Paul has chosen God’s Will to come before his own. His words echo those of John the Baptist, who, when speaking about Jesus Christ, says that He must increase while John must decrease. As Paul sets sail for Ephesus and says goodbye to his co-workers Priscilla, Aquila, and other family members in Christ, he hopes to see them again. But Paul is so surrendered to the Will of God that he says he will only return to them ‘if God wills.’
‘If God wills.’ The phrase says a lot about the relationship that Paul and God share. It implies that God wills for specific things in Paul’s life. He has a purpose and a plan for Paul which He will reveal to Paul in His perfect timing. The phrase also declares Paul’s desire to follow this plan. Whatever God calls him to do or wherever God calls him to go, Paul is prepared to go with God. Paul has not planned his next steps for himself, but trusts that God will guide him. Paul will be attentive to where God will lead.
Are we open to what God wills for us in our life? Do we make room for Jesus to have a say in our plans, our dreams, our future? It is not always easy to give up what we think is best for ourselves, but it is possible relinquish what we want for what God desires for us. He must increase and we must decrease. As seen in the lives of ordinary men and women like John the Baptist, Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul, God does wonderful things in lives which are surrendered to His Will.