Acts 16:6-12 :
When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn’t allow them. Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them. Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis; and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.
This passage gives us some interesting insight into how to follow God’s will in our lives. In the past, when I have been interested in “waiting on the Lord” for His direction and will for my life, I have tended to sit still and do nothing. I think that this is a mistake after reading this passage. At times it is God’s will for us to sit still and pray, but I think that what we read here is more common. God has made us with the ability to make decisions and follow general instructions. Paul knew that He was to take the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles, but, He didn’t know exactly which ones. So, instead of worrying about which one, he simply tried them all!
Somehow, the Holy Spirit stopped Paul from going to the places that He didn’t want him to go. God also provided a very clear vision of where to go after a while.
I believe that it makes sense to follow this pattern in our lives as well. We know God’s general instructions as written in the Bible and from what God has taught us so far in our own lives. The specifics have not been given in most circumstances. I believe that we should do everything we can and only stop when we know that the Holy Spirit is keeping us from going in a direction, and when the Holy Spirit makes it clear to us, somehow, about a specific direction, we should make “a strait course to” wherever that is.