Holy Spirit Impressions


Do you think the Holy Spirit gives saints “impressions” about how we should practically live our lives, and apply the Scriptures to daily situations?

I do — as long as we understand such “impressions” as bringing Illumination onto the already written Scriptures, and not new Revelation from beyond the bible.

Rom. 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

John Murray, in his article, “The Guidance of the Holy Spirit” agrees with me.  He writes:

The demands of God’s Word are all-pervasive, and the revelation God has given to us of his will in the Scriptures applies to us in every situation.

It is equally necessary to remember that we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us in the understanding and application of God’s will as revealed in the Scripture, and we must be constantly conscious of our need of the Holy Spirit to apply the Word effectively to us in every situation.

The function of the Holy Spirit in such matters is that of illumination as to what the will of the Lord is, and of imparting to us the willingness and strength to do that will.

It needs also to be recognized that, as we are the subjects of this illumination and are responsive to it, and as the Holy Spirit is operative in us to the doing of God’s will, we shall have feelings, impressions, convictions, urges, inhibitions, impulses, burdens, resolutions. Illumination and direction by the Spirit through the Word of God will focus themselves in our consciousness in these ways.

We are not automata (robots). And we are finite. We must not think, therefore, that a strong or overwhelming feeling or impression or conviction, which we may not be able at a particular time to explain to others, or ourselves is necessarily irrational or fanatically mystical. Since we are human and finite and not always able to view all the factors or considerations in their relations to one another, the sum total of these factors and considerations bearing upon a particular situation may focus themselves in our consciousness in what we may describe as a strong feeling or impression.

In many cases such a feeling or impression is highly rational and is the only way in which our consciousness, at a particular juncture, can take in or react to a complex manifold of thoroughly proper considerations. In certain instances it may take us a long time to understand the meaning or implications of that impression

See the collected Writings of John Murray, Vol 1 (Banner of Truth, 1976), pp. 187-188.

Here’s a sermon I recently preached on this topic of The Personal Leading of the Holy Spirit:


About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion; Womanly Dominion; and Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He has also been elected as Coordinator of the Reformed Baptist Network. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 36 to 26 (born 1983 to 1994).
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2 Responses to Holy Spirit Impressions

  1. mariep says:

    I was on the bus not too long ago, and I sat down in one of the few places left to sit. I noted the man sitting next to me, and the thought came into my mind, “I should ask him if he’s a Christian.” Now, I am not one to ask this as an opener with a stranger. I thought, “Why am I thinking that?” But the thought got stronger and stronger. I couldn’t ignore it. So, I asked him- he said, “No, I’m not.” I asked why, and he said, “For many good reasons.” I did not have time to ask for the reasons, but I said, “Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and He is willing and able to forgive you of your sins, so repent and trust in Him.” I was about to get off the bus, so I asked his name and introduced myself. I said I’d pray for him. Not only was it not like me to ask point-blank like that, but my answer was not how I’d normally put it. I probably will not see him again this side of eternity, but I pray that this was used by the Lord to plant a seed!

    • mariep says:

      Oh, and the funny thing is, this happened days after the Strange Fire conference caught the blogosphere on fire 😉

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