Summary: Just as we cannot fly a kite without the wind, our lives cannot be truly spiritual without the Holy Spirit. It makes sense therefore that we apply the following four directives to our lives.
1. A sundial was given to a group of people who lived in a jungle. To them it was a fetish. They built a house over it to keep it safe and holy. This kept the sun away from it and made it useless. They beautified it but made it without purpose. It reminds us of a powerless Christianity. The Holy Spirit, if He is treated at all, is treated as an emotional high or a theological concept, rather than the supernatural person He really is. He is forgotten in everyday life.
2. There is a mild southerly wind in Europe called the foehn. It blows up from the Mediterranean Sea bringing spring-like weather right in the midst of winter. So, too, even in the dark winters of the soul, it is possible to feel the gentle warmth of the presence of God and the blessed influence of the Holy Spirit. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
3. God the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son as the comforter of Christ’s followers. He undeniably has personality since He can be obeyed, grieved, reverenced, blasphemed, and lied to. He is undeniably God since He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, holy, and all-wise. He relates to the Christian by regenerating him, baptizing him, indwelling him, sealing him, filling him, endowing him with spiritual gifts, and aiding him in victory over sin.
4. The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost in a sound to awaken them, in a wind to move them, in fire to enlighten and warm them, in tongues to make them speak. This is a very fine statement of the case. Out of this grows this query: Are we awake today? Are we on the move for Christ? Are we enlightened and on fire for God? Are we using our tongues for Him? -- Hugh Sensibaugh -- Glen V. Wheeler, 1010 Illustrations, Poems and Quotes, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 1967), p. 90.
PROPOSITION: THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT SUSTAINS THE BELIEVER IN HIS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY.
TRANSITION: Just as we cannot fly a kite without the wind, our lives cannot be truly spiritual without the Holy Spirit. It makes sense therefore that we apply the following four directives to our lives.
I. DON’T QUENCH THE HOLY SPIRIT (I Thessalonians 5:19).
A. The Holy Spirit is conforming us to the image of Christ (II Corinthians 3:18).
B. To quench the Holy Spirit is to extinguish the progress of the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
C. "On a winter’s day I noticed a row of cottages with a deep load of snow on their roofs. As the day wore on, large fragments began to tumble from the eaves of this one and that other till, by and by, there was a simultaneous avalanche, and the whole heap slid over in powdery ruin on the pavement. Before the sun went down you could see each roof as clear and dry as on a summer evening. But here and there was a roof with its snow-mantle unbroken, and a ruff of stiff icicles around it. What made the difference? The difference was to be found within. Some of these cottages were empty, or the lonely inhabitant cowered over a scanty fire. In the peopled homes, the high-blazing kindling created such an inward warmth that grim winter melted and relaxed his grip, and the loosened mass folded off and tumbled over on the trampled street. It is possible by some outside process to push the main volume of snow from the frosty roof, or chip off the icicles one by one. But they will form again, and it needs an inward heat to create a total thaw. And so, by sundry processes, you may clear from a man’s conduct the dead weight of conspicuous sins, but it needs a hidden heat, a vital warmth within, to produce such a separation between the soul and its besetting iniquities, that the whole wintry incubus, the entire body of sin, will come spontaneously away. That vital warmth is the love of God abundantly shed abroad--the kindly glow which the Comforter diffuses in the soul which he makes his home. His genial inhabitation thaws that soul and its favorite sins asunder, and makes the indolence and self-indulgence and in devotion fall off from their old resting-place on that dissolving heart. The easiest form of self-mortification is a fervent spirit." -- James Hamilton, D.D. -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)
D. A friend of Vance Havner coined a word by combining the words squelch and quench. He used to say, "Don’t ’squench’ the Spirit." Havner though it was so descriptive that he often used it in his preaching. Havner said, "We ’squench’ the Spirit in more ways than we suspect. We do so when we stifle the desire to speak or act for the Lord. When we criticize or discourage others by an unspiritual attitude, we ’throw cold water’ on their inner fire. We have the Holy Spirit as an honored Guest in every Christian gathering, and He can be grieved very easily. A frivolous attitude, a rebellious frame of mind, or a fed-up complacency will do it." In a cold and dark world we need the light and warmth of the Holy Spirit. Why would we want to squelch it?