6 Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:6-10
This is a remarkable story of the Holy Spirit leading Paul and his companions and how they responded to that. Paul and his friends have their minds set on preaching the gospel everywhere. That’s a noble cause and you would expect that wherever they go, they will be able to do so. But not so, more important was that all along the way, they were attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that they would serve him in the best possible way and according to the will of God.
We are not told how exactly, but the Holy Spirit keeps them from entering 2 regions. It might have been circumstantial in that they found difficulty in getting access to those regions (in today’s terms, that could relate to visas and permits) or it may have been more revelatory via a word of prophecy or a dream. Either way, they had to be discerning to know that the Holy Spirit was leading them in that way. This is important because sometimes circumstance may be opposed to what you are trying to do but God may be wanting you to persevere through the opposition.
Eventually Paul has a vision and again he and his friends have to discern and their conclusion this time is that God is opening the way for them to go to Macedonia and so they set off.
Romans 8:14 says “…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God”. A mark of being a child of God is being led by His Holy Spirit. This gives us confidence in making decisions because we know that we are not alone. This is a role the Holy Spirit delights in playing.
So why not pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you by leading you through decisions today. Ask him to walk close to you and to give you wisdom and clarity as you seek to make honourable choices.