They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this, – Acts 16:6-7

What a curious passage! Most of the time, we see God and the Holy Spirit leading people to go into all the world, telling us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Why is the Holy Spirit preventing them and not allowing them to go and preach in certain areas? The passage does not tell us the answer to that question.

So—what can we learn from it?

First of all we can learn by example that it is important to listen to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes God doesn’t answer our questions why. He just wants us to obey. There may have been some way that God was protecting them from harm or leading them to a more receptive group of people. He may have had someone else going to those regions. We don’t know. Second, we can learn that sometimes God says, “No” to going, just as He says, “Yes”.

Learn to hear God’s voice, and to obey.