But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plough and looking back, is it for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Judgement was inevitable for Jerusalem, and Jesus warned the believers to be ready (Matthew 24). In order to highlight the potential consequences of failure to heed his words, he warned, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). His point being: When fleeing the destruction wrought by judgement, “Don’t look Back!”
The specific reason that Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom is unknown to us. But what is clear is that she was employed as an object lesson for all who were yet to reject the reasons for God’s wrath; that being, willful sin!
Before becoming a Christian, the apostle Paul’s education, work, and reputation would have been the envy of most. But he counted them but rubbish so that he may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Jesus’ prohibition on “looking back” stops us from taking our focus off Jesus’ plan for our life in the church. A congregation full of hearts and minds distracted by victories and sorrows of the past cannot plough ahead in any meaningful direction.
Worse is the thought that we might still pine for the Sodom and Gomorrah we left behind. This is, of course, the supposed reason that Lot’s wife looked back to Sodom. The heart that will not accept sin’s ruinous effect on life and soul is the one that looks back unto destruction.
When we counted the cost of following Christ, we abandoned a life of comfort and compromise for the riches of God’s grace before us. This did not, however, render us ignorant of the devil’s schemes. We are ever aware of his efforts to recapture our souls—one backward glance at a time.
The Lord’s church will be forever stuck in the past if that is where we are looking.
Don’t look back!