During his lifetime, Wesley, and many of his contemporaries, suffered the “insult” of being called “an enthusiast”. It was a term of derision. We might be tempted to look back romantically and think of it as more of a kind of badge of honour. But that, I think, would be to make light of the sacrifices being made by Wesley and others as they found themselves isolated from the body of Christ.
There is a cost associated with being a pioneer; with breaking new ground; with stepping out and being the one who says that “this isn’t good enough”. For every proverbial slap on the back there is a slap in the face to match it. For every welcome and encouraging word, a door slams and abuse is hurled.
Wesley prayed for revival – personal and corporate. He was desperate to see salvation for a desperate world. He did not count the personal cost and gave unceasingly of his time, energy, intellect and wealth.
Like Wesley, we speak a great deal about a new revival. We pray for it, hope for it and we prophecy it. We seek a move of God, of His Holy Spirit and long to see people saved and coming to know the amazing grace of God. May we also be prepared, like Wesley, to bear the cost and be prepared to be part of the answer to those prayers – to be the new Enthusiasts.