By Stephen A. Curry
How is it with your soul? The original Methodist movement started among students at Oxford University studying to become priests in the Church of England. As the men prepared to lead others to Christ, they would meet weekly to seriously reflect on their own salvation, holding each other accountable and supporting each other as they sought the holiness of God. Some questions they would ask each other were, “What temptations have you met with?” and “How were you delivered?” since their last meeting.
We live in a fallen world and, though we are created in the perfect image and likeness of God, we are stained by sin, every inch. Christ calls us -- woos us -- into relationship with Him even before we are aware of it, until we finally reach that moment when we turn and accept His invitation and realize that the blood of Christ was shed for us. As Christ cleans our hearts, we are called to live a life of holiness, striving ever onward to “Be perfect, therefore, even as Your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Yet we are still in a fallen world. We are surrounded by sin and there are obstacles all around us. Wesley’s small group questions challenge us to face those temptations and, with the support of other men and women of faith, become aware of God’s grace that empowers and encourages us to grow closer to God. The enticements of greed, lust, pride, envy, vengeance, and all manner of evil draw us away from the love and joy God intends for each of us.
We must, with courage, face the temptations that threaten to destroy our souls, firmly relying on the love of Christ that is stronger than any threat. We must run with perseverance the race God has set before us so that we may enter into His presence, sit with the Communion of all the Saints, and enjoy the bliss of His love forever.