How does God lead?
I think many imagine God talking to them in their own voice and words. And then acting on it find themselves fraught with questions when imagination never pans out as expected.
In Acts prophets warned of famine and persecution, and believers took action. But most of the prophecies today prove false. It is because God now frames our thoughts and actions through scripture, not available to the New Covenant church until written, collected, copied and circulated in the late apostolic era.
So how do we know what to do according to scripture, when we come to a fork in the road? From scripture we know love always chooses the right course. So when love motivates our choices, we can rest assured it was the right choice.
Scripture also warns us to avoid certain traps. And with further understanding, we grow keen to the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We find peace moving in certain directions, and alarm or heaviness moving in other directions.
Faith, when understood as being a fruit of the Holy Spirit also directs our path. If we have faith when we pray, we know the answer is on the way and we move in ways that expect its fulfillment. When faith is not present in certain matters, we know not to look any further in that direction.
Peter said scripture gives us a more sure word of prophecy than God directly speaking to us (2 Peter 1:17–21). In that scripture is not of private interpretation, where vocal proclamations were.