Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”10 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.

None Shall Pass!

In Monty Python’s The Holy Grail a black knight bars the path of King Arthur.  King Arthur tries to recruit the knight to his cause but is met by silence.  Meeting with silence from the mighty champion, Arthur tries to move on and is greeted with the powerful words, “None shall pass!”    In the famous book Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien Gandalf faces down a fiery demon Balrog in Moria.  He defies the Balrog by saying, “You shall not pass!”  The Spirit of Jesus seems to stand in the way of the Apostle Paul in a way that brings these images to mind.

However, unlike in other movies or books, the Holy Spirit always blocks the path forward for the greater good.  We often do not have the insight of Paul when a door closes in our faces.  He has our good in mind, though.  Our highest good is to serve Him.  Sometimes ways that seem to require sacrifice and harm do not serve our own agenda for living, but they serve God, which is our highest calling.

Which pathways is The Spirit blocking in your life right now?  Which direction does that force you to go?  Can you see God working in redirecting you?


Father, when you tell us that we should not go in one direction, but we should go in another help us to accept that it is all for the good.  Help us then to walk faithfully down the new path.


  1. Where does Paul plan to go?
  2. How is he prevented from going that way?
  3. Where do his new plans take him?
  4. Where would you take your life if God did not direct it?
  5. How is God directing your life recently?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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