September 20, 2010
Cleaning out Our Spiritual Ears
"Do not quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NASB).
Friend to Friend
The Holy Spirit speaks to us to convict us of sin, but sometimes I think we have "spiritual ear wax build-up" which causes us to have a difficult time hearing His voice. In my own life, when the Holy Spirit speaks to me concerning a particular sin, it is almost as if He is screaming at me to stop and think about what I'm getting ready to do or the potential consequences of my unholy actions. If I ignore His promptings, the next time His voice isn't quite as loud. Eventually, if I continue to choose to ignore the Holy Spirit's voice, I may not hear His voice at all. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "Do not put out the Holy Spirit's fire" (I Thessalonians 5:19 NIV). Another version says, "Do not quench the Spirit" (NASB). Each time we ignore Him, we diminish our ability to hear His voice.
Let's say I turn the television to a program that I know God would not want me to watch. I feel the Holy Spirit's conviction and sense Him speaking to me to turn the television off and not fill my mind with visions and words that are unpleasing to God. If I ignore the Holy Spirit and watch the program, it is like I get "spiritual ear wax build up" and the next time the Holy Spirit speaks His voice is not quite as clear. I believe with all my heart that turning a deaf ear to the Holy Spirit's conviction in our lives will lead to a serious case of spiritual hearing loss. The only solution is repentance - which is more than saying, "I'm sorry." It is agreeing with God that your actions are sin, and then turning and going in the opposite direction.
Once someone accepts Jesus as his or her personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and takes up residence in that person (Romans 8:8-9). "You yourselves are God's temple and God's Spirit lives in you" (I Corinthians 6:19). Because the Holy Spirit abides in each believer, we should expect Him to speak to us on a regular basis. But each time we resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51), grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:29) or quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NASB), we throw a cup of water onto the flame. The Holy Spirit won't leave us, but His power in our lives may be reduced to a smoldering ember if we refuse to listen.
Dear Lord, thank You for the Holy Spirit who warns me to stop before sinning. Help me to have the will power to heed His voice and obey quickly. Please forgive me for the times I have ignored the Holy Spirit's promptings and proceeded to act like a stubborn child who ignores her father's warnings.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Are there certain activities or areas of your life in which you have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit?
If so, have you made changes? Stopped watching a particular TV program? Discontinued a relationship? Changed the way you dress? Changed an eating habit? Etc?
Do you need your "ears" cleaned out? One of the best ways to keep "spiritual ear wax" from building up is to start each day reading God's Word and praying. Write out a prayer making a commitment to God to listen to His voice through the pages of your Bible and the Holy Spirit's prompting.
If the Holy Spirit has been convicting you of behavior you need to change, I'd love to hear about it. Sometimes writing it down helps us to stay strong! Log on to www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and put it in words.
More from the Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, Becoming a Woman who Listens to
God. If you would like to learn more about how to hear God's still small voice in your life, then this book is for you!
Originally published Monday, 20 September 2010.