You know if you light a candle and toss a wet blanket onto it that the flame would die, right?
Then why are you allowing yourself to be the wet blanket that extinguishes the Holy Spirit’s flame in your life?
Gulp. I’m writing this for me too.
You see, I’ve been stopping the Holy Spirit from working in my life. I’ve been reading Scripture and praying, but somewhere along the way I lost all of my joy; that wonderful fruit of the Spirit. I gave in to past failures, guilt, and discouragement. The joy was mine but I forfeited it to my emotions and to any problem that came my way.
When I realized my lack of joy was not only hurting me but was quenching the Holy Spirit, I apologized to Him and asked Him to forgive me. And then I asked Him to help me get my joy back.
What joy am I talking about?
The joy that comes from cranking up some music and singing along, off-key and loud. Better yet, making up my own songs about mushrooms while cooking my breakfast and doing my silly dance. (If you don’t remember what that is, it’s the dance where I hold my nose and with one arm raised over my head, I wiggle my way down to the ground…well, not that far…I’m no spring chicken.)
I found joy in listening to a heavy rain falling on our rooftop and in admiring the rust-colored leaves that ignite with color when the sun hits them. I revisited the joy in a hot cup of coffee, a cozy blanket, and a Christmas book…yes, I’m there already! I’ve discovered joy in listening to my favorite Christmas song (here I go again) while driving during a rainy fall day and later filling the house with the smell of sugar cookies baking in the oven. And I relearned the joy in laughing at myself when I got stuck behind some heavy furniture in the corner of our bedroom while cleaning, tears streaming down my face.
So let me ask you: Do you have joy? Have you laughed a real laugh lately? I’m not asking if things are perfect in your life; things will never be perfect on this side of eternity. But you and I have a choice to buy a ticket and get on Satan’s roller coaster ride of emotions where we only experience what those highs and lows dictate and the lies he whispers in our ears, or we can choose to take God’s hand and go slide on the kitchen floor in our socks with Him until we crack up and are singing praises to Him.
Of course we can acknowledge that the furnace is broken down, the car needs snow tires, and that they’re downsizing at work. Having joy doesn’t mean we stick our heads in the sand and ignore those things. It just means we take those problems to God and trust Him to handle them and lead us through them.
And in the meantime we get to have joy. That’s right. We can watch the flame burn brighter, flicker and dance as we laugh, and the enemy cringe when we toss that wet blanket into the dryer instead.
“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV.)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV.)