18 Paul stayed in Corinth for some time. Then he left the believers and sailed for Syria. Priscilla and Aquila went with him. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea. He did this because he had made a promise to God. 19 They arrived at Ephesus. There Paul said good-by to Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and talked with the Jews. 20 The Jews asked him to spend more time with them. But he said no. 21 As he left, he made them a promise. “If God wants me to,” he said, “I will come back.” Then he sailed from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem. There he greeted the church. He then went down to Antioch. 23 Paul spent some time in Antioch. Then he left and traveled all over Galatia and Phrygia. He gave strength to all the believers there.
Paul wanted to come back to Ephesus and talk some more to the Jews at the Temple. He promised to come back but qualified his promise
by saying “…if it’s God’s will”.
Here’s what’s interesting:
1. Paul didn’t know God’s will. He wasn’t sure of his coming back to Ephesus in the future
2. His promise was conditional. ie his coming back to Ephesus needed to be God’s idea
stayed focused on the task at hand. ie reasoning with non-christian Jews was secondary to building and encouraging new christians (see v23)
I don’t need to know every aspect of God’s plan for my future – only the step immediately in front of me. He will lead me in all future steps (Isaiah 30:21). The question is not “what is God’s will for my life?” but rather “Am I staying focused on the task He has given me to do right now?”
Lord, I entrust the direction of my life to you. Help me give myself completely to the task you’ve placed in my hands.
Written by Boudy VanNoppen