Leaders will not “Quench” their Spirits
But we beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brethren,admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in ChristJesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying, but test everything; hold faast what is ood, abstain from every form of evil (I Thessalonians 5:12-21).
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the suffering of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being example to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. Likewise you that are younger be subject to the elders.
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility towards one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion,seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen (I Peter 5:1-11).
What is the Sign of a Quenched Spirit?
I do quench the spirit when I doubt that I can live out the “Sermon on the Mount, the Law of God, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” I also do so when I believe and act helplessly, unable to live a godly life. I am a human being that was created and equipped to run the world, insists that he/she needs help from heaven to manage their lives, is absurd. I lost seventy percent of my manual use, I went through hard times and disabling suffering; yet, I retrained myself and seemingly led a normal and productive life. Yes, I had to open up my spirit and release my spirit in order from being quenched. It was not God who kept me from what I ought to have been, it was myself.
I learned something else about myself from the Apostle Paul, who also had difficult physical problems. He wrote to his favored Philippians:
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:10-13).
Here it is what I learned. The worldly people have one over me. They are more prosperous without Christ than I am with Christ. They do not wait for God to come and assist them, but without knowing, they use the resources of God to do what has to be done. I, on the other hand, wait for the Lord to compel and show me where I should spend my time. However, in reality, I end up doing what so many good worldly people do, who do not blame their mistakes on anyone. I and my kind are just as subject to failure, but tend to blame God or the devil for our bad deeds. I tried it, did what I thought, some turned our right, and some turned out wrong. I had to correct the wrong, and even let someone else assist me, and move on. I am in the same boat with the worldly person. We Christians differ in being responsible to God, and they seem to be only responsible to their own kind. They too work for God without being cognizant. And the way we Christians participate in managing the world, it is not surprising that the secular people have control. It is similar to the time when God handed Judea over to the Babylonians, and lastly to the Romans to do His work. The Jews simply were not doing it. Jesus gave this example to his disciples:
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:34-40).
What Does An Unquenched Spirit Look Like?
To begin with, the “vessels of grace” are expected to be the leaders who teach their fellowmen how to retain membership in the “Kingdom of Heaven” on earth. They are supposed to be living examples of grace with their conduct and service. The content of grace is filled with the Beatitudes. I used to think these Beatitudes were only divine gifts; however, Jesus insisted that his disciples were to grow such Beatitudes and be doers of the Beatitudes, and so are you and I. In this world, I must do what Christ and God no longer can nor will do until the end. Without the Beatitudes, what else can Christ’s servants serve their flocks? They are what sets the followers of Jesus apart from the world.
The Beatitudes are the tasks, which the leaders must be able to perform among their people. My family and I were in need for all of the Beatitude services. We have lost loved ones, experienced lowliness, longed for justice, accepted mercy, could bear no ill, were grateful for peace, endured abuse, and even persecution. I also was given the opportunity to minister to people with these needs. These are human needs on earth that only human beings can meet. And those who live and use the Beatitudes are themselves blessed and feel fulfilled. That was why Jesus used “salt and light” to demonstrate what the Beatitudes, in us, can and even will do, when they are used and ignited by us (Matthew 4:4-16). And that is how an unquenched spirit behaves and acts (Acts 4:19-20).
The Risen Christ Did Hand Over His Work to the Apostles
This was the way Jesus did it. His Spirit empowered the spirits of his disciples. Literally, Jesus began to partner with his servants to reconcile the world to God, also with Paul, doubly so with Peter, and those who would follow Jesus.
On the evening of the resurrection day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:19-23).
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-19).
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these”? He said to him, “Yes Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love Peter?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this he said to him, “follow me” (John 21:15-19).
Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Peter said, “Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all possessions” (Luke 12:35-44).