21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.” (Acts 19:21–22)
Have you ever made up your mind? What does this idiom or phrase mean? To make up one’s mind means to decide to do something, or not, and/or to make a decision.
The Apostle Paul personally resolved to once again journey through the region of Macedonia and Achaia and then eventually to Jerusalem. He resolved to do this Luke says, “In the Spirit.” The text does not say “my spirit” or “his spirit” but rather “the Spirit.” This is a clear reference to the prompting by the Holy Spirit God.
This sovereign resolution from the LORD is supported by Paul’s own words when he said, ““After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” The word “must” is a present active imperative verb. It means that the goal or plan is absolutely necessary, inevitable, and in the sovereign plan of God (Acts 19:36; John 12:34; Luke 24:26). There can be no deviation or turning back from God’s direction.
Paul’s intention is to revisit the churches which the LORD established during the apostle’s second missionary journey. Following this, he intended to circle back to Jerusalem and then visit the existing church in the city of Rome. To prepare for this journey, Paul sent Timothy and Erastus ahead to Macedonia while he remained in Asia.
Dr. John Walvoord writes that, “This verse (Acts 9:21) sets the tone for the remainder of the book (Acts). Paul’s sights were now set on Rome (via Jerusalem) with the ultimate goal of reaching Spain (Rom. 1:15; 15:22–24). Luke made no reference to Spain because one of his purposes in writing Acts was to trace the spread of the gospel up to Paul’s being in Rome, center of the Roman world. Several have observed how Luke’s Gospel focuses in on Jerusalem, whereas Acts emphasizes the message going out from Jerusalem to Rome. These two cities seem to be the focal points of Luke-Acts.”
Today’s text illustrates how the LORD’s leading within our soul leads to outward changes of behavior and practice. What is the LORD prompting you to do, or to refrain from doing? Is your mind made up?
Soli deo Gloria!