For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while—but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. Romans 15:22-25 (NAS)
Paul longed to see Rome and to be with the believers there, but first needed to finish the campaign he started, to deliver a financial gift from churches he founded in Macedonia and Achacia to the poor in Jerusalem.
But what’s so interesting here is that the driving force was his dream to preach the gospel to the uttermost extent of civilization at that time—Spain. Paul kept moving in accordance with his mission as clearly articulated in v. 20, but not at the expense of priorities emanating from his overarching purpose, or his relationships with people.
His plans were formulated to exact the most out of his time. Now having exhausted all opportunities in the region—having discharged all his spirit-induced responsibilities—he was ready to move on after tying up one last loose end. But this line item was fraught with danger, and as it turns out, was Paul’s one-way ticket to Rome. Based on his stated objectives, he probably didn’t mind at all.