When I Shrink God
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.
My father-in-law, a pastor, who passed away in 2015, frequently said that if I wanted to know God, I had to first understand that He was a person. As such, He can know me and be known to me personally. Once I have a relationship with Him, through Christ, I can come to know God a little or a lot. As with any person, I can grow or shrink our relationship.
Paul, in today’s passage, said that I must not quench or shrink God. There are those who will chafe at the idea that I can increase or diminish God. God is the great Immoveable and Unchangeable and cannot be affected by man one way or the other.
I would, of course, be a fool to think that my behavior can grow or shrink God, but I would be a greater fool if I did not realize that I can very much grow or shrink my relationship with Him. I can have two very different days based on whether I follow me or God. If I set out to sow the seeds of me, I will produce a different result than if I purposefully engage in activities that point me to God. I may not notice a dramatic difference in just one day, but an accumulated lifetime of days pointed at self or at God, will make for two very different lives.
I can either grow self, diminishing God in me or I can grow God in me, diminishing self. I cannot grow both at the same time and there is no third option. I quench me or I quench God. I grow me or I grow God. Christ has freed me to do one or the other but He does not force me to choose.
If I find myself harvesting a destructive crop today, I have no further to look than the seeds of self that I planted yesterday. If I want to know God, I must daily, do whatever it takes to abandon self and grow my relationship with Him.