Religion Is Ritual — Faith Is Fire (How John Wesley Caught On Fire For God))

Religion is routine ritual, faith is flaming fire.  “I set myself on fire, and people come to see me burn.”  –John Wesley

The fire that burned in John Wesley sparked the Holiness Movement that changed nations and led to many denominations, including Methodist, Nazarene, Pentecostal and even The Salvation Army.  How did Wesley set himself on fire?  And how can you and I do the same?


Make sure you are soundly and certainly saved — don’t settle for second had stories about Christ; encounter the living, resurrected Jesus for yourself.  A genuine glimpse of Jesus Christ can keep your heart burning the rest of your life (while decades of dull religion can leave you dry, disillusioned and discouraged).

While on a ship, headed back to his home in England, and fearing that the ship may sink in a raging storm, Wesley wrote:  “I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? who, what is he that will deliver me from this evil heart of mischief? I have a fair summer religion. I can talk well; nay, and believe myself, while no danger is near; but let death look me in the face, and my spirit is troubled. Nor can I say, ‘To die is gain!’

Wesley the unconverted missionary/preacher suddenly realized that he (though sincerely looking and acting the part) wasn’t a true Christian.  However, on his return to England, Wesley had an encounter with Jesus that transformed him into a man of spiritual power and passion.  He described the moment this way:  “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone . . .”

Here’s how Wesley describes the change in his life and the new fire burning in his heart:  “The moment I awakened, ‘Jesus, Master,’ was in my heart and in my mouth; and I found all my strength lay in keeping my eye fixed upon Him and my soul waiting on Him continually.”

Do you have the fire of God continually raging in your heart — a spiritual furnace filling you with the passion and power to live a consistently godly life?  If not, perhaps you are in John Wesley’s boat, going through the motions of faith with out the fire.

Too much is at stake for you, for your family, and for your generation; for you to settle for a wimpy faith or a little bit of religion!  Get the fire!  Act on this urgent message:  get the fire of God ignited in your heart!

Come seek and experience the fire of God with us at The Salvation Army Berry Street and get your heart “strangely warmed” by the power of personal testimonies as everyday people show and tell what God has done and is doing in their lives (like the original Methodist class meetings:  Sunday mornings at 10:45; 225 Berry Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 30207.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences in non-traditional church, called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia." If you need encouragement, search for: Elephants Encouraging The Room and/or check out my Amazon author page. Thank you!
This entry was posted in alternative lifestyle, change, Christ, Christianity, conversion, convert, conviction, denominations, doubts, England, English, evil, faith, fire, fire of the Holy Spirit, fuel, God, godliness, having a form of godliness, hearing God, hearing Jesus, holy, I set myself on fire, inner peace, inner rivers, intimacy, Jesus, Jesus Christ, life, lifestyle Christianity, lifestyles, Methodist class meeting, Methodist revivalists, Methodists, Nazarene, pentecostals, recovery, red hot, relevation, religious ceremonies, religious tradition, repentance, salvation, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Corps, Salvationists, saved, spiritual, spiritual awakening, spiritual formation, testimonies, testimony, The Salvation Army and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Religion Is Ritual — Faith Is Fire (How John Wesley Caught On Fire For God))

  1. Donna Eden says:

    Wow what a story!! I have heard of conversion experiences of other people. If only I could have had that experience… But, I haven’t. The kind I’ve had is slow, because I have been very slow at learning anything in my life. After 28 yrs. of trying to learn what I’ve needed to learn, I’ve finally gotten to the place of learning and growing. It’s very exciting to me and I fall in love more and more with Jesus and God, my Father. I really had to take some time to thank you for the amazing stories you publish. You have given me encouragement at times when I desparetly needed encouragement instead of discouragement. It seems sometimes all there is is discouragement. One of the most encouraging scriptures for me is Rom. 12:1-2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Thank you again for your help.

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  6. BfDws says:

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  8. Al DeFilippo says:

    Thank you, Steve, for the post. For more on John Wesley, please visit the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series, a trilogy about Francis Asbury, the protege of John Wesley. The opening book in the series, Black Country, details the evangelical movement started by John Wesley and George Whitefield in England. It also features how these amazing men of God mentored a young Francis Asbury. The website for the book series is Again, thank you for the post.

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