Many of us have a very difficult time giving God complete control over our lives. We believe that the Lord died on the cross for our sins and we look forward to spending eternity in heaven with Him; yet for some reason we struggle with trusting Him on a daily basis.
Yet who better to trust than God? Who else can see the big picture and know how we can best be used for His glory? Consider this example from the life of the Apostle Paul.
Acts 16:6 Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had told them not to go into the province of Asia at that time. 7 Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go. 8 So instead, they went on through Mysia to the city of Troas.
Paul and Silas had in their minds that they should go into certain areas and preach the gospel, but to their surprise the Spirit would not let them. How the Spirit closed the door we’re not told, yet somehow He conveyed to them that their plans were not in accordance with His will. Perhaps He caused an uneasy feeling inside of them. Perhaps He closed doors that needed to be open in order for them to proceed. Perhaps He used a portion of God’s Word.
What amazes me the most is not how the Spirit stopped them, but that they would allow the Spirit to stop them and guide them in another direction. Rather than pushing on and trying to make things happen, they backed off and waited for God to show them what to do next. Note what scripture tells us –
9 That night Paul had a vision. He saw a man from Macedonia in northern Greece, pleading with him, “Come over here and help us.” 10 So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, for we could only conclude that God was calling us to preach the Good News there.
One of the lessons I have learned in walking with God is that closed doors do not necessarily mean that the Lord is against us. More often than not it is an indication that God has a very specific plan for us and is therefore unwilling to settle for second best. When we sense that the door is closed, we should do like Paul and Silas. We should step back and give God room to move.