The Indecisive Man
Still another said, “I will follow you Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62
I will follow you Lord, but…
This story could certainly be used to make Jesus sound insensitive. Once again, He knows hearts…we don’t. Something about his family made him waver back and forth between serving God and serving his family. Maybe they were involved in some sort of dishonest activity…I don’t know. Whatever the case, the response of Jesus tells us what we need to know. The guy was willing to work for the kingdom, but then his old life was constantly calling him back to his old ways. He was indecisive.
I can’t help but remember my “looking back” days. I was in college and had just begun to really make the attempt to give my life to Jesus. I had left my old party crowd and stopped pretty much all of my bad habits I had been developing. Here was the problem: I would go to church and totally enjoy it. But, my old crowd constantly beckoned me back. I would say no to them most of the time, but I wanted to say yes. I would find myself “just hanging out with them.” I figured I could still go…just not drink. I could still go; maybe I could be a “good influence.” I had an epic battle going on in my heart. I knew what serving God looked like. I knew what being worldly looked like. The constant question was: which am I going to choose? Most of the time, I chose Him. But, sometimes I chose the world. Sometimes I looked back.
I just want to point out the difference between what the world says and what Jesus says. Most people would look at my life when I was in college and say “everybody makes mistakes,” or “everybody goes through that.” Jesus, in the Bible, says “no man who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” If nothing else, we should learn from these 3 men that though Jesus does not demand perfection, but He does demand the total and complete surrendering of our lives to Him.
Today’s version of Americanized Christianity says it is completely fine to be worldly and be a Christian at the same time. We like to dismiss sin as “mistakes.” We like to engage in sinful behavior and say “God understands.” In many ways He does understand, but He obviously wants us to understand that there is a clear choice to be made. It is a conscious decision. You and I are to put our hand on that plow, go to work, and never look back. I like the fact that he uses the analogy of work. Following God takes time and effort, two things most Christians in America don’t want to give. If you are a fairly young Christian, you are going to struggle with this. Do you really think that the devil will give you up without a fight?
Today, I just want to tell you that the reward for following God is tremendous. I’m not saying that I do everything right…I don’t. But, when it comes to major decisions in my life that boil down to being “my way” or “His way,” I have been choosing His way for quite a few years now. At first, it was hard to choose His way. But, the more I choose His way, the more blessed I become.
I just want you to consider one question: Are you currently receiving God’s best in all areas of your life? If the answer is no, could it be that you are looking back? Could it be that you are wavering between putting your hand on that plow and taking it off? If you are wavering, what makes you look back?
I found a verse that I want to memorize and completely hide in my heart over the next few weeks. I thought you might like to do so as well. It is the second half of Psalm 84:11
“No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
Lord, I want all of the good things you offer in life. Help me to walk blamelessly for the rest of my days so I might know what those good things are and receive them with joy. Help me put my hand to the plow and never look back. Help me to walk away from anything or anyone that would ever tempt me to take my hands off. Help all who read this to make a clear decision either for you or against you. As for me…I choose You!