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June 12, 2023

Flame Throwers Vs. Fire Extinguishers

Do not quench the Spirit.

–1 Thessalonians 5:19

My grandfather lived in a town of about five thousand people, and he used to tell us about the time his town was plagued by a rash of fires. On a regular basis, the residents were awakened by the shrill sound of a fire engine racing to a fire. Fortunately, the town had a very dedicated fire chief who was always there working to put out the fires. One night, my grandfather himself got a call that his dry goods business was on fire. So he got dressed as quickly as he could, went down to his business, and worked the hose with the fire chief to try to salvage what was left. Eventually, after a series of investigations, the cause of this rash of fires was determined. It was not faulty wiring. It was not a group of delinquent teenagers. It turns out the fire chief himself was setting the fires.

Now, why would somebody work to start all those fires and then work feverishly to put out the fires? It is hard to imagine anything more ludicrous until we look at our own lives.

For the past few months, we have been talking about what we can do to ignite the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Remember, experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit is a cooperative process between us and God. He provides the power. The moment we trust in Christ as our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit. That power of God is inside of us.

But we have to put in the effort to access that power. And there are four channels, four conduits, through which the Holy Spirit’s power flows into our lives. Conduit number one is the Word of God. Conduit number two is prayer. Conduit number three is the church. And this week, we are going to look at the fourth conduit, and that is obedience to God.

Igniting the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a joint effort. We work with God to get this fire going inside of us. Yet many times, just like that fire chief in my grandfather’s town, we are the very ones who extinguish the fire. How? By our own disobedience to God. I think that is a phenomenon God had in mind when He inspired Paul to write 1 Thessalonians 5:19: “Do not quench the Spirit.” Do not put out the flame of God’s Spirit in your life.

How do we do that? How do we keep from quenching the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives? This week, we are going to talk about four Spirit-quenchers to avoid if you want to keep the power of the Holy Spirit burning brightly in your life.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Flame Throwers vs. Fire Extinguishers” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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