Yea, I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation. But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Several things strike me about these verses. Firstly, so determined was Paul in his ambition to bring the good news to those who had not heard it, he ended up walking over 10,000 miles (just over the same distance to circumnavigate Australia by foot). Second, from the outset of his ministry Paul had a clear direction and aspiration. He drew from scripture and based his own personal mission statement on Isaiah 52:15; ‘They will see and think about things they have never seen or thought about before.’ And finally, when Paul writes ‘lest I build upon another man’s foundation’, he is unequivocally saying that he had no desire to live out someone else’s calling or to walk in the shadows of the other disciples.
God has given to each one of us our own personal giftings, desires and calling upon our lives. Sometimes we can become envious of the abilities or the work that others are undertaking but these verses are a wonderful reminder that we must strive to embrace our own unique calling and be willing to go where God desires us to be, to seek out those who have not yet been reached, be it across the room, across the street or across the whole wide world.
Thank you Father that in your infinite love and wisdom you have equipped each one of us with such unique abilities and a personal province. May we be as willing as Paul was to identify and complete the course you have set before us. Amen.