1 Thessalonians 5:15-19: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.
23-24: May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
In my morning quiet times I have been reading and meditating on what the Bible says about the body, soul and spirit.
- My body is my flesh and blood.
- My soul is my life force or the seat of my senses, desires affections and appetites.
- My spirit is the part of me that connects with God who himself is Spirit. It is my spirit that the Spirit of God comes to reside. I can reject or accept the Spirit of God.
My spirit enables me to receive or tune into the wisdom and knowledge of God’s Holy Spirit. Like a radio that must be tuned to receive the radio waves in the air in which we cannot see, my spirit enables me to tune into the Holy Spirit so I can receive wisdom and knowledge from God. I cannot conjure up Godly wisdom and knowledge on my own, but rather I need to seek it from the Bible, the inspired Word of God.
A simple revelation I had is that I can quench God’s Spirit when my body, soul and spirit do not provide the environment for God’s Spirit to thrive.
To quench is to put out, extinguish or to subdue or destroy. We are either actively extinguishing our sinful nature or extinguishing the Spirit of God.
Acts 2:38 says we receive the Holy Spirit when we repent and are baptized. The repentance of our sins before baptism makes room for the Holy Spirit to reside with our spirit. When we die to our sins in that watery grave, we are raised to live a new life that is controlled by the Holy Spirit rather than our sinful nature (Romans 6:4).
But I’ve got to be willing to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t take over my body and mind and control me like a puppet. My spirit needs to work together with God’s Spirit to be connected. I must willfully decide to have fellowship with God’s Spirit. Just like in any relationship, I can make room for a person in my life or I cannot make room for them.
My body, soul and spirit are interconnected. If I am sloppy with my thoughts and emotions, then I may overeat to soothe my tangled and anxious thoughts. Rather than turning to God’s Word to give me wisdom and knowledge for my situation, the focus is on pacifying the flesh.
Psalms 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
This verse begs the question. Does my soul, body and spirit make room for God? When I look at my thought life in the past weeks, my answer is no. At times I have been self-focused and prideful in my thoughts, but I have since decided that I will willfully – every moment of the day – turn the knob of my soul and tune my spirit with the frequency of the Holy Spirit.
I considering the turning of the knob to be the same action as repentance. The biblical definition of repent is to make a complete change of direction (180 degree turn toward God). The knob must be turned to make a connection.
During my quiet time this morning, I imagined trying to tune into a radio station and no matter which way I turned the knob; the static persisted so that I couldn’t understand the words being sung nor make sense of the melody. Then that special moment happened – the knob caught the frequency and my ears received the sound of a beautiful, melodic song. The words hit my heart with such power that I began to cry.
The question I asked myself is this: Does the environment I keep for my body, soul and spirit allow me to connect to the frequency of God’s Spirit so that can I can understand and be powerfully moved by what I’m hearing?
To answer this question, I will refer to the first verse that is at the beginning of this blog post. The apostle Paul commands the Thessalonians to Rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. Immediately, after this command he says, “Do not quench the Spirit.”
What I concluded is that the Spirit of God thrives in an environment where there is rejoicing, praying and giving thanks; therefore, I need to take this command seriously. When there is no rejoicing or praying or giving thanks, the spirit is quenched.
Then I asked myself, “How can I rejoice always? Isn’t that unrealistic?
The answer I came up with is that there are plenty of situations that stir up anger, sadness, disappointment and bitterness; however, I must make a commitment to tune into the Spirit of God as soon as possible so that the static and unpleasant sound my spirit is producing can tune into the sweet and beautiful melodic Spirit of God.
Here are the commitments I have made as a result of this Bible Study.
- During my quiet time each morning, write down in my journal the thoughts I had the previous day that are causing static and confusion in my soul. Decide if a conversation with someone needs to be had in order to resolve these thoughts. Look up verses to understand God’s perspective on the situation. Ask God to help my thoughts be like-minded with the Holy Spirit.
- Think about how my body is responding to my emotions. Am I overeating to soothe worried or anxious thoughts rather than praying continually? Am I watching too much TV and zoning out rather than dealing with my emotions? Are my conversations focused on myself or on God? My words, emotions, physical activities are hosts of God’s precious Spirit.
- Every day evaluate my thoughts for pride. Am I preoccupied by what people think about me? Am I looking for validation and praise from people rather than God? Can I rejoice in what God is doing in his Church regardless if it involves me or not? Will I rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn regardless of my circumstances?
2 Corinthians 3:17 says:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Prayer: Father in heaven, may my spirit be one with your Holy Spirit. Thank you that freedom permeates my body, soul and spirit when I’m one in spirit with you.