“But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9:62 NLT)
Having grown up in the city, I never experienced what it was like to plow a large field; however, I did till a small area for a garden once. I borrowed a tiller and began to break up the hard, clay soil. It took a while to get the hang of it, but it became obvious very quickly that if I had any hopes of having straight rows for planting, I had to keep my eyes forward.
A similar thing happens when a person joyfully embraces Jesus and begins their pilgrimage of faith, but their faith is an inch deep and a mile wide and soon they get distracted by the things of the world. Rather than keeping their eyes on Jesus and investing themselves in deepening their faith and increasing their fruitfulness, they tire of the journey and fall back into familiar patterns of life.
Like the children of Israel, freshly freed from their enslavement to the Egyptians, they keep looking back to what they remember as, the “good” things they’ve left, and the draw of their past life pulls them back into sin.
How quickly we forget what drew us to Jesus in the first place. When the walk of faith gets harder than we imagined we soon tire of the disciplines of growing in Christ and fall back into what was “comfortable” and “familiar.”
In the passage above Jesus has invited some men to follow Him, only to be met with excuses. Many across the years in the churches I’ve served have expressed interest in following Jesus, yet never seemed to find the right time.
In John 12, following Jesus’ “Triumphant Entry,” He began to share that the time had come for Him “to enter into His glory,” which meant His time to die was at hand. It was confusing to those who were listening, but the Bible says in John 12:37: “But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him.”
The longer we postpone receiving Christ’s invitation to follow Him, the harder it becomes. Statistically, most people who are lifelong followers of Jesus begin their journey by age 18. Those who wait accumulate more and more of the “barnacles” of sin, which makes it harder and harder to keep looking forward and following Jesus closely.
The truth is, salvation from sin and death is a miracle, regardless of your age. The point of this post is to urge you to come to Christ now, whether you’re 18 or 98, because continually looking back with regret, or even pride, will rob you of an opportunity to know forgiveness and the privilege of new life in Christ.
The Lord will redeem your past and use it for your good and His glory. The “glory” of past achievements will fade, and if that’s all you have in your old age, you are among men most to be pitied. Rather than selling yourself to the proverbial “highest bidder,” I implore you to give your life to Jesus and let Him enable you to create treasure in heaven.
This earth and everything in it will one day very soon be burned up and all that will be left are those things which are eternal – our souls and the fruit of our service for Christ – those who have yielded their lives and allegiance to our Savior. This is no time to be looking back. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward to His honor and fame.
Blessings, Ed 😊