“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
Commentary: Paul tells the Thessalonians several ways on being spiritual, although not an all-encompassing list. Here are his instructions on how to start being more spiritual (which can draw you to a feeling of closeness to God):
- Rejoice – Have joy in the Holy Ghost arising from your pardon by Christ’s Blood, and righteousness He has imputed upon you. Rejoice in gratitude – being thankful for your every day life and provisions by God. His Glory, His Salvation, His Peace – be grateful for these things.
- Pray without ceasing – This does not mean to always be on your knees, or always in prayer. Rather, do not let your flesh break you from prayer, if your spirit has demanded it. If you spirit says you need to pray, then you need to sacrifice a bit of time and pray. Ethiopic texts render it well by saying “pray frequently.” Pray, even if a little is better than not at all. Do not stop praying… ever!
- Give thanks – It is vital to have gratitude, especially toward God. This actually changes the mindset from a poverty way of thinking (the negative thought that you feel you are without) to an abundance way of thinking (knowing that you have God’s Provision and you can continue to have His Provision). Be thankful for what? Our being (able to live), food, other temporal good things, family, friends, raiment/clothing, shelter, water, grace/forgiveness, hope, the election of yourself to Salvation, spouse (if it applies), our ever-loving Savior, and so much more.
- Not quenching the Spirit – Not to say that we can deliver a jab at the person of the Spirit; however, this refers to either the grace of the Spirit or faith – to which we should not allow ourselves to avoid the use of Spiritual Gifts, such as prophecy, teaching, evangelizing, tongues, edification, exhortation, or any other spiritual gift. We should be using that which we were gifted in, for to avoid use could be quenching of the Spirit – such as putting out the Fire of the Holy Ghost, or letting the Living Waters within dry up, or letting the inner light of the Lord Jesus Christ to dim. We must always let the water flow, let the light shine, and let the fire burn for the Lord in all of our lives, and we can do this by becoming more spiritually close to God by practicing the things in this passage of Scripture.
- Not despising prophecy – Now, it is incorrect to assume that Christ Jesus will change anything about history that He has already announced – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We do not pass into the lukewarmness of the world, and prophesying selfish things or other worldly gain. Rather, we prophesy based on what has already been written. When such things are nigh, it is important to announce them before our fellow brethren to encourage readiness for any possible trials or adversity. The emancipation in societal things brings us closer to being good at analyzing how prophecy is portraying itself in our world today. It is more ideal for those who feel gifted to prophesy to give the Word that will bring edification and comfort, especially if the person does not have the Gift of Tongues.
- Prove all things, hold fast to the good, abstaining from appearances of evil, being blameless – To do this, we shall attempt to seek the truth at all times. Modern day calls this “fact-checking”. Many people intend to deceive one another, fabricating fables, myths, and other seducing lies. Even the very people of God try to deceive each other and are easily deceived themselves – but put this far away from you and hold to the truth in God’s Word. Remove yourself from evil situations and avoid being seen sinning or doing terrible things (do not make God look bad!). We must be blameless as we look forward to the coming of our Lord’s appearing – a joyous day to come.
You see the Lord is faithful, and calls you to do wonderful things as a minister. It is vital to pray for your own ministry and be more connected with God, but also pray for other ministers and fellowship with them occasionally. Teach others these things as well on how to be spiritual, and drawing closer to God by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ!