This is written in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” (ESV) It is the last phrase I want to focus on… “Quench not the Spirit.”
I would like to suggest the statement written by Paul here has to do first, primarily, and mainly with our own spiritual condition in the context of worship. Rejoicing is an expression of worship. Prayer is a part of worship. Giving thanks is a huge element of worship. Not only are those things true, but it is God’s will that we worship… and worship His way. And notice that God’s will regarding worship is for the believer’s good.
Thus when Paul writes “quench not the Spirit,” I believe he is encouraging us to follow the Spirit’s leadership as we worship God. My experience is that it is difficult to just jump into worship full speed. It takes time to build. It begins as a little stirring in the soul (This is the Spirit) that gradually becomes stronger and stronger and stronger until eventually recognition of time ceases as the Holy Spirit fills us body, soul, and mind.
But there are times when the stirring of the Spirit, His gentle nudging and prodding to surrender ourselves in worship can be quenched… and it doesn’t take much for that to happen. I have found that if I worry about what other people think of me as I worship… the Spirit can be quenched. I have found that if I allow someone or something to distract me… the Spirit can be quenched. I have also found that my own spirit… if I haven’t prepared myself properly for worship… can quench the Spirit. That happens when I just sing the songs rather than worship God through singing (There is a difference!).
Helps To Not Quench The Spirit. First, prepare yourself for the worship experience… mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Second, just before worship begins… take time to quiet your heart by asking God to reveal Himself in worship. Third, pray with people as they pray (Don’t just listen to them pray, affirm in prayer what they pray). Fourth, in your heart and spirit be listening for God’s Spirit to lead you in worship and follow Him.
Below is one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns… “Who Am I.” There is a short interview at the beginning, then the song is performed live. The song begins at 4:36 into the clip. I hope you receive a blessing!
Here are some of the words: “Who am I that the Lord of all the earth… would care to know my name? Would care to feel my hurt?” “Who am I that the one who calmed the seas… would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me?” “Not because of what I’ve done… but because of who you are… Not because of who I am… but because of what you’ve done…” Chorus: “I am a flower quickly fading, Here today and gone tomorrow. A wave tossed in the ocean, A vapor in the wind. Still you hear me when I’m calling, Lord you catch me when I’m falling, And you told me who I am. I am yours. I am yours. .