CHAPTER 9 Excerpts from “Spirit Controlled Temperament” by Tim Lahaye Quenching The Holy Spirit Through Fear
“Rejoice evermore. “Pray without ceasing. “in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. “Quench not the Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-19)
Quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit are the two sins one must guard against in order to maintain the Spirit-filled life. We have already seen that one grieves the Holy Spirit through anger. We shall now see that we quench the Holy Spirit through fear. Quenching the Holy Spirit is stifling or limiting Him. Neither grieving nor quenching the Holy Spirit eliminates Him from our life, but they do seriously restrict His control of our body which God would otherwise strengthen and use.
Our text indicates that the Spirit-filled Christian should be one who is able to “rejoice.. : always” (Philippians 4:4) and “in everything give thanks.” (I Thessalonians 5:18) Anytime the Christian does not rejoice or give thanks in everything, he is out of the will of God. That does not mean only in good circumstances, for even the natural man rejoices in enjoyable circumstances. But when the Scripture tells us “rejoice evermore” and ‘In everything give thanks,” it means in any circumstance. Therefore, in order for man to give thanks for everything, he must live by faith. It is faith in God’s love, God’s power and God’s plan for our lives that keeps us rejoicing through the Spirit in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves. An unhappy, unthankful attitude that quenches the Holy Spirit is caused by unbelief in the faithfulness of our God, which produces fear as we face the uncertain circumstances of life. Thus I would have you examine the subject of quenching the Holy Spirit through fear.
Fear Is Universal
The first reaction to the sin of disobedience on the part of Adam and Eve was one of fear. From that day to this the further man goes in disobedience to God, the more he experiences fear. The converse is also true. The more man obeys God, learns about God and leans upon Him for every need, the less he experiences fear. The universal nature of fear is easily seen in the fact that the Lord Jesus Himself so frequently admonished His disciples with such phrases as “fear not, little flock,” “be not faithless, but believing,” “O ye of little faith,” and “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Even though fear is universal, God’s children do not have to be dominated by this vicious emotional destroyer. Fear, like anger, takes many forms. The following describes the 16 main variations.
Anxiety, Doubts, Timidity, Indecision, Superstition, Withdrawal, Loneliness, Overaggression, Worry, Inferiority, Cowardice, Suspicion, Hesitancy, Depression
Haughtiness, Social Shyness
What Causes Fear?
Because fear is such a universal experience of man and because many of the readers of this book will be parents or grandparents who can help their children avoid this tendency, I would like to answer this question simply in layman’s terms. There are at least eight causes of fear.
1. Temperament traits
2. Childhood experiences
3. A traumatic experience
4. A negative thinking pattern
6. Sin produces fear
7. Lack of faith
8. Selfishness—the basic cause of fear As much as we don’t like to face this ugly word, it is a fact nonetheless. We are fearful because we are selfish. Why am I afraid? Because I am interested in self. Why am I embarrassed when I stand before an audience? Because I don’t wish to make a fool of myself. Why am I afraid I will lose my job? Because I am afraid of being a failure in the eyes of my family or not being able to provide my family and myself with the necessities of life. Excuse it if you will, but all fear can be traced basically to the sin of selfishness.
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