Quench Not the Spirit: Of Roses & Enchiladas [Video & Transcript]
Quench Not the Spirit: Of Roses & Enchiladas
Listening to the Holy Ghost, Sometimes It’s Just a Nudge
1 Thessalonians 5:19
“Quench Not the Spirit: Of Roses & Enchiladas” is one of Karen’s short video podcasts on key gospel themes. We invite you to respond, share, and engage on Facebook, Twitter, or on our website. You may be interested in some of our other podcasts, “Is Satan Real,” “Meaning of Life” and “Karen’s Story Part 1, Coming to Know God”
Quench Not the Spirit: Of Roses & Enchiladas
What is God asking you to do today? Sometimes spiritual impressions from God are recognizable as simply a nudge.Sometimes they are a stirring within that give us sense of urgency about something or that constrain us from going the wrong way. Sometimes they are overwhelming witnesses of truth.
No impression to do something He asks–big or small–through a still small voice or clear unbidden thought, is too small to heed. Whatever He asks will bring the ultimate best outcome for you and others. Is He asking you to come to know Him? To stop running? To pick up the phone and call for help? To pick up the phone and help someone else? To pick up the Bible? To start something new? To pray? To go back to His care? Please know these urgings to move closer to God or closer to good are the workings of a member of the Godhead–even the Holy Ghost. Maybe you’re here today because God wanted you and me to be reminded of that. Stay with me for a few.
Let me share one instance of the workings of the still small voice: Standing in a grocery store checkout line after picking up a few items early one morning, an impression landed and lit, gently and clearly–as they do–kind of like a firefly on my hand on a summer’s night. The thought was simply this: “Pick up a rose and leave it on Tina’s doorstep.” Though it came crisply and seemed to crowd out other thoughts, I found myself, in a matter of seconds, in quick rebuttal–as if I had something to defend.
Then came the first bucket of water over the gentle, prodding voice, as I dampened it with my objections. “But,” I thought, “there’s not even anyone in the flower department this early.” And I dumped a little more water on it, adding a second objection: “Tina’s probably not home anyway.” As I engaged in this silent monologue, I realized that I’d nearly drowned the voice I had come to treasure, and I thought, to trust–the voice of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit which leads us to do good and reveals God’s will to us. Every objection I was raising was like a pail of water I was pouring over an impression of the Holy Ghost. I thought of the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:19: “Quench not the Spirit. “ I’d caught myself in the act.
I then committed to follow this simple impression. Smiling, I walked over to the flower department, selected a lovely long-stem, some greens, baby’s breath, and tissue. I wrapped the flower myself and made a mental tally of the prices of each item. I took my bundle to the register, paid the appropriate amount without any questions, drove to Tina’s and left the rose gently on the doorstep. I rang the doorbell but didn’t linger for a response.
The demands of the day pressed on and I thought little of the single incident until nearly a week later. Inadvertently, I discovered that the very time the flower was placed on my friend’s doorstep, she was on the telephone with her sister who had just confirmed the doctor’s report. Her sister was diagnosed with a malignant breast tumor. After the phone call, in a difficult emotional moment, my friend went to the door, and there lay the single rose–a rose of love and comfort, an earthly token of Heavenly Father’s awareness of her personal concerns.
On another occasion, I had a rare impulse to cook and freeze some enchiladas. I decided to make two large batches, without a recipe (I don’t ‘do’ Mexican typically; I ‘do’ Italian!) Just as I was about to freeze the second pan, another thought seated itself in my soul: “Why not give this batch to [Jenny]?” I thought of the phone conversation I’d had with her earlier that morning. She was in the throes of planning a wedding which was just a few days away. “Perhaps a dinner ‘would’ offer her a little respite tonight,” I mused.
Then came the first bucket of water over the gentle, prodding voice, as I quenched it with my objections. “[Jenny] surely has dinner planned for tonight. She’s so organized.” And, continuing to rationalize, I added, “Besides, maybe her family doesn’t even like enchiladas! On top of that, I haven’t even tasted them, and I didn’t even follow a recipe.” And then came the clincher, “Ugh, this is my ugliest pan! It’s the pan I grill in! I can’t possibly give them ‘this!’” Finally, after several minutes of building my case, I caught myself in the act. I saw every rationalization as a pail of water dampening the Spirit, and I thought of the scripture in Thessalonians, “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thes 5:19).
I decided to rekindle the voice-acknowledging that the best reasoning is always to follow the Spirit. I dropped off the grungy pan of enchiladas with a little note. And then I resumed my personal affairs.
As I pulled into the garage several hours later, I noticed [Jenny’s] van pulling up behind me. I was surprised to see her, in fact, a little startled. Then I noticed her tears. She threw her arms around me and said, “I can’t believe someone would do that for me. I feel so loved. I don’t usually feel overwhelmed like this. It has been so long since I cried the way I did this morning as I laid in bed.”
What if I had neglected to offer Heavenly Father’s gift to these women? My heart spurns the thought. I almost missed those opportunities. God uses us to get those celestial FedExes to those He loves. He doesn’t always hand-deliver Himself–though He can. Perhaps my near-misses can alert us and help us to commit more fully to following the promptings of the Holy Ghost for which we’ve asked.
These few experiences occurred several years ago. There a gazillion each of us could share–many with more visible, lasting effects. I chose these for their simplicity. Our responsiveness is essential. Hopefully, I’ve improved. I know that the choice to follow the Spirit carries atomic spiritual weight. It has a rippling effect for good that is beyond our immediate vision and capacity to imagine. I know that the voice can be obscured by our own, or by pre-occupation, or by inordinate numbers of meetings. May we listen more to the still small voice. There are many celestial packages hand-wrapped and just waiting to be delivered.
By the way, there is gift God gives to increase our ability to feel and respond to these nudges–to hear God’s voice and feel His presence. Everyone has a portion of it–the light of Christ–but not everyone has the full gift–the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The difference is like the difference between having a 4D battery-powered flashlight and a petawatt of laser power, spiritually-speaking.
The full gift of the Holy Ghost is given to those who are baptized in the Savior’s name and by His authority and who by laying on of hands by One in authority, receive the gift. Many claim it as their own but haven’t received it in Christ’s power or name.
If you’ve questions about the gifts of the Holy Ghost or wonder how you can receive it, please contact us for more information or visit other casts.
God bless you in your spiritual journey to learn more about this plan and to find Him and know His and the Savior’s personal love for you. Please feel free to join us on Facebook, or to Tweet, or post a comment or question on our site, or to call Karen at 185-KNOWGOD-1 with sincere questions or prayer request.