When the Holy Spirit says “No” and then “Yes”.

I’m in Acts in the New Testament. Chapter 16:6-10.

I love how the Apostle Paul is so in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit.

First, Paul and Silas feel the Holy Spirit is saying not to preach on Asia, so they leave.

They travel to Bithynia and the Spirit once again tells them “No”.

Paul has a vision one night and senses the Spirit instructing him to go to Macedonia, which he and Silas did immediately.

I think we can all have that same sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives. I think that sensitivity is nurtured by a few things:

  1. Our previous obedience
  2. Understanding our unique purpose
  3. How well we know scripture
  4. Our prayer life

The Holy Spirit is an entity. He/she (will refer to as He” from now on. Don’t believe there is any gender but certainly wouldn’t say “It”.) is someone we get to know. He is the voice and conduit of God’s instructions.

Throughout our day we need to constantly be referring back to him, asking for wisdom, direction, etc.


Will we get it wrong sometimes?

Of course.

But it is my view that getting it wrong is a learning tool and it’s better to seek guidance and make some mistakes than it is to not listen at all. We learn through our “flubs” and if we’re smart we think through the “how”.

Did we not think it through enough?

Did we not pray enough?

Was their unconfessed, deliberate sin?

Did we check that “leading” and verify it through Scripture or did we do what we’d always planned to do anyway? Many, many Christians make this mistake. But there are just as many who never even take a step forward, which, in my opinion, is even worse.

I truly believe, and Scripture bears me out, that if I’m truly wanting to be obedient and I screw up, God will turn that around for my good, even if I will have to suffer some consequences.

Be like Paul. Know the voice of the Holy Spirit.

(Be sure to read the entire chapter to see how it all turned out. You might be surprised if you don’t know the story. It’s a reminder that even when we have a “go”, it doesn’t mean it will turn out all hunky-dory.

God bless and have a good day.

The post “How the Holy Spirit says “No” and “Yes” first appeared on