(61) And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee, but first let me go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. (62) 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 9:61-62)
Earlier this week I was reading an article about a famous musician (who will remain nameless) who had found Christ and who had left his band only to return to it a few years later. He mentions that the attacks from the Christian community had been discouraging (and I’m sure that some of what was directed at him was indeed an attack) but let’s be clear a real Christian will not verbally assault you with your going to hell because you live like this or you did that. No, a real Christian will give you the word and give it in love. Just know that even a word giving in love can be harsh to the receiver. It does not mean that it’s an attack but the scripture says in Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul an spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. I didn’t mean to go there with that scripture but God was telling me sometimes when the word goes out especially when its a hard word. It can hit us so hard that it can feel like an attack. It’s not it’s just the word doing its job! He makes mention and this is not a direct quote that basically he went back to reach people of that platform who would not otherwise be reached. As a human I feel that his heart was in the right place. After all weren’t we commissioned to spread the gospel and to be a light in a dark place. However, as a believer in God and his word there’s too many scriptures that warns us about turning back. There’s nothing wrong with being a light to those still in the dark but you don’t have to go back to the mess that you were in either. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. (Proverbs 26:11) Simply put it would be foolish to return to what God had to save you from.
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
What does it mean to have put your hand to the plough and look back? It means that anyone who begins the work of God. Who starts to walk in their calling, but looks back which is to return back to their former life. In the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible commentary it mentions that ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made and it is marred the instant one turns bout. Simply put a Christians eye must be on what is ahead of him. Not behind the moment he looks back he mars that which he was working with. I feel this particular musician when he made mention of the fact that he could reach those who was still in that area of his former life as I was pondering this the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said Everyone that I intend for you to reach is before you not behind you. God knows how to place the people in front of you who you were meant to reach even if it is someone from a past similar to yours. Without you having to go back. In all honesty we lose our witness when we try to go back because now were looked upon as hypocrites by those we say we’re going back for. You might be thinking Well, Aqua what if I’m the only light that they will see? I repeat anybody who God intended for you to reach will be before you not behind you. I’m not saying that we don’t pray for those we left behind. We should always pray, but what if we try to go back to reach those who live a life in a fashion former to yours and instead of leading them to Christ we actually deter them away from him? Believe it or not many non believers need to see you pressing forward not going back. One thing I do agree with him about is that he can reach people who some of us including myself could never reach. Simply because were not familiar with that life style. The truth is the moment that we try to go back which is to live in the way that we once did before Christ there will be those who will be quick to say. I knew that this thing wasn’t for real now he/she’s back. Even when we have the best intentions of going back to bring someone out of darkness. Another truth of the fact is that instead of us pulling them up with us chances are we’ll be dragged back into that lifestyle we once escaped from.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupts good manners.(1 Corinthians 15:33)
What this scripture tells me is that even when our intentions are pure for wanting to return back to what we once knew. Eventually our light would begin to fade and instead of being that light we stumble back into darkness ourselves. In other words we find ourselves falling back into old habits and our old ways. We can’t be both light and dark at the same time. You might be thinking well I can still hang out with my former clique or crew or whatever it is that you want to call it and not do what it is that they do. Tempt yourself if you want, but eventually one side will win out over the other. You might be thinking well Jesus himself sat and ate with sinners. True, but that was only to call them to a better life. Each time he would tell them to Follow me, he would take them forwards not backwards. Here’s the good news Jesus still sits and eats with sinners. Till this day he’s still calling them forth. If he didn’t, not one of us would be saved. I know that a lot of people may be thinking isn’t it cruel to leave someone behind. I guarantee you if you keep your hand to the plough and keep pushing forward your light will shine brightly to those who currently live in darkness. They need to see that there is life beyond the darkness and that if you can live for Christ without turning back then so can I. Remember were more of a light to others when we forsake those things which once had us bound.
I want to encourage those of you would may of had good intentions when you drew back and you meant for it to be a way to introduce Jesus to someone. Instead you found yourself in a backsliding state. I want to leave you with these two scriptures.
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. ( Jeremiah 3:14)
Being confident of this very thing, that he which begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. ( Philippians 1:6)