Someone else said, “I will follow you, sir; but first let me go and say good-bye to my family.” Jesus said to him, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61-62 TEV)
Discipleship is not like a career we map out for ourselves: “I’ll do this for Jesus after I get the kids through school and build my retirement fund.” We cannot arrange our service to suit ourselves; otherwise, we end up serving Jesus according to what makes sense to us.
Like the disciple in today’s verse, we say we will obediently follow Jesus, but then we turn the tables and decide on our own what should take priority in our lives. This still leaves us in control. We may accomplish good things, but that doesn’t make us disciples of Jesus. Jesus says, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:61-62 TEV).
Looking back is double-mindedness (James 1:8, 4:8). It makes us unstable and uncertain, and that’s the exact opposite of the focused following Jesus expects of us. It means there are moments in our relationship with Jesus when we say, “I’ll get back to you on that, Jesus, just as soon as I finish with my priorities.”
Are you holding off Jesus until he fits into your schedule? Until you get through this stage of your life? If Jesus brings conviction, that doesn’t equate to condemnation. He wants the best for you, and he knows you will find that when you follow him.
This devotional is based on Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s ‘The Cost of Discipleship’ by Jon Walker.
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Jon Walker is the managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotionals. © 2011 Jon Walker. Used by permission.