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Romans 1:13: I Have Often Intended To Come To You

Romans 1:13
[13] I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. (ESV)

I have heard the saying, "We make plans. God laughs." The reality is, we like to know what is going to happen in our future. Many of us go to great lengths to accomplish what we desire in our careers and in our personal lives. A true believer submits their will to a sovereign God who loves them and knows best.

The Apostle Paul's plans for his future were all wrapped up in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had desired to go to Rome and preach the Gospel there. Rome was the capital of the entire empire. If ever there was a strategic city for the Gospel to be proclaimed it was in Rome. Paul longed to preach there. It was in his plans. God had different plans.

Paul does something important here for us in this verse. He teaches us that it is ok to have our own desires for serving the Lord. Yet, our desires must always be yielded to the sovereignty of God who knows the bigger picture. The desires of Paul to preach the Gospel were wonderful. God took those desires and directed them for the best of His purpose.

The day did finally come for Paul to preach the Gospel in Rome. It was not how he had envisioned it. It involved chains. Paul came to Rome as a prisoner. While he was there the whole palace guard had heard the message of the Gospel (Philippians 4:22).  Paul's life would end in Rome as he was put to death by the sword.

Seek the Lord and pursue the desires that he gives you. Always bear in mind that God is sovereign and he will direct you as he sees fit. Your life is for His glory.