"...and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him (Balaam). Now he (Balaam) was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his (the angels) hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her away. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive." Numbers 22:22b-33
What does it take to open the eyes of someone blind to what God is trying to do or say in their life? Even the baser elements of creation are working to tell us about our dilemmas. Once a man or woman has made up their mind, quite often they cannot see clearly, even though all of nature may be trying to steer them, they just can't see it. Also, those who are spiritually blind may not be able to see clearly, in that they have made choices that are determinately not godly.
God brings a great many things to pass to keep us from ruin. Maybe we should be more sensitive if things aren't going our way or if we are having a difficult time reaching our destination. We should at least try to see if it is our own stubbornness and/or spiritual blindness that is leading us to an undesirable end. Sometimes when the path is not smooth it is God using all of creation to bring us around to our senses. Sometimes it is that our enemy is trying to thwart our good efforts by blocking us or standing against us.
How then can we know?
First: Quit fighting God. You will never see clearly and always be up against this dilemma if you are not receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Second: Pray about it. Millions of unnecessary problems and discomforts have come from our own pride that keeps us from going to God in prayer and discussing the very situation with God. So many people try to navigate the path on their own power under their own guidance.
Third: If where you want to go or what you want to do hasn't been sanctioned by God and there are obstacles in your path, it is God working on your behalf to save you from yourself and your foolish choices. But if where you are headed and what you want is a godly thing, count on it being your enemy that is blocking the way. Be sure of one thing; you shouldn't be so blind that an ass would have to give you instructions or directions.