“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” Acts 16:6

I usually hear about the Spirit’s leading.

Lord, please help me know the difference between the Spirit’s constraining me and the enemy’s discouraging me. And here’s a simple poem . . .

Stop and Go

The same Holy Spirit
that leads and guides
according to
His plan
also constrains us
by the knowledge
of the Great
I am.


  1. Dear Friend… that’s Beautiful… Very profound.

    I join you in your prayer.

    I think there is a suffering, allowed by God’s Grace for the growth of our soul, which is accompanied by His enabling Grace… which leads to Spiritual Life… (we may be disappointed or confused or upset… but after prayer and giving into the Father’s Great Hands there is a peace that accompanies one’s inner spirit that everything is OK… even though it doesn’t make sense to the natural mind)

    …and then there is a “suffering unto death” that has no love, joy or contentment or hope of anything better about it. I suggest that is the work of the accuser of our souls for we always feel guilty, fearful, confused and condemned. (Would the Holy Spirit “lead” us like that?)

    I’ve tried to work out the difference for a long time. Basically what is from the devil will go away if we ignore it and get on with our “Spiritual Life in Christ”. What is of the Lord will stay with us as a gentle wooing that we cannot resist obeying.

    LOVE YOU DEB… sorry I haven’t been by. much.. busy you know… don’t you? Also working for the Lord over on Youtube.
    Love from Susan.

  2. So true Deb! I am learning to be as happy about the doors Jesus closes as I am about the doors He opens. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is a work in progress!

  3. Deb, I love and echo your prayer: “Lord, please help me know the difference between the Spiritโ€™s constraining me and the enemyโ€™s discouraging me.” Sometimes the Holy Spirit says “go” and sometimes He says “stop” or “wait.” Thanks for the great reminder to listen carefully to His direction. Peace, Linda

  4. It’s my contention that the Lord is a great Leader and we believers are not so great followers of Him. So, our faith has to be in His ability to lead us and not in our ability to follow Him.

  5. Susan . . .I loved and appreciated this so much. Thank you! Thinking about that gentle wooing that we can’t resist. Wonderful way to put it! ๐Ÿ™‚
    God bless you, sweet Susan and the work that He has given to you for this time. I haven’t been able to visit you for awhile, but am just about done house sitting and will be more consistent again. (I hope!)
    love and prayers!

  6. I love your attitude in this, Pastor J! ๐Ÿ™‚ There is always something to do even if what I thought I would be doing is canceled.
    God bless you and the work you do for/with Him!

  7. The more I read your comment and the others, I’m sure we will know! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am thinking the Holy Spirit’s “no” is still done in a holy way and not in the discouraging ways the enemy works.
    God bless you as you listen today, Linda!

  8. Larry, I love this and can definitely say it’s true for me. This is a keeper and I will trust in Him to let me know for sure what to do or not do. ๐Ÿ™‚
    God bless you as you follow your Leader!

  9. Hi Deb,
    That is a curious scripture, but it shows that the Spirit can do things we do not understand. Who would ever suspect the Spirit discouraging you from spreading The Word. But, I see the Holy Spirit as an extension of God, passing His will on to us through the Spirit. So the Spirit sees what God sees and we cannot. You can bet there was a pretty good reason not to preach in Asia if the Spirit advised against it. Thanks Deb, God Bless-Jim

  10. Deb, for some reason, I don’t get emails when you post anymore. Not from you, Linda, Larry, any of the crowd. Have you been having this problem? I am re-subscribing. Thanks

  11. This is something we really need to remember…that the Holy Spirit both leads and constrains. It is my hope to grow both more sensitive and obedient to that influence.


  12. Made me look back on those times when all reasons said GO but didn’t sit perfectly well with the spirit. Glad and grateful for those constraints! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Me too, dear woman of the Word! ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel a little dense . . .
    God bless you as He leads you today!
    love you!

  14. Rea, you are such a sweet teacher and inspiration to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad and grateful for you and the Spirit’s constraints! love you!

  15. Thank you, Jim, for sharing that wonderful truth with us! It got me thinking about this too, that He maybe had someone else to go there, how He needed Paul to go to Jerusalem at a certain time, etc. etc. And you and everyone else have blessed me so much and encouraged that we will know when the Spirit says no.
    God bless you as He leads you today!

  16. I’m so sorry about that! Once I was unsubscribed to a blog that I didn’t unsubscribe to. hmmm. Hope it works with the re-subscribing.
    God bless you and thanks for being here!!!

  17. Thank you, Deb

    “Lord, please help me know the difference between the Spiritโ€™s constraining me and the enemyโ€™s discouraging me.”
    I pray alongside you… I am very grateful for this prayer. There are days I’m sure I have it right and then I hit a snag. It gets discouraging at times and feels like the prayers hit the ceiling and fall back on me. I know there are times when it’s His loving “not now” but I know there are times when it’s nothing but deception from the enemy.

    Seriously praying for His revelation right now!

    Trusting Him,

  18. Praying with you, Ann full of Jesus grace! May God reveal His yeses and no’s to us clearly today! God bless you and your desire for always more of Him!

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