A few years ago we updated one of our bathrooms and when we did we put in a brand new shower head. It was WONDERFUL.
Lately, though, I noticed that it seemed as if there was less and less water coming though the showerhead. This isn’t a life changing problem; I just noticed it and it bugged me but when my shower was done I would move on, forgetting about it until the next time I took a shower.
The thing about this is that it was a very gradual loss of water pressure. It happened over a period of several years.
Gradual changes often escape our notice.
We live in an area where there is a lot of limestone mining. The aquifers through which flow our water add lime to the water that we drink and use in other ways. As it flowed through our showerhead it deposited miniscule amounts of lime sediment in our showerhead – especially the little holes through which flows our water in the shower.
Over time it began to gradually limit how much water would flow through that showerhead.
The Bible tells Christians that Holy Spirit dwells deep inside our human spirits.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16)
In fact, I am coming to understand that our human spirit IS the Holy Spirit of God in Christians.
Isn’t that amazing? God, Who knows no bounds and is so vast, has chosen to live inside Christian people.
The Bible teaches that Jesus said that Holy Spirit would teach us (Luke 12:12; John 14:26), guide us (John 16:13), convict us of our sin, our righteousness and our judgement (innocent) (John 16:8), speak to us (Matthew 10:20), give life to us (John 6:63), and remind us of things Jesus has taught us (John 14:26).
In other places, the Bible teaches that Holy Spirit can give Christians utterance or declarations (Acts 2:4), tell them to do things and go places (Acts 11:12), show things to us (Acts 11:28), restrain us (Acts 16:7), compel us to do things (Acts 18:5), lead us (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18), bear witness that we really are God’s children (Acts 8:16), helps us in our weaknesses (Acts 8:26), searches our hearts (Acts 8:27), speak and preach through us all (1 Corinthians 2:4), allow us to know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Corinthians 2:12), fill (strongly influence) us (Ephesians 5:18), and speak to us (Revelations 2:7, 11, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).
It’s very evident from all these mentions of Christians and Holy Spirit that the gift Who IS the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 2:38; 10:45) is a VERY important gift from our Father in heaven.
It’s been sadly interesting to me that so many of our Christian brothers and sisters report that they have never sensed His presence inside them. Of those who have, many often do not sense His presence on a day to day basis.
Why is that?
It’s because it is possible for us Christians to quench the powerful Holy Spirit of God.
“Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
How does this come to be?
It happens gradually the way lime in water slowly clogs up the spouts in a showerhead.
It happens so slowly that we don’t even see it happening but slowly and surely the flow and the power decreases.
The water behind my showerhead had not lost its ability to rinse away soap; it was limited by the substance quenching its flow.
Holy Spirit does not lose His power to do all the things God intends to do in our lives. When we quench Him we simply cheat ourselves from the benefits of His presence and power in our lives.
As I looked up the definition of the word “quench” I wondered if using a clogged showerhead was a good idea because the world literally means “to extinguish” – the way we put out a fire.
Since fire is almost the opposite of water, I questioned my use of water in my analogy but I’ve camped out a good bit in my life. We always put the fire out when we were done. I can’t remember one time when we threw a lot of water on a fire and it immediately went out; rather, we had to douse it multiple times and stir the ashes.
Extinguishing a fire…quenching anything, even the Holy Spirit of God in us is a gradual process.
How does the process of gradually quenching the Holy Spirit happen? Jesus addressed it like this:
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
There seem to me to be two sorts of “cares of the world” that satan uses to inspire us to quench Holy Spirit in our life. The first has to do with situations and circumstances like money problems, illness, and other things that seem to be roadblocks to what we hope will happen in our lives.
The second one has to do with people who seek to control our souls in various ways. This can happen through threats, gossip, inflammatory remarks, and a host of other subtle and not so subtle ways satan works through people….even Christians at times.
How do we manage these things? The Apostle John said it like this:
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
John encourages us to remember that it is Jesus (in the Person of Holy Spirit) Who is in us and that He is greater than all those things that come against us. Jesus made a promise to us in Matthew 28:20:
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
He keeps His promises.
Finally, if we come to the realization that we HAVE quenched Holy Spirit in our lives, what can we do about that?
We should ask Him to wash us clean of any effects of that.
Unlike the lime quenching the flow of water in my showerhead that required that I soak it in vinegar for several hours to cleanse it, Holy Spirit is a sort of “water” (John 4:13-14), if you will, that cleanses away whatever dirties us.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
When we were saved Holy Spirit washed away our sins. We can invite Him any time we want to wash away the cares of the world that clog up our souls and prevent us from enjoying Him and all He wishes to bring to and through us.
As I wrote this article the Lord prompted me to pray in that way. Perhaps you would like to pray something like this as well:
“Holy Spirit, I invite You to cleanse away anything that quenches You in my life. Please protect my mind from the cares of the world. I don’t mean to quench You in my life and I don’t want to do it anymore. Please cause a habit of presenting myself to you for constant cleansing to emerge in me. I commit to do my part, in partnership with Jesus, by staying aware of the things satan tries to throw in my path through situations, circumstances and people who seek to take my focus off the Lord. Thank You, Holy Spirit. I receive Your cleansing today. I AM CLEAN! Amen.”