Pastor’s Corner: “The Plow Test”

Luke 9:62 (AMP) – 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

Fit for service in the Kingdom of God. Fit, qualified, competent, prepared, ready, adapted or suited. Am I fit, qualified, competent, prepared, ready, adapted or suited for service in the Kingdom of God? Many think that if they could “do” something and purposed to “do it” to the Glory of God that they are “fit” for service. For example,  if we think that we could teach young people and volunteered to do this by preparing lessons, studying God’s Word, showing up and doing that  that God would bless us. Just because we know how to do something and choose to do it for the Lord does not necessarily mean that we are fit for service in the Kingdom of God. I am reminded of the times that I have set off to do “something” for the Lord only to wind up falling flat on my face, broken in heart or weak in spirit. Our best intentions cannot fulfill the Call of God or make us fit for service if our heart is in the wrong place. 

“But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33). Seeking the Kingdom of God implies nothing about what we can do. To become right with God requires total surrender to Jesus Christ making it impossible for us to earn it or come by it naturally. Our way doesn’t work. It never will because Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life – no one can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ alone.  WE NEED TO STOP LOOKING AT OUR WAY AND LOOK FOR HIS! The apostle, Paul, said that, “not looking back, but looking forward, he was pressing on (Philippians 3:13-14) 

Luke 9:62 (GNT) – 62 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.”  Imagine trying to drive a car on the highway while looking in only the rearview mirror; you’d be challenged to stay in your lane and avoid a collision. Jesus’ illustration of plowing a field would have made perfect sense to his listeners living in an agricultural context. If a farmer did not focus on what is ahead but was distracted by what was behind or on the periphery, it would be impossible to plow in a straight line. The ox and plow would certainly veer off course. 

More than not ploughing in a straight line, many have just plain stopped ploughing. For some it is their prayer life. For others, it’s their financial commitment or their service to their church. Notice that Jesus concludes they aren’t fit for the kingdom. He didn’t say they weren’t born again nor did He say that they were not on the field. He said they are not fit. The word fit means to be in good condition, shape and size. Many have lost shape of kingdom fitness; they are out of shape where the things of the kingdom are concerned. 

Both positive and negative aspects of our lives have the potential to become distractions: Past successes – Past failures – Internal insecurities – External circumstances – Comfort & security – Relationships – Career.  In the scripture, it’s interesting that the man who wants to follow Jesus is distracted by something that we would consider a positive: his home and family. Jesus is letting us know that even something that’s a huge blessing in our lives can become a distraction if it becomes more important than pursuing Jesus and His purpose.  

As we continue to seek Jesus, we must constantly be aware of the potential distractions in our rear view mirror of life. There can often be a tendency to look back and remember the good, instead of the great in front of you with Jesus. How can you look ahead and refocus on Jesus and His purpose for you? Today, God is calling us back into shape and to rise in our commitment to His kingdom. Get to the gym of His word, repent and be committed. Make yourself fit for the kingdom by a humble decision to be committed.  

In His Grace, 

Pastor Hamilton