And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. ~Luke 9:62
A little boy heard a Sunday school lesson about Lot’s wife that as she was following Lot out of Sodom she looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. The teacher asked if anyone had any questions and the little boy raised his hand. He said “my mother once looked back when she was driving and turned into a light pole.” All kidding aside, we are at year end when we look back at what happened during the past year. We look at what was accomplished and what did not get done. We look back at high points and our low points. In our devotion this morning, we see where our Lord tells us looking back can hinder us.
We see the duty.
We see the image of a man that has put his hand to the plow. Putting your hand to the plow is when you aim at a marker at the end of the field where you will focus your sight on so that you can plow a straight line. As long as you keep your eye on the marker each row you plow will be straight. Putting your hand to the plow is a decision. You have decided that work needs to be done within a carefully guarded period of time. Putting your hand to the plow speaks of direction. You are focused on making a straight line when you plow. Putting your hand to the plow means you are focused on your duty.
We see the distraction.
Looking back means you have been distracted. Instead of looking ahead, you are looking at past steps. Instead of looking forward, you are looking backwards. When we are distracted, we cannot focus and we cannot finish what we are supposed to do. When we look back we are indicating we might have second thoughts and regrets about what we are doing. Looking back means we would rather be doing something else. It means we are short sighted about our responsibility. Looking back will cause us to make crooked rows, which in turn will lead to a haphazard crop.
We see the danger.
Jesus said, “no man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” First, we will not finish what we are supposed to do. Second, we leave more work for someone else to do on our behalf. Third, we are not fit or useful for the kingdom of God. This means we are telling God we are double-minded and unstable in all our ways. We disqualify ourselves from future service because we demonstrated that are easily distracted and cannot focus on what we are supposed to be doing. We have shown lack of commitment and stopped short of a harvest that could be a blessing to us and others.
We see the dedication.
Keep your hand to the plow, look ahead to the marker and keep plowing! Being a faithful and committed disciple of our Lord demands complete focus, faithfulness, and follow through. You cannot allow other voices, new methods, and weariness to make you look back. Look straight on and keep going until the first row is plowed, then the second, and each row after that. Keep a steady eye and hand on finishing the task. Your motto should be “we will work till Jesus comes.”
What’s the bottom line? As a disciple of Christ, plow with your eye on Jesus as your goal, and don’t be tempted to look back on what you gave up to follow him. The things of the world pale in comparison to our wonderful Lord.
Have a focused God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Revelation 13-16