Are You “Fit for Service in the Kingdom of God?”

In the 9th chapter of his account of the Gospel, Luke records several men giving excuses as to why they can’t commit 100% to following Jesus as His disciple right away:
 
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’
 
Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’
 
He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’
 
But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’
 
Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’
 
Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’
 
Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God'” (Luke 9:57-62).
 
To understand the gravity of what is going on, imagine standing face to face with God Himself and saying, “I don’t feel the current conditions are exactly right for me to be able to do what you are asking me to do God, so maybe later…”
 
How do you think God feels about His creations telling Him that the conditions are not correct at this time for them to do what He created them to do; so instead they are going to go do something else for awhile; and then they might get back to Him later?
 
In reality, to do so is to questioning the omnipotence, the omniscience, and goodness of God by saying; “God, either you don’t understand what’s going on in my life right now, or you are unable to create the right conditions in my life right now, or you don’t really care enough about me to fix my circumstances right now…”
 
It’s a miracle He doesn’t strike us all dead.
 
As a result of the things I tend to say, I get to hear a lot of excuses as to why people can’t commit 100%, right now, to following Jesus as His disciple and/or making disciples of Jesus.
 
Of course, I am aware of the fact that I am not God, so people making those excuses to my face really doesn’t carry as much gravity as it does if they made them face to face with Jesus.
 
But, what I have a problem with, is when the person or persons I am speaking with are supposedly committed believers, or worse yet, church leaders or pastors.
 
Because, by claiming to be such, they place themselves face to face with God when they make excuses as to why they can’t commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus right now. If I do my job and clearly present the Scriptures (which they claim to believe), along with a logical argument which supports the premise that we exist for the sole reason of bringing glory to God by being disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus (see the verses and argument here); then when they make excuses as to why they can’t commit 100% right away; it is no different than if they made those excuses directly to the face of God Himself.
 
And as stated, I have gotten to hear a lot of different excuses as to why people can’t commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus right now over the last few years. But usually, many of those excuses have something to do with what someone else will think or do if they commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus. This is the same as in Luke’s account where the men have to first say good-bye to their family, or take care of their dying parent, before they can commit 100% to following Jesus.
 
They simply don’t want to upset anyone.
 
In fact this is probably the most common type of excuse I have heard:
 
It will upset my spouse…
 
It will upset the children…
 
It will upset my parents…
 
It will upset the church…
 
That last excuse is the one I hear the most often from church leaders and pastors. They are afraid that committing 100% to leading their church to be and make disciples of Jesus will upset too many people and tear their church apart. In their mind, maintaining the existence of their church (or their job, or their position) is more important than doing what God said to do right now.
 
But again, in reality they are questioning God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and goodness by implying that He either does not understand what’s going on in their church right now, or He is unable to create the right conditions in the life of the church right now, or He doesn’t really care enough for their church to create the conditions that are needed.
 
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what is going on in your life right now or what is going on in the life of your church.
 
You and your church exist for the single purpose of bringing glory to God by being and making disciples of Jesus. No excuses.
 
If it upsets people, then it upsets people.
 
If it tears the church in half, then it tears the church in half.
 
And here’s why I personally don’t have any sympathy for your excuses…
 
My wife has a disability
 
My children have disabilities.
 
I work a full-time night-shift job while I am planting a church.
 
I walked away from my home church, family, and friends to be able to commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus.
 
I walked away from being employed full-time as a pastor so I could commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus.
 
And I know for a fact that it upsets people.
 
But I do it because I cannot look Jesus in the eye and say, “You don’t understand what is going on in my life right now Jesus; You haven’t created the right conditions for me to do this Jesus; You don’t care enough for me to do what I need You do Jesus.”
 
Notice what Jesus says to those who make excuses as to why they can’t commit 100% to being and making disciples of Him:
 
“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
 
What is it that they take their hand off the plow to look back at?
 
In the context of the previous verses, one answer is the people that they will upset by committing 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus.
 
But again, looking back at those people makes the one holding the plow unfit for service in the kingdom of God!
 
When asked to commit 100% to being and making disciples of Jesus; what is the first thing you think of?
 
Is it the people that you will potentially upset by doing so?
 
According to Jesus, if that stops you from committing 100%, right now, to being and making disciples of Jesus; or if you are a pastor or church leader, from leading your church to be and make disciples of Jesus; then you are not fit for service in the kingdom of God!
 
His words, not mine!
 
And you are face to face with Him, not me!
 
 
For more information on how to be and make disciples of Jesus in our culture and context start here:
 
 
 
 
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash