripture. But what does bother me a tad is that she thinks she was speaking God’s truth to me at that moment. How would she know my situation without talking to me, asking me questions, seeing what I was going through or thinking?
I believe the Spirit’s primary way of speaking to us is through the written Word of God, the Bible. I am quite skeptical of those who think they are speaking for God when they don’t use the Scriptures.
We can quench the Spirit when we don’t listen to His speaking to us through other believers. But we can also quench the Spirit when we follow our own instincts or impressions and believe we are speaking for the Spirit of God.
1. Have you had a Christian speak to you in a way that made you think they were claiming direct revelation from God? How did you respond?
2. “The Lord spoke to me and told me to tell you” is not a new phenomenon. Read over Job 4:12-17 and see how Job’s friend Eliphaz took this approach with Job. How would you have responded to Eliphaz?