During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 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.
Many of us struggle in trying to discern God’s will. To know what direction in life we should be taking. The Scripture offers some general guidelines for living godly and holy lives. Guidelines that we can and should follow. But it can be less helpful in discerning the specific direction my life should take. Who should I marry? What should I do for a living? What place does God have for me in his kingdom?
The latter half of the book of Acts follows Paul and his companions as they travel through the Roman world, sharing the gospel. On his second trip, Paul visited many of the churches he had helped establish on his first trip. But then he was faced with a decision. Where should he go now that the initial objective for the trip had been completed?
Paul’s calling and experience are likely quite different than yours and mine. Yet this passage is instructive for us. Paul did not have a printed itinerary to follow as he traveled. He was dependent on God’s direction each step of the way. But he did not just sit and wait until he had that direction. He tried to go into Asia and then Bithynia. Until God closed those doors. But eventually, he discovered the door God had opened for him and charged through it.
What God did for Paul, he will also do for us. If you are faithful in serving him, he will in some way make clear to you the direction you should be taking. Like Paul, you may find some doors close that initially looked promising. When that happens, change direction and keep looking. And when you find that door God has opened before you, enter it and serve him there.
Trust that God will lead you, and be willing to go wherever that leading takes you.