For several days, I have heard the Lord saying, “Quench not, grieve not.”
I Thessalonians 5:19 says, “Quench not the Spirit.” And Ephesians 4:30 says, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God…”
I have heard this taught before, but today, He was reminding me again of this delicate balance.
Some things that grieve the Holy Spirit are:
• blatant sin and defilement
• selfish motives and agendas
• demonic infiltration
• failure to walk in godly authority, bringing proper correction to those who are doing these things.
Some things that quench the Holy Spirit are:
• trying to control or manipulate people
• not giving people freedom to learn and grow and make mistakes
• striving, good works and trying to be people’s Holy Spirit
• not giving the Holy Spirit room to move
• not allowing messes that come simply from immaturity
• choosing man’s “order,” man’s ways and man’s thoughts over God’s
We can only avoid these two opposing pitfalls with the help of the Holy Spirit. In the flesh, we will always err toward what is most familiar and comfortable to us. God is preparing us to steward a great outpouring, so we must develop greater wisdom and sensitivity to His leading. We must notice immediately when He has pulled back and then ask Him to show us if something is quenching or grieving Him. We must be absolutely dependent upon Him, realizing that without Him, what we are doing is fruitless. He is gentle in temperament, though fiercely powerful. Places of self and hardness in our hearts keep us from perceiving His nearness (or absence), just as Samson did not know the Lord had departed from him (Judges 16:20).
I did a little research on what ended the Azusa Street revival and, though no one knows for certain, it appears that one important factor was that spiritualists and palm readers began to sneak in, exerting demonic influence over the meetings….and William Seymour did not stop them. One of his greatest strengths was his willingness to keep his hands off and to allow the Holy Spirit to have total freedom in the meetings, no matter what it looked like. But his corresponding weakness was his failure to properly correct those who persisted in operating lawlessly and who were grieving the Spirit of God. It seems that similar issues have quenched many other revivals, including the Welch Revival.
Many leaders throughout revival history have either erred by quenching the Holy Spirit through heavy handed control or by grieving Him by allowing people to exploit His presence for selfish or occult agendas. And it is actually His mercy that causes Him to withdraw (Acts 5:1-11). The Holy Spirit will neither be controlled or exploited.