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Thursday, October 16, 2014

No Quenching Allowed!

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Cyndi Coleman
“Do not quench the  Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Those who know me well would likely - no definitely - agree with this self-assessment: I am a very zealous person! Whatever I am passionate about consumes me and flows freely from within me. Since I am an extrovert, sometimes the things that are swirling inside of my head come gushing right out of my mouth. This can be both good and bad! And trust me, this has gotten me into, and out of, a lot of “interesting” conversations.

This is one of the reasons I never thought the verses above would ever apply to me. If there is anything I am zealous about, it is the Lord and the Bible. I am extremely passionate and zealous about him! God has done such a work of redemption in my life that I just want to share it with everyone I meet. I want everyone to experience the Jesus-joy I have found!  However, as you might assume, not everyone in my sphere of influence is exactly thrilled about my happiness! In fact, some people find it obnoxious, annoying, and sometimes even offensive. So it’s not surprising that they wish to snuff out my candle of zeal, muffle my mouth, and hinder my happiness. Honestly, they probably just want me to shut my mouth and keep it to myself. By the way, I don’t go around preaching 24/7. I am just an optimistic, Jesus-happy girl. But, after a while, even a gal like me can get tired of being the butt of jokes, the object of quiet snickering, and feeling like the oddball. I have to admit, it gets to me after a while.

Despite the fact that this goes directly against scripture and my very nature, after experiencing a fair amount of persecution from several fronts, I decided to do just that. I decided I would, in fact, keep my faith (and joy) to myself. Since this is contrary to all that I am, it proved difficult, at first; however, after a little practice, it became easier and easier. And, of course, more and more comfortable. The encounters with my usual zeal-haters became much less tense. In fact, I began to fit in a lot better. I must admit, that felt pretty good for a while. 
 
Though this may seem all sweet and nice, over the months which this charade took place, there was a furious storm brewing just beneath the surface in my soul. While things on the outside became a bit easier, my soul was withering like a fall leaf tumbling across the desert. 


Though the latter is clear, now, I could not figure out what was wrong with me. I felt like I was losing my mind, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt depression creeping in; I had absolutely no peace. Frankly, I was quite miserable.  It seemed as though every area of my life was in turmoil and unraveling right before my eyes. I was being eaten alive by fear, worry, and uncertainty.

My breakthrough finally came when I begrudgingly attended an intimate gathering of some of my dearest friends and the most godly women I know (another side effect was that close connections with godly people had also become a challenge). This was an overnight retreat sort of thing. I managed to struggle through prayer, Bible study, and even worship (Please note, prior to this time-period these were my absolute favorite pastimes). At one point, a friend looked me right in the eyes and said, “Cyndi, are you okay? You don’t seem like yourself.” Her words pricked my soul - ouch! So, I did what I had been practicing, I dismissed it and lied: “I’m fine!” Just a few moments later we were deep in a Spirit-led prayer time when I spoke up,  intending to ask for prayer for a relative, when my mouth betrayed me and all the anguish that had been building for months broke the dam of my soul and came rushing forth. Something deep inside me was screaming for relief. Through gasping tears I began to  - finally - be honest. I was so NOT fine. These precious women were shocked, but not repelled. Up until this point, I may have been the most zealous and outspoken about my faith.

The Holy Spirit began massaging my parched and somewhat paralyzed soul with his living water. He convicted me and my eyes were suddenly opened to what had been wrong with me for the past several months: I had quenched the Holy Spirit and therefore diminished His powerful working in my life. And, oh how it pains me to admit it, I had been living a life “ashamed of the gospel.” Those godly women surrounded me and prayed loving and powerful prayers over me. It felt as though God was bathing my soul with their prayers. They were ministering to me - something I had not allowed the Holy Spirit to do for such a long time.

Where are you right now in your relationship with God?

What happens when you try to quiet your crying soul?

When is the last time you were tempted to, or did, quench the Holy Spirit’s influence in an area of your life?

Who could you share your deepest fears with so you could be released to move forward with God?


For more about Relevant Women - RelevantMinistry.org/RelevantWomen

1 comment:

  1. Amen... I understand completely. I think at some point in our walk we have all been there... Although every situation maybe different the same outcome happens... I am Grateful for those God has put in my Life .. To encourage and Pray for me but most importantly speak truth to me :-) One Promise I hold onto is " I will Never leave you nor Forsake You" .... and TheLord doesn't even when we try... He is always there <3

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