Wesleyan Accent
Close this search box.


Struggle is “Normal” by Maxie Dunnam

Share the Post:

Over and over, in his journal, Wesley confirmed personal testimony of salvation working in the lives of believers. One of his classic illustrations was the story of the barber who shaved him.  The fellow’s experience was so vital and life-changing that he could not resist sharing with the man who introduced the change.

The barber who shaved me said, “Sir, I praise God on your behalf. When you were at Bolton last, I was one of the most eminent drunkards in all the town; but I came to listen at the window, and God struck me to the heart. I then earnestly prayed for the power against drinking; and God gave me more than I asked: He took away the very desire of it. Yet I felt myself worse and worse, till, on the 5th of April last, I could hold out no longer. I knew I must drop into hell that moment unless God appeared to save me. And He did appear. I knew He loved me and felt sweet peace. Yet I did not dare to say I had faith, till yesterday was twelve-month, God gave me faith; and His love has ever since filled my heart.”

Wesley would say the barber’s witness was his experience of the beginning of salvation. There was more, much more.

I believe [the new birth] to be an inward thing; a change from inward wickedness to inward goodness; an entire change of our inmost nature from the image of the devil (wherein we are born) to the image of God; a change from the love of the creature to the love of the Creator; from earthly and sensual to heavenly and holy affections, in a word, a change from the tempers of the spirit of darkness to those of the angels of God in heaven!

Change is a key word in that dramatic claim: a change from the tempers of the spirit of darkness to those of the angels of God in heaven! Justification is the starting point of sanctification. Change, “going on to salvation,” is the overarching dynamic.

Whereas in his early struggles to be Christian, Wesley practiced discipline in order to become a Christian, going on to salvation he experienced joy in being Christian by practicing disciplines that once had been drudgery.

In our going on to full salvation, struggle is normal and discipline is essential, I will discuss this more in my next article.

Share the Post:


Get articles about mission, evangelism, leadership, discipleship and prayer delivered directly to your inbox – for free