Put Your Hand to the Plow
Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Very few people in this day and age appreciate Jesus’ use of the plow as an illustration of a life dedicated to the Lord. The ancient plow, shaped much like the antique version of more recent centuries, was a single wooden blade attached to two handles. A mule did most of the work by pulling the apparatus forward, but the farmer held on to direct the path of the blade.
When believers trust Jesus Christ as Savior, they “put their hand to the plow.” The idea is for us to follow the Lord in absolute obedience—always keeping our eyes focused on Him. That’s how we reap a harvest of faith. Discouraged believers oftentimes plow a crooked row, because they’re looking over their shoulder to dwell on past regrets or peering around to see what pleasures await. Their field of faith looks like a disorganized mess. Moreover, distraction slows them down, with the result that spiritual growth is sluggish, if they mature at all.
Give up whatever draws your attention away from the heavenly Father. Believers who focus on past failures and present distractions end up all over the place in their Christian life; peace and joy are elusive and prayers go unanswered. Follow the Lord earnestly, and He will bring forth much spiritual fruit.