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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 39

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. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:

Humility. The proud, self-willed man seeks not to know God's voice. Voices from below with him drown out all others. Not the haughty but "the meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way." From the wise and prudent and self-sufficient, God's guidance is hid, but "revealed unto babes," the teachable, humble, Christlike.

Dependence on God. It is fatal to divine guidance to trust unduly in self, or friends, or books. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Human understanding is finite and errs. God's is infinite and can not err. Hence the "whole heart" of him who would be divinely led must go out to God for the knowledge of His perfect will.

Guidance Must be Claimed. Jesus says of this as of all His priceless gifts: "Ask, and ye shall receive."

Must be Sought with Pure Motives. Of those who seek for selfish ends it is written: "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss."

Be Prepared for Surprises. God very probably will not decide as you expect.

"You must remember," writes the author of The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, "that our God has all knowledge and all wisdom, and that, therefore, it is very possible He may guide you into paths wherein He knows great blessings are awaiting you, but which to the short-sighted human eyes around you seem sure to result in confusion and loss. You must recognize the fact that God's thoughts are not as man's thoughts, nor his ways as man's ways; and that He who knows the end of things from the beginning, alone can judge of what the results of any course of action may be."

When Saul of Tarsus cried out: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" the answer was doubtless as surprising to him as a stroke of lightning from a clear sky; but he was ready for the surprise and welcomed it.

When I asked God to reveal His will to me concerning my life-work, I had no more idea of many things that have since been revealed than a heathen has of holiness or heaven.

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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