‘Anyone who…looks behind him is useless for the Kingdom of God.’ Luke 9:62 PHPS
Jesus sought out people prepared to do more than just believe in Him—He wanted people willing to follow Him. His early ministry was marked by people like Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel. (See John 1:35–52) These were people willing to leave where they were and what they owned in order to follow Him. Jesus called people to a life of radical commitment. When He ‘called the crowd to Him… He said, “If people want to follow Me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives.”’ (Mark 8:34 NCV) No half-measures, but a willingness to follow Him full-time.
Trusting in Jesus will get you into Heaven, but nothing less than following Him daily will make you useful in His Kingdom on earth. Three different men told Jesus, ‘I’ll follow you, Lord’ (Luke 9:61 NIV), but they weren’t willing to give up the priorities of their old lives (Luke 9:62). And Jesus responded with this powerful metaphor: ‘Anyone who puts his hand to the plough and… looks behind him is useless for the Kingdom of God.’
Following Jesus means whatever is back there, stays back there—old hang-ups, attachments and lifestyles. You can’t plough the straight furrow of discipleship looking back at the past. Don’t let the gravitational pull of past failure, guilt, fear, shame, betrayal, loss, abuse, rejection, resentment and unforgiveness ruin your future. Cut the cord; join those willing to ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes.’ (Revelation 14:4 NKJV)