Question: Do you have Goals for God?
Acts 19:21-22 NLT
Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go on to Rome!” He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia.
Do we make future plans for our ministry?
Paul was still in Ephesus, but now he felt compelled to go back through Macadonia and Achaia. Paul had already been through these parts on his second missionary journey, but now he felt like he should go back through these parts once again. First Corinthians 16 tells that one of Paul’s purposes for going back through Macedonia and Achaia was to gather a collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Romans 16 also talks about gathering this collection, but Paul adds more details regarding his travel plans; he desired to travel to Spain after Rome.
1 Corinthians 16
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:
2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.
4 But if it is fitting that I go also, they will go with me.
5 Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia).
6 And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go.
7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.
8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost.
23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,
24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
In addition to his collection goal, Paul also planned to go to Rome so he could impart some spiritual gift toward them, encourage them, to share his faith with them, to reap fruit among them, and to preach the gospel to them.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—
12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.
14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.
15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.
How about our ministry? Are we making any future plans for our ministry? Yes, we need to stay focused on what we are currently doing for the Lord, but what about the future? What are your goals for giving? What are your goals for sharing the gospel? Our goals can be small or big, but we should have some goals.
Are our desires from the Spirit?
Paul was compelled by the Spirit. Some english versions leave out this phrase, but either way, shouldn’t our goals be initiated by the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit placing within you a strong desire to help others in a different way than your current service. Listen to the Spirit. Feel His prompting. Paul had a desire to help the poor saints in Jerusalem, he had a desire to take up a collection from Macedoinia and Achaia, and he had a desire to strengthen them on his way. Finally Paul had a strong desire to go to Rome to impart the knowledge of Jesus Christ among them. Let us listen to the Spirit, and then plan. Maybe you have no desire to move on, your desire is to remain serving where you are, then surely stay where you are until you are moved by the Spirit.
Do you have helpers?
Paul had a team of laborers to help him. Timothy and Erastus went on before him to Macedonia. Who will be helping us? Do we have others that we are working with in the ministry to help us toward the goals. Possibly your team is your family. Will your family or church family join you to serve others. On the other hand, possibly you are a team member helping somebody else’s ministry. Your soul is at peace to serve and help another in his goals. Then continue to be faithful as Timothy and Erastus.
In summary, make plans based on your direction from the Spirit. Utilize your team toward those spiritual goals, or be a faithful team member to help another brother toward their goals – which have also now become your own.