May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you.
2 Timothy 4:22
After two years of unsuccessful ministry in Savannah, Georgia, on the return voyage to London, John Wesley lamented, “I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? Who is He that will deliver me from this evil heart of mischief? I have a fair summer religion.”
On May 24, 1738, John experienced what he called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his “heart strangely warmed.” He then departed from the Moravians, beginning his own ministry.
He preached from Scriptures like Romans 8:16: “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” His message: Unless you have God’s Spirit in you, you’re not saved.
This offended the established churches in England, who taught salvation comes from believing “doctrines of salvation” and practicing certain traditions and rituals.” They banned Wesley from their pulpits. One of John’s friends suggested he visit homes of the poor and common people. His ministry was successful because common people understood the spirit world and gladly received God’s Spirit into their hearts.
Thus, began the Methodist Society. Little churches meeting in homes, with occasional large gatherings of open air camp meetings.
As it was in John Wesley’s day, so it is today and always will be. Many people believe they’re saved by rules and doctrines, but lack God’s Spirit living in them. If you observe these people, you’ll notice they say the right words, but lack results:
- They make becoming a Christian complicated.
- They’re uptight and don’t agree or get along with each other.
- They don’t want to disclose their real selves.
- Ultimately, they’re creating God and their religion in their own image or in the image of the church they’ve subscribed to.
Invite and receive God’s Spirit all the way into your deepest, darkest places. Don’t get sidetracked by religious fanatics who offer empty religious shells as a cheap substitute for the beauty of Jesus living in you.