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.
But now no longer having a place in these parts,
Paul finished his pioneering work of evangelism in the region of Illyricum.
and having a great desire these many years to come to you,
For many years Paul wished to visit Rome. However, he shortly would be on his way to Jerusalem to deliver financial gifts from the churches in Macedonia and Achaia.
whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you.
Paul would visit Rome on the way to Spain. Spain was a Roman province. Paul wrote Romans in Corinth. His journey from Corinth back to Jerusalem and then back to Rome and Spain would have been a journey by ship and foot of 3,000 miles—no small undertaking for that day. That would have been a perilous undertaking.
Rome was not Paul’s destination. His goal was Spain, a frontier, to open a new territory for Christ. This was both his goal and objective.
For I hope to see you on my journey,
Having heard of the Roman church’s testimony, he looked forward to fellowship with them (Ro 1:8, 11-12, 15).
and to be helped on my way there [Spain] by you,
Paul expected the Roman church to help with the financing of his ministry to Spain. God uses His people to advance the cause of Christ.
if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
Paul ultimately made it to Rome but as a prisoner. He probably never made it to Spain. Sometimes God does not honor our plans, but that does not make setting goals wrong.
One purpose for his visit to Rome was to “enjoy your company.” Even the mighty apostle Paul needed fellowship with the saints.
Setting goals for the church is necessary.
Every organism needs organization. Every church requires organization. All organizations need goals. It is not enough for the church to live in a state of disarray, depending solely on the Lord to lead. It is amazing to me how many pastors think that planning is wrong or unspiritual. Although we must be flexible to follow the Lord’s leading for the church, we need organization and administration.
All organization and goals must be subjected to God’s leading. We set aside personal goals when we discern God’s will.
Lu 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?