A Word About Thanks & the Spirit

November 27th, 2008

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thess. 5:16-22

People typically connect “Do not quench the Spirit” with the next verse, “Do not despise prophecies.” But I wonder if it’s also connected with the preceding verse, “Give thanks in all circumstances”. In other words, is grumbling & complaining–the opposite of thankfulness–a way of quenching the Spirit?

There seems to be a pretty consistent connection between thankfulness and the Spirit.

Thanksgiving is part of being filled with the Spirit:

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Eph. 5:18-21

Thanksgiving is part of walking in Christ:

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Col. 2:6-7

Thanksgiving is part of the word of Christ dwelling richly in us:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col. 3:16-17

Speaking in tongues can be giving thanks with your spirit:

“Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?” 1 Cor. 14:16

Avoiding grumbling and complaining is part of working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and part of remaining blameless and innocent:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” Phil. 2:12-15

So, it seems that being filled with the Spirit produces thanksgiving, and grumbling quenches the Spirit.

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2 Responses to “A Word About Thanks & the Spirit”

  1. luke g. says:

    Excellent observation. I pray that the Lord helps us more and more to avoid quenching the Spirit by not keeping a thankful attitude as we go about life.

  2. Tim says:

    Interestingly enough, a friend of mine came to approximately the same conclusion independently. She was studying how to be filled with the Spirit, and “thanksgiving” was the main thing she came up with.