Spiritual Life of a Pastor

John Wesley has a moving reflection of where he was with God, at least in a sliver of a moment in time, caught in a letter written to his brother Charles. The selection is profound in its honesty and sense of feeling of God.  Can you relate to Wesley’s double-mindedness as a pastor?

In one of my last I was saying that I do not feel the wrath of God abiding on me; nor can I believe it does. And yet (this is the mystery), I do not love God. I never did. Therefore I never believed in the Christian sense of the word. Therefore I am only an honest heathen . . . And yet, to be so employed of God! and so hedged in that I can neither get forward nor backward! Surely there was never such an instance before, from the beginning of the world! If I ever have had that faith, it would not be so strange. But I never had any other evidence of the eternal or invisible world than I have now; and that is none at all, unless such as faintly shines form reason’s glimmering ray. I have no direct witness (I do not say, that I am a child of God, but) of anything invisible or eternal. And yet I dare not preach otherwise than I do, either concerning faith, or love, or justification, or perfection. And yet I find rather an increase than a decrease of zeal for the whole work of God and every part of it. I am borne along, I know not how, that I can’t stand still. I want all the world to come to what I do not know (excerpt from Tomkins’s biography).

  • http://www.craigladams.com/ Craig L. Adams

    He was so viciously self-critical. Sad to say, I can relate to that. I am too.

  • Butters

    I find interesting that this was his experience, even though he put great emphasis on the ‘Witness of the Spirit’. I’d be interested to hear Joel or Michael’s views on what the witness of the Spirit is and the role it plays in assurance of salvation.


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