Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. "And after that," he said, "I must go on to Rome!" He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia.
— Acts 19:21-22 NLT
Paul initially felt that his mission in life was to stop Christianity (Acts 9:1-2). However, God had a very different primary mission, or calling, for Paul's life (Acts 9:15-17, 22:12-21). Paul lived his life out of his sense of this calling: to share Jesus where the message of Christ had not been heard, especially among non-Jewish peoples.* Paul fulfilled that calling by living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit both empowered his message and directed his path. The apostle's yearning to preach where the message had not been heard was governed by the Spirit's guidance and Paul's obedience. As always, Paul chose apprentices whom he constantly trained to be the future leaders of Jesus' unstoppable movement (2 Timothy 2:1-2). I believe we need to pray for our church leaders today that they will be people of the Spirit, led and empowered by the presence of the Lord to know and do the will of the Savior. Human wisdom and theological training are not enough for God's leaders to do the work that needs to be done!
O Father, I am inspired by the passion of Paul to live his life compelled by his calling. Today, dear LORD, I ask for a sense of my calling, that special focus you want for my life. In addition, I pray that you continually fill our church leaders with a clear focus on what the Spirit is calling them to do and a commitment to training new leaders as they do their ministry. I ask all of this in the name of Jesus and for the accomplishment of his mission in our world. Amen.