Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19
Despite knowing that the electricity wasn’t working in our house after a strong storm (an inconveniently common occurrence in our neighborhood), I instinctively flipped on the light switch when I entered the room. Of course, nothing happened. I was still enveloped in darkness.
That experience—expecting light even when I knew the connection to the power source was broken—vividly reminded me of a spiritual truth. Too often we expect power even as we fail to rely on the Spirit.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul wrote of the way God caused the gospel message to come “not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction” (1:5). And when we accept God’s forgiveness, believers too have immediate access to the power of His Spirit in our lives. That power cultivates in us characteristics such as love, joy, peace, and patience (Galatians 5:22–23) and it empowers us with gifts to serve the church, including teaching, helping, and guiding (1 Corinthians 12:28).
Paul warned his readers that it’s possible to “quench the spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We might restrict the power of the Spirit by ignoring God’s presence or rejecting His conviction (John 16:8). But we don’t have to live disconnected from Him. God’s power is always available to His children.
When have you felt the Spirit’s power to be limited? How have you experienced the power of God’s Spirit?
Almighty God, help me experience the power of Your Spirit in my life.
For further study, read A Story of a Life Led by the Spirit.
In Paul’s time, Thessalonica was the capital city of the Roman second district of Macedonia. It was a center of heavy commerce and the place the apostle transitioned to after his arrest and beatings in Philippi (Acts 16). With his coworkers Silas and Timothy, the church was established there after the gospel had been preached in the synagogue for three consecutive Sabbath days (17:1–9). While the Jewish population turned against Paul and his team, some of the “God-fearing Greeks” (gentile proselytes to Judaism, v. 4) embraced the gospel, apparently becoming the core of the new church assembly there.
Most scholars are convinced that 1 Thessalonians was written by Paul in Corinth around the early 50s ad. Paul affectionately commended the believers in Jesus for their faithfulness and commitment to Christ (1:4–10). That commendation has caused some to refer to Thessalonica as the “ideal first-century church.”