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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 26

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. He continues:

While the above tests are sufficient and final, the following facts are also worthy of notice in this connection.

(a). Divine impressions are persuasive. God does not drive, but leads His children. Impressions from other sources are loud, clamorous, feverish, and seek to drown the Spirit's voice.

(b). Impressions from above always give sufficient time to the honest seeker to test their genuineness. Those from below are in a hurry, and fearing detection, clamor for immediate decisions.

While it is true, when duty is clearly known, that "The king's business requireth haste," yet when it is not clearly known it is just as true that "He that believeth shall not make haste."

A friend of mine recently was cheated out of quite a large sum of money, because he yielded to a loud and hasty impression to lend it to a person who proved to be a scamp. Had he have waited, prayed, considered and tested the matter, he would have been saved a costly lesson.

(c). Impressions from above welcome the light. Those from below shrink back from it. The first love to be catechised; the second are afraid of tests, and don't like to be questioned. Adam and Eve, when following those from above, were possessed of innocent and holy boldness, and delighted in the divine presence; afterwards they instinctively sought to hide from God's searching eye.

Impressions from above, when followed, are attended by a sweet peace and the consciousness that they are right; those from below, by perplexity and the feeling that something is wrong. The first brings rest. The second robs of it.

Impressions from above appeal to our higher spiritual instincts; those from below often to our passions, prejudices, fancies, infatuations and selfish inclinations.

Those from above make us feel, "I ought to do so," and if obeyed there comes a sweet and permanent delight in putting the "ought" in practice. Those from below lack this feature, and though if followed bring gratification, it is but temporary. A serpent hides in every rose they bring, and soon is felt its fatal sting.

Impressions from below are destitute of spiritual heat. Satan can counterfeit the light of truth, but not the ardent glow of holy love. Hence impressions from him bring spiritual chill and discomfort instead of warmth and satisfaction.

Impressions from above ripen into convictions.

Those from below never do. They may crystallize into desires, or imaginations, or opinions, but never become convictions. The first make men like the Apostles after Pentecost so that they "can not but speak" and pray and act. The latter will apologize for expressing itself, and is swept away before the former like leaves before, a gale. It is a part of the mission of the Holy Spirit to fill us with such convictions that we will be like the "mountains round about Jerusalem," mighty and immovable.

The conditions which must be met in order to rightfully apply these tests will be noticed in a succeeding chapter.

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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