Summary: How do we avoid putting out the fire of God’s Spirit or our spirit and being thrown off track by things life and christians put our way?!
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 1 Thess 5:19, (v12-28)
Joke/Ill: a man has been so touched by the HS that his dog can walk on water! Has a friend he wants to convince about this, so takes him to the beech and as they walk he throws the stick for the dog into the sae. the dog walks across the water, picks the stick and walks back. The friend says nothing. Next day he does the same again. No comment from the cynical friend. Eventually, over coffee, finally bursts out and asks him ’did you notice anything unusual about my dog?’. Friend replies- ’yeah, he can’t swim!’
Missed the fun! The walking on water!
- Christians can be a bit like that, sometimes.
- I wonder if you’ve lost the eyes to see the genuine working of God?
o May the Lord speak to us, tonight- because God says "do not put out the Spirit’s fire"
- I’ve got two groups of friends. The names have been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty!)
o Rosie and Jim (K& H) (right wing Christian enthusiasts)
o Simon (used to be that- now just ’sedentary’)
- Maybe you’ve got similar groupings
o I wonder which you enjoy being around the most? Want to be like the most
" With me- I want what Rosie and Jim have got. Not ALL of it….as I’m not sure of SOME of it
" But their fire and GENUINE love for the Lord I want!
" Can’t gainsay that
Have you fallen into the second group?
o - "do not put out the Spirit’s fire"
How can this happen?
PUTTING OUT THE FIRE
Quite easily, I’m afraid
- that is acknowledged, here (isn’t that a relief?)
- there are genuine disappointments
o things we don’t understand
o Christians can do wappy things
… but if you let it put out the Spirit’s fire it will put out your fire-
- and you will
o miss your purpose
o put a barrier between you and Jesus
o become a sedentary Christian- and the Spirit may have to bypass you to get His work done
Want that???!! No way
If you are not careful, as you go on you can
- lose it OR
- get caught in confusion - analysis paralysis
o ("I agree with this bit, but not that bit- what do I do?!"
o become double minded and useless- unstable in all
- Find a mature and balanced way through
And as a warning- please note that in the bible nowhere is enthusiasm condemned but coldness of heart, resistance to the Spirit IS
So- to help us- let’s get honest. What things might cause us to chuck a bucket of water on the fire? What things here?
The Lord’s coming.
- that was a… the?... problem here. Read ch 5 start
- It was a big problem for the early church as the lifetime of the apostles + Jesus’ generation came to an end
o "When’s he coming back?"
o (imagine what it was like when John died! All that false expectation dashed. They we tough days)
- It can be a problem to some, today. "2000 years, when IS He coming?!"
- It IS a problem… a stumbling block… for many today as there are those who are SO into this end-times stuff
o You just KNOW it’s going to end in tears!
How do you deal with this?
- Just because the Lord hasn’t come back doesn’t mean He won’t!
- It will probably be in a way and certainly a time we don’t expect
- He’s in no hurry (in His mercy)
"do not put out the Spirit’s fire"!
Paul has to tell them to respect their leaders
- (now, I know that naturally, here, that happens automatically!)
maybe they hadn’t got it perfectly right?!
Illustr: Talking to a young lad (W) after Soul Survivor
- was wrestling with the confusion of ’humanness’ of leadership and leaders
- "There was good stuff happening, but there was hype, too- and the leaders were pushing it too far I reckon. And all these words of knowledge… and HAVING to have ministry after every event"
o it was a good discussion. He’ll come through okay
Yep- we quickly get locked into a tradition of ’having to do something’ very quickly. That’s wrong. Leaders sometimes push too hard, and that’s wrong too- but sometimes it’s necessary to get anything to happen
- truth is: if these young people don’t get an encounter with the Spirit they probably won’t make it past 17 as Christians. You know it’s true. There’s a lot at stake
But "do not put out the Spirit’s fire"
one of the main ones, here. "Do not treat prophecy with contempt"