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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 42

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:
I had always felt that if I was converted I would be called to preach. Soon after my conversion, the words: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel," was applied to me in a wonderful way. I felt that God was calling me. I was "unspeakably" diffident, and did not see how I could ever succeed, but dare not say no. I mentioned it to but one person, but did all I could to prepare for it. I was assured that it was Scriptural and right, but the way did not open to preach for over four years. I began my studies preparatory to conference examination, and felt sure in my heart that God would unfold the gift within in some way, and that in His time the way would open.

It opened first by my being given charge of a rural Sunday-school, and next by being sent for to preach in a neglected neighborhood, where a revival at once broke out, and a class was organized which stands today. When conference came I was duly recommended and given work, and God has let the fire fall all along. To Him be glory forever!

To a woman called to preach the way of work often seems more hedged up than to a man, because the church may not officially recognize her call, or provide for her preparation to fill it as with her brother. God, however, if He be fully followed, will open a way through every hedge, and lead His loyal children to the work to which He calls; and the four-fold test being met they will be as certain of the divinity of their call as of their own existence.

I know a successful woman preacher, wife of a Methodist minister, who, when called to preach, was firmly opposed by her father.

All the tests of a genuine call were met, but his opposition continued to increase. She was of age, but shrank from crossing her father's will. Finally a call came to aid in revival work. She felt that she must obey God rather than man, and decided to accept of it. "Tell Bro. _____ that you come without your father's consent," was the painful message which followed her from her father's lips as she left her home for the ripe harvest field.

She had scarcely reached her destination, however, when a letter reached her from him giving full and free consent.

God tested her obedience and tried her faith, and then melted the opposition, and blessed her ministry to the salvation of many.

In His own time and manner He will thus level all mountains which are in the way of all who fully follow Him.

A call to mission work can be tested the same as a call to the ministry.

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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