For years, some of you have been asking, pleading, and searching for the voice of God. You did all that you could to draw near to Him. You followed the steps that this preacher and that preacher recommended. You read your bible, made sure you had quiet time early in the morning, cut off unhealthy relationships, and more!
When you first began hearing God speak, you were so excited. You couldn't get enough of hearing His voice and would not hesitate to share with the world saying, "God told me this..." or "God said that." Now, some time has passed and you find yourself in a place where you KNOW God is speaking, you have LEARNED his voice, but you have grown complacent and irreverent towards Him.
Instead of immediate obedience, you take his commands as multiple-choice options. You treat God as your partner, rather than your leader, your LORD. You know God is speaking to you, but you choose to ignore Him and go your own way. And just to be clear, in all this, I am preaching to myself as well!
The bible speaks against quenching the voice of the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to "quench" in this context? In 1st Thessalonians 5:19 (NKJV) it says: "Quench not the spirit." In the NLT version, it says: "Do not stifle the Holy Spirit." Do you know that it is possible to quench and/or stifle the Holy Spirit? If it wasn't, Paul wouldn't have to command the church not to do so.
Throughout the bible, the Holy Spirit is represented as a symbol of fire. Therefore, this verse is commanding us not to "quench" this fire. You were probably "on fire" for God when you first got saved. What happened from that time up until now? Can you honestly say that you have the same spiritual fervor, or better yet, more? Or do you find that you are cold, numb, and dormant when it comes to your walk with Christ? Constantly ignoring the Holy Spirit when he is speaking to you or calling you to action, can cause this to happen. There are even some versions of the previous verse mentioned that say: "Don't put out the Spirit's fire."
If you are constantly running away from God, constantly disobeying, constantly fearing the consequences or results of stepping out in faith, you are slowly allowing that inner fire to die inside of you. It is this fire that burns inside of us, that helps lead others to Christ.
How can you lead people to Christ if you refuse to be led by Him yourself?
Eventually, we must die to ourselves, as we are commanded to do in Galatians 5:24-25. These verses read: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives."
Are you ready to spiritually die to your flesh? Ready to die to sin? Are you ready to shine the light that God has entrusted on the inside of you? Are you ready to go where He tells you to go and do what He tells you to do? "Jesus replied, 'No man who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:16)
It is my prayer that we no longer go forth in unrepentant sin, but we truly live the life that God has called us to. If you find yourself in this situation, it is never too late to make a change and turn back. To repent is to fully renounce and turn away from your sin. Let go of the past, the shame, the guilt, and let God do a new work in you! He wants to use YOU for His glory.
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