We were thinking in a class today about discerning God's will, especially in terms of how to way an impression you have, whether it is from God or not. I looked up an old book by Martin Wells Knapp called Impressions that he wrote in 1892 (Knapp was one of the founders of one of the parent bodies of The Wesleyan Church).
Knapp gave four principles, which put slightly differently are: 1) Is it Scriptural? 2) Does it fit with conscience? 3) Is it providential? and 4) Is it reasonable? The so called Wesleyan Quadrilateral is a little different, although with some similarity: 1) Scripture, 2) tradition, 3) reason, and 4) experience.
I thought I would modify the list a little (since conscience is largely a function of culture). Not really happy with the acronym, but I'll leave it at this for now:
Scripture - Does the impression fit with the Scriptures as they are generally understood by Christians?
Opportunity - Has God opened the door for the impression to be possible? Has God's providence
prepared the way?
Advice - What do wise, godly souls say about it? What does the counsel of others say?
Reasonable - Does the impression make sense? What does common sense tell you?