The Lord will have no trouble in communicating to us what He wants us to do. Our problem is doing God’s will, not knowing God’s will! We must be willing to do whatever He desires for us, before He will let us know His plan for us.
The Lord often uses five means to direct us into His will. The first is the Word of God – the Bible. The second is personal peace about the decision when you pray and reflect upon it. The third means is wise counsel and the fourth is critical thinking. The fifth and final means is circumstances.
God will open doors to guide us. He will also close doors to lead us to other open doors. But the enemy can also create opportunities and seek to confuse with multiple choices, all seemingly good. How to know is the closed door permanently closed or is it simply a matter of continuing to knock and wait until it opens?
In Acts 16:6-10 (ESV) we read, “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
It seems that Paul’s strategy was to plant the gospel in major cities that were transportation and communication hubs. On this, his second ministry tour, he completed visiting the cities from the first tour and now was going to go to Ephesus – the major city in the province of Asia. Logic and strategy dictated this as the next destination. But, God, through the Holy Spirit (a prophet, vision, dream?) prevented this from happening. The door closed.
The team redirected north to Bithynia and then to Mysia. Both were again blocked from entering by the Spirit, finally ending in the port city of Troas. It was here that Paul had a vision (note the extra-ordinary means of direction) to come into Macedonia (northern Greece). Europe was next in God’s plan, but it was not originally part of Paul’s. Ephesus was reached eventually, but it would be several years later on Paul’s third tour.
The Spirit will let you know if the door is closed and you should redirect or just be patient and trust and He will open it in His time. Tune your heart to His voice and you will hear it.