looking back

It’s all of God’s grace that we have come this far in the journey of life. We are thankful for God’s patience with us, for we have been given much. We have the time needed to learn and to grow and to fill out into all of God’s best for us. 

But listen to what Jesus says so firmly:-‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” Luke 9 v 62

We need to exercise caution in the way we engage with our past. We wouldn’t have done the things we used to do if they hadn’t been attractive to us, and we need not think that they couldn’t become attractive again if we gave them the opportunity. We may have grown stronger, but we’re far from invincible.

It would be impossible to forget completely the sins of our past. The memory of those things to keep us humble. Would you at least refuse to entertain hospitably those acts of selfishness, sin and struggle? Don’t look back longingly.

When we break with our sins, God calls us to do this decisively. It’s a strong thing that Jesus says when says if we ‘look back’ after putting our hands to the plow, we are ‘not fit for the kingdom of God.’ We do not properly honour Him as Lord if our choice to follow Him is not wholehearted.

The commitment to say ‘yes’ to Him must be accompanied by a ‘no’ to the sins that have previously separated us from Him. ‘No’ is a necessary part of repentance.

It’s a dangerous thing to replay the still-enjoyable aspects of sin-memory. Like Lot and his family who were told to leave Sodom, we need in the case of some things, to leave them alone for the rest of our lives. We can’t afford to have any fine print in our contract with God. By His grace, we’re able to close doors and not look back. 

As William Gurnall wrote:- “To forsake sin is to leave it without any thought of returning to it.” Looking back has many dangers: just ask Lots wife.