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Summary: God does not lead His children by any rules whatsoever. No two of his children will be led alike.

(Section 5 His Will)

V. DREAMS, VISIONS, AND IMPRESSIONS

A. INTRODUCTION

God does not lead His children by any rules whatsoever. No two of his children will be

led alike, and it is most probable that He will never lead any one of His children twice in exactly the same way. Therefore rules are apt to be misleading. pg 97

--Lewis Sperry Chafer

B. SUPERNATURAL AND SPECTACULAR GUIDANCE

1. It has happened and does happen.

a. Some authentic experiences.

b. Some unreliable perceptions.

2. Not the Rule

a. We should not accept such incidents as final evidence of divine leading

without further conformation. It is a wise working principle to regard

supernatural or spectacular guidance as the exception, not the rule.

b. Some say: Now we have the whole Bible, which contains the whole will

of God in understandable terms, and the Holy Spirit Himself to interpret it. So such methods of communication have become less essential. 98

c. John Wesley:

Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams,

voices, impressions, visions, or revelations to be from God. They

may be from Him, they may be from the devil. Therefore do not

believe

every spirit but try the spirits whether they be of God. pg 98

d. It should be noted that supernatural guidance was mainly given only to

(1) holy men and women

(2) in the service of God,

(3) and usually it was unsought. pg 98

3. Scriptural Examples:

a. Exodus - Burning Bush, Pillar of Cloud and Fire

b. Gospels - Star of Bethlehem and Visitation of Angels

c. Balaam and His Donkey

d. Paul and the man of Macedonia Acts 16:9-10

e. Peter and the sheets from heaven Acts 10:9-23

4. Dreams are the outcroppings of the subconscious mind and often reflect repressed desires or fears. God may--and sometimes does--use this method in our day.

pg 101

5. Events just described were not usually sought for but given for a direct purpose.

God does sometimes employ unusual methods of making His will known, but that is a matter for His sovereignty, not my demand. pg 103

C. IMPRESSIONS AND INTUITION

1. Seeking guidance through our fluctuating, subjective feelings is a very precarious

method of determining the will of God. "I feel led" is a shaky basis for an

important decision, for our feeling are so vulnerable and vacillating. Yet in

testimonies, that is constantly advanced as the reason for a decision. pg 104

Our emotions do fill an important role in the decision-making process, we are sentient beings. Yet because emotions are vulnerable to many external influences, they are very unreliable and variable indicators. For this reason alone, it is unwise to regard our present feelings as primary and

Dependable guides. A change in circumstances tomorrow--fatigue, ill health, unemployment, bereavement--could set off a whole new set of emotions. 104

When we base our decisions on the objective reality of the unchanging Word of God, we are on safe ground. All subjective guidance should be cross- checked by more objective standards. pg 104

2. It must be admitted that there are some whose intuitions are remarkably accurate,

but there are many more whose hunches led them far astray. pg 105

a. We learn God’s will, mainly, not by impulses and impressions, but by the prayerful study of the principles of Scripture and by their intelligent application to the case at hand. pg 105

b. Although our impulses and impressions are not to be equated with the

voice of God, they must not be disregarded in decision-making either.

3. T. C. Upham maintained that "impulses and impressions from the Holy Spirit are

of a peaceful and gentle character. They never disturb or agitate the mind, but lay a wholesome restraint on it. Impressions and impulses not of the

Holy Spirit are not of a peaceful and quiet character, but are hasty and

violent."

Summarize and Conclude

While not ruling it out entirely, we should regard supernatural and spectacular guidance as the exception.

Our fickle emotions are a shaky basis for an important decision.

We cannot equate intuition with the voice of God.

Our impressions may be in fact from God, but they should always be scrutinized and tested.

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