We cannot complain about feeling distant from the Lord when we are living in willful sin. John Owen once said that we must be serious about putting our sin to death, or our sin will end up putting us to death. There are many things that we must be on guard against â€“ such as an unforgiving spirit, or a bad attitude or lack of interest in the Scriptures â€“ because they quench the Holy Spirit.
Paul also warns his readers to not despise prophecy, but to be sure to test all things. The people of God had been without prophecy or direct communication from Him for over 400 years; but at the time that Paul was writing, the Word of God was beginning to come again through the pens of His inspired writers. Yet we are reminded to search the Scriptures and verify that the teaching we are being given â€“ particularly about the Lord Jesus â€“ is in alignment with what God has already revealed to us. If we fail to do this, we will end up testing what we hear by our own subjective standards and preferences; and that can eventually lead to the dangerous practice of forsaking the assembly of the saints because no church is "pure enough" for our preferences.
We must pray for grace to hold on to what is good, so that we may abstain from every kind of evil and resemble Christ. And when trials come, we must go to God's Word, so that we do not quench the Holy Spirit that He pours out upon us so that we may do good.