Posts Tagged ‘grieving the holy spirit’

If we are told to NOT quench the Spirit, then it must be possible. We must lean toward quenching on occasion or maybe more often than that. Apparently, it’s a concern. It requires adjustment. It’s a call for change. Or simply: stop doing it!

I Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit; [Amplified]

When I finished my most recent fast in November, I became aware of my ongoing struggle with “grieving the Holy Spirit” and how my behaviors and my choices were interfering with the free flow of that Spirit within.

Quenching that same Spirit, is just another way of saying the same thing. It’s putting out the fire. It’s extinguishing, choking off, and dampening the passion. It’s pulling back.

Here’s one problem I can see happening with this directive. Some people don’t recognize the Holy Spirit in their lives and therefore, don’t even realize they’re in the quenching business. It’s hard to “stop” doing something if one doesn’t realize what that might look like. Have I? Have I, in my haste to move on to the next thing, to go for the feeling, or whatever, have I actually drowned the still small voice?

A friend told me of a small group of women who meet regularly for “the wait.” They don’t plan what happens, they wait. They don’t necessarily sing or shout or pray out loud, they don’t seek a miracle or a sign, they respond. They listen first. They wait and then they share what they have heard with one another. They are putting a firebrand to the embers. They are kindling the fire.

“Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us your faithful and kindle in us the fire of Your love. . . ”

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New self is a transaction of the heart and soul. For me, it happened when I accepted and engaged the Christ and invited the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit within. Unfortunately, old self is like a familiar and in some places threadbare winter coat or sweater I am unwilling to permanently discard.

Colossians 3:9-10
Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

It’s easy to tell that I’m still wearing the old because of the fruit or behaviors.

Last night, I had such an explosion of emotion with my daughter. The F bomb rolled off the tongue like I had never stopped using it. Anger turned to rage and every frustration and resentment bubbled up and over. It was acid.

Oh yes, the old self took back its place and the light of all that is new and self was quenched. No light shone through. It was quite dark inside.

In the light of today, I can see the damage done and how quickly the old coat slipped back into place. God forgive me.

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If love is a type of submission, as I believe it is, then that is the best place to start with this controversial passage about wifely submission. You see, if ALL are to submit to one another, why must the “wife to husband” submission be “greater” or more submissive as some people imply?

Ephesians 5:22, 24
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. . . . Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

I’m still taking baby steps when it comes to loving as Christ loved others. Here’s my theory: if I can love/submit to my husband a fraction of what Christ models for me to love/submit to everyone, we’ll have a transformed marriage.

The same habitual sins I experience with others in my daily life are magnified at home. For instance, if I judge others, even people I don’t know in the grocery line or sitting in a restaurant, is there any surprise that I judge those closest to me?

Probably, the love/submission relationship was supposed to be easier with our mates, after all, we’ve made a promise to love them, to cherish them, to stand beside them through joys and sorrows, to create families, to build a microcosm of the Church (i.e. Body of Christ). Instead, we build mini-cultures that reflect the culture in which we live. In some families, that means an environment of greed, ambition, violence, mistrust, disease, and manipulation.

I missed something along the way and forgot that my own husband is “sacred other.” He is Holy Spirit illuminated too. And that is the One to whom I am to submit within him. It is not the veiled man, but the core that is holy. And it is the core of man that is more than worthy of love and yes, even submission.

Some of his veil I caused. When two people hurt each other or become estranged in any way, the darkness covers the light within on both sides. I have been looking through two layers of sin: my own and his.

It’s a uncertain business to begin peeling the layers of “outer self” in a relationship while the other is fully clothed and protected. But I am pretty sure that “outer me” cannot love/submit to anyone in the way of Jesus.

Today, I have intention and mindfulness with love and submission for the Holy Spirit.

(FD 9)

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This phrase about grieving the Holy Spirit has always jumped out at me. Reverend Spurgeon said, back in 1859, that causing grief touches even the hardest hearts. But today, for the first time, I linked the cause directly to my mouth.

Ephesians 4:29-30a
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God . . .

This revelation really clenches it for me: I must include “unconscious talking” into my fast.

I can just imagine the Holy Spirit within me, covering ears and thinking, “I can’t believe she really said that!” And then, crying. Doesn’t crying go along with grief?

Sometimes, there is anger too, and disappointment. There is helplessness in grief, because there isn’t much one can do to change the situation. And with grief, there is pain.

When a person is sorrowing, it is because of loss. And in that loss, there is love. But it’s love that is cut off, stopped, quenched, unresolved, blocked. . . for whatever reason.

So, whenever I speak out-of-hand, or gossip, or judge, there is a loss that happens there too. I am inching further away from my center where the Holy Spirit dwells. And the Holy Spirit is calling, reaching out to me, warning me, crying for me, whispering to me, but I am too focused on the outpouring.

Unlike fasting from food, which is relatively easy since the body is pretty good about reminding me about three to four times a day, “Hey, didn’t you forget something? Food! I need food!” But to fast from blabbing is more difficult. There won’t be any help for this one. It will be about mindfulness. It will be about “practicing the presence” of God. It will be about thinking before I speak. It will be about slowing down. It will be about listening.

And maybe, just maybe, if I can submit to this discipline, even for a short while, I will hear the angels singing after all.

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