The Forty: Day Seventeen

Devotional 17: A Bad Habit

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:57-62


Most of us have a bad habit. We keep looking back. We focus too much on the past and not enough on what lies ahead. Whether it’s former successes, failures, obstacles; good times or bad times; sins or holy moments; we get trapped in the days gone by.


Jesus encounters three people who confess a desire to follow Him. But each one has their own reasons for not following through on what they said. One doesn’t believe trading present comfort for future glory will be worth it. Another fails to recognize the future impact they can make if they let go of past pain. The last is too focused on relationships they had established before they met Christ.


At the end of it all, Jesus says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Jesus’ reply may seem cold and calloused if we focus too much on the beginning of the sentence and miss the last few words.


We have been invited into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom where, when it is fully established, weeping will be replaced with joy. Pain will be replaced with comfort. Injustice will be replaced with equality. Hate will be replaced with love.


Being invited into the Kingdom is a beautiful thing. But, perhaps even more beautiful is the opportunity we have to draw others in with us. This is the point of Jesus’ statement. He’s trying to get us to see that the beauty lying before us is much greater than anything behind us. He knows if we take our eyes off the future and instead focus on the past, we will drift off course.


The invitation of Christ is an opportunity to break off your rear view mirrors and fix your eyes straight ahead; on the way, the truth, and the life.



  •  What elements of the past are you drawn too? Victories? Defeats?
  •  How can you better focus on what God has called you to?
  •  What emotions do Jesus’ words evoke in you? Why do you think that is?


*Devotional contributed by Paul Grodell