Archive for November 25th, 2022

The Danger of Enthusiasm


Written by John Wesley (1703-1791), an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist who was a leader in the revival movement known as Methodism.  This is an excerpt from his book “Christian Perfection.”

Beware of the daughter of pride: enthusiasm. By enthusiasm I mean the tendency to hastily ascribe everything to God, supposing dreams and voices and visions to be special revelations that God has given to you. While they may be from God, they may also be from the devil. Therefore, ​“believe not every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they be of God.” Test all things by the written word of God and let all bow down before it. You are in danger of enthusiasm every time you depart even a little from the Scriptures. We must never depart from the plain meaning of Scripture, and we must always take it in the context in which it was written. But keep in mind that we must not despise reason, knowledge, or human learning, every one of which is a gift of God and was given to serve a purpose. One general inlet to enthusiasm is expecting the end without the means: expecting knowledge, for instance, without searching the Scriptures and consulting with the people of God or expecting spiritual strength without constant prayer and steady watchfulness, or expecting God to bless you without hearing the word of God at every opportunity. Another inlet to enthusiasm may be the very desire to ​“grow in grace.” For some people, this will continually lead them to seek ​“new” grace and thereby lead us to seek something other than new degrees of loving God and our neighbor. Some will think they have come upon a new grace when they have discovered what it means to be ​“one with Christ” or to ​“die with Christ.” When we take a fresh teaching from the Scriptures to heart, we must not conclude that it is a ​“new” gift. We have all of these things when we are justified; all that remains is that we experience them in higher degrees. We should always remember that love is the highest gift of God. All of our revelations and gifts are little things compared to love. There is nothing higher in religion. If you are looking for anything else, you are looking wide of the mark. Settle in your heart that from this moment on you will aim at nothing more than that love described in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. You can go no higher than this.


Written by David Jeremiah, a contemporary pastor, speaker, and author.

Lord, I have a lot of things going on today. Help me to take You with me wherever I go. And help me to bring Jesus and His truthfulness and openness and honesty into every situation, with kindness and love. Amen.

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