Every Thought Captive to Messiah


I Will Return to You if God Desires

Acts 18

"And they came to Ephesus, and [Paul] left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But on taking leave of them he said, 'I will return to you if God desires,' and he set sail from Ephesus" (Acts 18:19-21).

Paul has spent considerable time in Macedonia, Athens, and Corinth preaching the gospel and establishing churches. Now it is time for him to return to his home church, Antioch. On the way back, he stops in at Ephesus and visits the synagogue. The Jews there want him to stay longer, but Paul cannot at this time. He does want to return, however. If God desires it, he will.

We have ministered in New Zealand seven years. I would have liked that to continue, but because of Averil's health, it is right for us to return to the United States at this time. But our desire is to one day return. God gives us freedom in making decisions, as long as they accord with his moral will. He can always, though, overrule our decisions according to his sovereign will. We don't know exactly what the future holds for us personally, but we know God is working out his incredible plan. I appreciate how God balances his sovereign will and our individual free will decisions.

Father, we will greatly miss New Zealand and the people here. We want to have a fruitful ministry wherever we are, so please help our ministry to continue in the United States. Someday, we want to return here and minister to the people once again. May we keep in close touch with our friends here, just as Paul kept in close touch with the churches he established. May Firm Foundation New Zealand continue, though we are in the U.S. for a time. In Jesus' name, amen.

If you would like to learn about Averil's breast cancer recovery and to contribute to her recovery fund, please click here.

- Jeff Coleman


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