In Luke chapter 9, verses 61 and 62 we learn an important lesson about following Jesus. There, a man voiced a desire to follow Christ, but he had some worldly entanglements which involved delay in following the Lord. Jesus said this, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Have you felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on your life from time to time when it just didn’t seem possible to follow His leading because of life’s entanglements? While it is easy to accumulate relationships, things, and position in this world which require our attention; it is not so easy to extricate oneself from them.
More and more, as I approach the twilight years of my life, I find myself wondering just how it happens that Believers become so entangled with stuff. Does your life’s course often seem more dictated by others and events than by the Holy Spirit’s leadership?
Jesus seems to be saying that those whose focus is on their future home in heaven more than their earthly home, will be able to follow Him without being emotionally handicapped by the attachments and entanglements of this age. In this age, a professing Believer is considered successful if he buys a house, has a nice car, can take an annual vacation, raises children who don’t get in too much trouble, and who obtain an education which will allow them to get a job where they can live prosperously in this age. But Jesus seems to consider those things hindrances to following Him.
Now lest I am misunderstood, one should certainly attempt to develop himself to his greatest capacity. Anything less is poor stewardship. And Jesus definitely calls men to serve Him by advancing into positions of leadership and authority in this world system. But their focus should not be the world system. Their focus should be their heavenly home.
As the citizenry grows older, we ought also remember that the desire to travel, relax, and enjoy the good life after retirement can be as much sin as the desire to accumulate prosperity, position, and associations during the working years. Time and again, I’ve heard the statement, “When I retire, I want to. . . .” One ought say, “When God allows me the freedom through retirement to serve Him without the interference of daily work schedules, I will become a more useful instrument in His hands.”
One test of the professing Believer’s followship is loving Christ and His call upon one’s life more than the entanglements of this world. If you, or I, are not willing to go where God clearly leads, when He leads, then we all should examine those things which hinder us from being more useful in His service, and more flexible to His calling.
From "A Word For Living" by Mike Rasberry
© Mike Rasberry 2013