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Sunday, November 06, 2016

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 21

[Continuing Chapter IV, Impressions from Below -- Results of Following Them]
Disappointment. Most of failures in business doubtless come because God's guidance is not sought and followed. Failures in religious work may result from the same cause. Revival meetings which are projected for the sake of personal aggrandizement, or simply through sectarian zeal and rivalry, are doomed for this reason. I knew of a minister who held a series of meetings in a certain place chiefly to keep out another denomination. He was not led by God, and his efforts ended in disappointment. God will have His children learn to let Him lead, and if the lesson costs them a thousand disappointments it is better than that it should go unlearned.

Salvation Hindered. Neglect to follow where and when the Spirit leads, often greatly hinders the work of salvation.

Undue Hurry. Such persons forget that "If the Holy Spirit inspires anything, He always gives time to consult upon it with God." Impetuous, and hurried by the pressure of self or Satanic influence, they rush pell-mell in ways that are far more hurried than wise, and miss the guidance of the still small voice that would have brought certainty and satisfaction.

Formality. It is to be feared that some, like the Jews who rejected Jesus, influenced by their pride, preconceived notions and prejudices, have turned a deaf ear to divine guidance and quenched the Spirit; and, like them, kept up a mere formal worship, totally destitute of the life and power of heart piety. Substituting formality for Christianity, their condition is sad, and is one of the prevalent and pitiable results which flows from following "impressions from below."

Fanaticism. There is much more danger today of people perishing amid the icebergs of formality than in the wildfire of fanaticism. Both should be avoided. All fanaticism, from primitive times to the present, has come from discarding proper tests and following "impressions from below." This is one of the perils which threatens spiritual people, just as a fast express train is more likely to leap the track than a slow train. God's trains, however, never need to leap over the chasm of fanaticism, and never will if they follow His instructions.

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.

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