Romans 1:10-11 NASB
“(10)always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. (11)For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;”
Paul has been planning a trip to the church in Rome and has submitted this plan to the will of God. It’s interesting to note that even in the midst of Paul’s desires for good things (such as visiting and encouraging the church in Rome) he only moves forward as God wills him to. Now, there is no Scripture verse that Paul would have read that would have told him to wait to visit Rome. His desire is noble and good but he submits to the Holy Spirit who is speaking to him. Paul is a man that walks in tune with the Spirit of God. He believes that God is active in the role of guiding him where to go. This is through prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Now, it’s true, living life listening to the Holy Spirit is subjective to the confliction of our thoughts and desires. But Paul shows that there is a way to sift through the land mine of our heart and know the will of God. That is through obedience to Scripture and time spent in prayer. The Scripture is our guide to the truth which protects us from falling into false doctrine and theology. But that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit doesn’t guide us through our life, showing us where to go and who to talk to. I think we would do well to begin thinking the way Paul does, he makes requests by prayer and submits to the will of God.
His intention of coming to visit them is not for selfish reasons such as to boost an Apostolic ego, but he desires to give a spiritual gift to them. The greek word used for spiritual in v11 is (pneumatikos) which denotes “appointed activities in the church”. Paul was planning on blessing them with a gift of prophecy, or teaching, or encouragement or maybe even healing. We don’t know exactly, but the point being, was that he planned to bless them with a spiritual gift. We could ask the question, what spiritual gift are we giving to those around us? Do we bless others with our spiritual gifts or withhold them. It’s easy to withhold out of fear or maybe not feeling competent in our spiritual gifts. But it is the Holy Spirit who gives us these gifts, and as we submit to the will of God and ask for spiritual gifts He gives them generously. Let us also submit to God in prayer and in His will and desire to bless others with spiritual gifts. It is not only beneficial to the church but it pleases God.