God’s Ways and Man’s Ways

The following quote is from Concerning a Calling to the Ministry, and Clearness Therein, A Commentary Upon the Book of the Revelation, by: James Durham, Revelation 1:19-20, Lecture IX (part.), pages 66-83 (of 60-83). A copy of this excellent article is available at http://www.reformed.org/index.html:

4. That the motion of the Lord’s Spirit, is, in its nature, kindly; and in its way, regular, according to the rule of the Spirit in the Word, that is, it doth not drive the heart violently as the Devil’s injections do, nor doth it precipitate in the following and pursuing of what it moveth to; but, as having the command of the heart, he moveth natively, without making the spirit confused, and He presseth the prosecuting of what He moveth unto, orderly, it being the same Spirit that hath laid down a rule to walk by in the Word, and now stirs within the heart: and therefore, the inward impulse, cannot but be answerable to the outward rule. Hence also the spirit’s motion, is submissive to the way of trial, appointed in the Word, and is not absolute or peremptory: whereas motions from ourselves, or from the devil, are head-strong, and irregular, aiming at the end or thing, without respect to the way prescribed for attaining it; or, at least, do not so heartily approve of the one as of the other, especially if it be thwarted in its design by them.

The point which especially caught my notice in the above quote is a contrast.

· Motions (impulses) which come from man are head-strong and irregular, without respect of the proper way of attaining a goal. Man’s motions are often peremptory, precipitate or rushed.

· Motions which proceed from the Lord’s Spirit are kindly, regular, according to the rule of the Word of God, do not drive the heart violently, do not tend to confusion, are submissive to trial, and are orderly.

I take this contrast as a warning to beware of those who constantly cry up *extraordinary* circumstances as an excuse for irregular church government. These same men often demand instant compliance from those who are under their oversight. We should seek rather the ways of the LORD:

Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. – Hosea 14:9

The ways of the LORD are orderly, as can be seen in such verses as the following:

For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.- I Corinthians 14:33

Let all things be done decently and in order. – I Corinthians 14:40

Comments are closed.