徒 Acts 18:18-22
18 保罗住了许多日子，然后辞别弟兄们，坐船去叙利亚，同行的有百基拉和亚居拉。他因为许过愿，现在期满了，就在坚革里剃了头发。19 到了以弗所，保罗留他们在那里，自己却到会堂去，跟犹太人辩论。20 众人请他多住些时候，他没有答应，21 却辞别他们说：“上帝若许可，我还要回到你们这里来。”于是从以弗所开船去了。22 保罗在该撒利亚登岸，上耶路撒冷问候教会，然后下安提阿去。
18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
Paul promised nothing about returning without qualifying it with these words. We all say we cannot stir a finger without his direction, but people everywhere are so arrogant that they dare to decide all sorts of things without reference to God—not only for the immediate future but for many years to come. We must often think about this reverence and caution and learn to submit our plans to God’s will and providence. If we make plans as people do who think they are in control of their fortune, we may suffer just punishment. Although there may not be much religion in words, so that we may not freely say we will do this or that, it is good to get in the habit of using certain forms of speech to remind us that God directs all we do.