Controlling the Backward Look


Luke 9:62 (NKJV)
62  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I know that many of the Arminianist persuasion have used this as a proof text for the phenomenon known as “backsliding.”  Calvinists cringe at the thought, but this is not the topic of this post.  These are things that have been debated for centuries, and will not be settled here today.  I think Jesus was making another point here!

The situation here was that a potential follower wanted to delay action until certain “comfort” items were attended to, i.e. tying up loose ends.  Jesus was saying that it is difficult to follow effectively with divided attention.

It is a fact that someone plowing a field has to look forward in order to plow a straight line.  If one is distracted by the backward look, it is almost impossible to achieve the appointed task.  Can you imagine what your plow line would look like if you keep looking back, instead of looking ahead?  Here we have a God, so loving and so caring, that He gives us advice about how to perform better in our earthly duties.  [I believe in heaven, we will be done with having to control the backward look!]

Perhaps the apostle Paul can shed some light on this same situation:

Philippians 3:13-15 (CEV) Image13  My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.
14  I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.
15  All of us who are mature should think in this same way. And if any of you think differently, God will make it clear to you.

In other words, whatever is behind you is behind you!  The past is past!  Forget whatever is back there distracting you and press straight toward the prize.  Paul says that this is the mature way to think.

My prayer for you today is that you will find in God the grace and peace to put the past behind, and press ahead to the high calling of Christ.

Now go!  Control the backward look!

3 thoughts on “Controlling the Backward Look

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