My wife and I have been studying the Patriarchs lately (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and Jacob really jumps off the page. He never really got his act together until he was a very old man.
Their (the Patriarchs) offspring wasted forty years in the wilderness from God’s judgment upon them, basically because they didn’t believe God.
As a child of God most High how much time have you wasted in your life by not being obedient to God’s will for your life? Don’t fret, I have asked myself the same question. Isn’t it embarrassing?
Jesus said, “… No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Now that is a scary verse, if your plow is getting rusty. Some of us have plowed the whole field, and others of us have just plowed a few rows. Then there are those who took a long look at the plow, the mule and the field and decide it isn’t for them. The sun is too hot and the work too hard.
(I must parenthetically add at this point that salvation is never earned or kept by our sweat, but by Jesus’ blood. Also, only a legitimate Christian can produce sweat equity which will be rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ. The Biblical fact is that many have looked at what it cost to serve Jesus and decided they were not interested. Another example and Biblical fact is, only a true Christian can be water baptized. All others are dunked.)
If we really are a Christian, the Lord has assigned each of us a plow (if you will) and a section of the field He expects us to work. For most all of us that field is our family, neighbors and those we work alongside. How is your field looking? Hopefully, it’s close to being finished and with straight furrows. That reminds me, have you noticed that the more you plow, the straighter the furrows?
Let me be clear that my Dad was a farmer, and he knew it well, but I have never been a farmer (a backyard gardener doesn’t qualify). I have never been behind a mule (or on a tractor for the more modern folks), but we all surely have enough sense to know what Jesus is talking about. He is simply saying that if we are not interested in His work, then we obviously are not interested in Him.
Do you want the job? You have to get hired first. So, how do you go about getting hired to plow for Jesus? There is a special application form that only contains one question? The question is, “Do you believe in Me?”
You see, that bunch wandering around in the desert for forty years didn’t believe. They claimed the Name, but that was all. They really didn’t believe. However, Caleb and Joshua believed, and they entered the Promised Land.
It’s the same today. Some really believe and some never do, even though they may claim the Name. Then there are those like Jacob. It takes them awhile to get there, but they finally come around, and believe. Those who believe can plow. Those who do not believe don’t get one (a plow that is).
So, if you have your plow, is it worn from use or rusty from non-use? I’m sure those with rusty plows are by now getting worried. So, let’s take a look at another Scripture verse.
Paul said, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (Philippians 3:13-16)
“Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” So often we waste so much time worrying about the past we get nothing done in the here and now. What does that do for our future? We continue to worry, because we did not take care of the present. What a vicious cycle!
If the Lord is leading you to serve Him in some way, my suggestion is “Just do it.” He may be calling you to be the best parent or spouse you can be. He may be calling you to the mission field. He may be calling you to be the hardest worker at your job site. He may be calling you to teach a Sunday school class. He may be calling you to be the kindest person in your neighborhood. He may be calling you to offer a smile to those who forgot how.
The point is every member of the true Church is to respond to the Head of the Church in what He wants us to do. My hand does what my mind tells it to do. The same is true with my foot. As our hand responds and obeys our head, we should respond to Christ as the Head of the Church.
Have you wasted a lot of time … perhaps years? Put it behind you and start now, right now. The future will be no different than the past until we change the present.
Going back to Philippians 3:13-16 the apostle Paul said, “… reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal.” When plowing behind that mule the farmer wants his furrows to be straight. To do so, he sets his eyes on something at the other end of the row and aims directly toward it. When he is finished his furrows will be straight. When we set our eyes upon Jesus Christ, not deviating to the left or right, our spiritual furrows will be straight, and we will be in harmony with, “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Our God is not looking for excuses to beat us over the head. He knows we are but clay. He is on our side! Start today, and just follow His lead. You will wonder why you waited so long, and you will be free of the guilt of having a rusty plow. When you dig that plow down in the dirt, it will take no time at all until all the rust is gone. Pick up you plow today, and today will be the first day of many happy days to come.
I recall my Dad saying that when he was a boy he would have sold the whole farm for fifty cents. Guess how he felt about it as a grown man. He loved it. You will too.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html