|'Can you plow a strait furrow looking back?'
"No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Lk. 9:62-Kjv).
Whenever the plowman looks back to see where he has been he risks losing his 'line-of-plow' which can
result in a crooked furrow.(1) "As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, ... Don't look back,
and don't stop anywhere ... or you will be swept away!" (Gen. 19:17-Italics added). The emphasis here is once
God has brought you out of your 'past life' (e.g., your Egypt) you are not to look back as did Lot's wife ...
lamenting (bemoaning) over what she had left behind. "Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life
will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" (Lk. 17:32-33). The Father's plan for those He has given
to His Son is that they will be perfected, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into the likeness of Christ ...
"For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son ... And those He
predestined, He also called ..." (Rom. 8:29-30). Through God's amazing grace and the power of His Holy Spirit
working in your present and future walk with Him, He will further 'conform you into His likeness'. Our walk
with Christ is here and now. Jesus says, "Come". Don't look back or you will leave a crooked row behind!
One of the great obstacles to our 'Christlikeness' is our tendency to 'hang on' to our past. The past often
appears less unsafe (i.e., secure) than the unknown of the future. Scripture cautions us not to remember the
'flesh pots of Egypt' (see Exo. 16:3), but to completely trust in the plan God is progressively revealing for our
individual lives and calling. The apostle Paul instructed the Philippians, "... Forgetting what is behind and
straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13-14) "He forgot the things which were behind, so as not to be content
with past labors or present measures of grace".(2) In the past decade certain segments of the church have
allowed themselves to be caught between a staunch position of holding on to past glories and a frenzied
attempt to push the spiritual realm to open up new and revealing revelations. The glories of the past are to be
greatly remembered, yet they must not overshadow the present or future acts of God as He equips and
empowers the saints to gather in the end-time harvest. If we hold on to the past with one hand and reach for
the future with the other ... our grasp (faith) will never equal our calling. Christ said to Peter (Matt. 14:29)
"Come," He meant 'get out of the boat and come to me' ... not hold on to the gunwale and 'reach out' to Him.
When Christ says, "Come," we need to be free of all encumbrances (past and present), not looking back (e.g.,
for a safe place to which we can run), placing our hand on the 'plow of the harvest' and on the tiller of
discipleship training. If these two handles are firmly grasped, we will not have a free hand to go astray when
Christ calls each of us in that last hour (i.e., the remaining days). Christ is calling now to the Church "Come," do
not look back, and walk in My grace and power during these last days and hours. Are you ready, willing and
able (unencumbered) to answer His call? Is your church ready and willing to answer? He called Peter only once
to "Come"! The plowman can not determine if he is plowing a strait furrow when only looking at the
plowshare head, he must step back and look at the field as a whole. Ask others in the body-of-Christ to look
over your field of plowing (ministry and life) and give you a second opinion as to the straitness of your rows
(anointed spiritual feedback straitens many a crooked furrow)..
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
(1) (see Ryrie. note-Niv) (2) (see Phil. 3:12 - M. Henry. note)