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Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #5”

Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God. — JC Luke 9:62(NLT)

Have you ever been on a farm? Driven a tractor and plow? I grew up on a farm in Kansas. This passage has very little to do with farming. Jesus was a carpenter, not a plow farmer. I’m guessing that Jesus might have known that the man who made him give this answer was a plow farmer. Jesus was good at knowing who people were, what they were thinking and He always had answers that really caught His audience off guard. (He did have an advantage…He is the Creator or all things) The Bible says that God knows our thoughts before we even think them! That’s Jesus! Wouldn’t that be an incredible advantage in a Presidential Debate. To know your opponents thoughts before he/she even thinks them? How fun! If you can’t relate to being in a presidential debate….then….can you imagine the advantage you would have if you knew your spouses thoughts before they even thought them? Now that would be even better! LOL.

So what did Jesus mean as He tweeted this statement for all his followers to think about?

I could give the simple answers. Simple answers are still good answers. The simple answers would be about how Jesus had other references recorded in the Scriptures where He says, “Don’t build a house unless you’ve counted the cost as to whether or not you can afford it.” Or, “What King would go to war without first counting the cost to determine his chances of actually winning.” (Not exact quotes, but close enough for this purpose.) Those statements from Jesus could be compared to putting a hand on the plow and looking back or not looking back.

Is this what Jesus was referring to with this guy as he refers to plowing and looking back? I don’t think so.

I think Jesus is making a major statement here about WHO He is. In Jesus’ day, He had to argue/talk/teach/debate with so many people. Most of these people would have had a very strong knowledge of the Old Testament times and people. What I am saying in making this point is this….I think the guy whom Jesus encountered, that made Him tweet the statement that I write this blog about, would have known many of the stories in the Old Testament. There is a story recorded in 1 Kings19:19-21 that is about plowing. My version of the story goes like this…

Elijah was getting old and was needing to prepare to retire. If Elijah needed to retire soon then he needed to find the man who would replace Him. God had already chosen this person…his name is Elisha. Yes…EliJAH was to be replaced by EliSHA. According to the Bible story in 1 Kings Elijah finally comes across Elisha. Elisha is out Plowing in a field. Elijah takes off his coat and places it over the shoulders of Elisha. This is a sign to Elisha that Elijah wants him to be his attendant and future successor. This is an important thing! Elijah would have been well known. I suppose it would be like your favorite celebrity walking up to you and asking you to be his/her successor when they die. Pretty cool right?

Well…Elisha…accepts the offer…but says he wants to go home and say goodbye to his mother and father first. Elijah says, “go-ahead.” Elisha knew that Elijah was important, but other pressing things needed to be done first…Elijah wasn’t SO important that everything else needed to be left behind to follow him. Its saying that Elijah is important, but not THAT important. We don’t get much more of the story or how Elisha said goodbye to his parents. We do know that Elisha did replace Elijah when he left this earth.

What I’m trying to say in this blog is this. When Jesus told the guy, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God,” He was making a very strong point about Himself.

Everybody in Jesus’ day knew who Elijah was! He was the great one. Elijah is so famous because according to the Scriptures, Elijah never died. He was so pleasing to God that God just took Him from the earth. The Bible records the story of how this happened. Its full of what we would call Science Fiction today. Flaming Chariot coming out of the Heavens…Elijah jumping on and being taken to Heaven. It would make a cool movie. I suppose in today’s time all the Alien lovers would call it an “Alien Abduction.” But it was just God taking care of business! (You can read this full story in the book of 2 Kings Chapter 2 in the Bible)

Back to what I’m trying to make a point about. I think this Plow Farmer knew the story of Elijah and how important of a Bible Prophet he was. Elijah was a great-great man of God yet Elisha didn’t follow him immediately but first went home to do a few things. In the story of Elisha being asked to follow Elijah….Elisha commits to follow (Put his hand to the plow)….BUT first he went home to take care of a little other business.(Looked back)

So….I think when Jesus says…”Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, He is saying…Elijah was great…but not so great that Elisha dropped everything….sacrificed everything….to follow him. Jesus was saying….Elijah was great….but I AM the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the forgiver of all sins, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the final authority and Judge, I AM THE PLOW! If you say you are going to follow me….then NO LOOKING BACK! Step up and let’s go…NOW…there is nobody greater to follow…there is nothing that even compares to how important I am that you should first take care of before following me.”

Get it?

Maybe this is a better way to explain it. By Elisha committing to follow Elijah, BUT first running home to tell mommy and daddy…He had a “BUT” Moment.

Are you doing this with Jesus?

Are you saying to Jesus, “Yes Jesus, I am giving my life to you….BUT…do I really have to change that much?” OR “Yes Jesus….BUT…do you really want me to forgive that person who hurt me?” OR “Yes Jesus….BUT…do you really want me to tithe?” OR “Yes Jesus…BUT…I don’t need to commit to a church family right?” OR “Yes Jesus I accept the forgiveness of my sins…BUT…I just can’t really stop gossiping.” OR “Yes Jesus, I want to read the Bible everyday…BUT…” “I want to give up Porn….BUT.” “I want to stop being prideful….BUT.” “I want to be a better ______________ for Jesus …BUT.”

Do you see what I’m trying to say?

I’m saying….DON”T BE A “BUT!”

Don’t say you are a follower of Jesus and then have all these “BUT” arguments. Christianity has too many “BUTs” in it already. What Jesus wants is a faithful follower of His ways at all costs! No looking back.

Are you really a follower of Jesus Christ?
What has changed in your life since you chose to “put your hand to the plow?”
Do you have any”Buts?” What are they?

Write the “Buts” down and begin kicking them!

Be aware of the very last part of Jesus’ tweet. Jesus says, “Not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

That’s Heaven. To not be fit for the Kingdom of God means that you do not go to Heaven and you do go to Hell.
We’re talking eternity here! Don’t mess with this stuff. Is your “But” really that important to you?

So I ask you now…. ‘What is it that you “Can’t” do or give up for Jesus Christ?

You and I know what Jesus did for us. He gave His whole life.

If you and I say, “I can’t.” It really means we don’t want to.
You can!
It will be worth it.
If you’ve put “your hand to the plow,”…then plow on!
There is nothing in your life worth “looking back” on…or going back to.
Plow on.

How can I help you?


“What should I do God?”

What’s your dream? Don’t hold me to this, but I think the very last scene in the movie “Pretty Woman,” there is a homeless man crossing the street moderately shouting out as he passes by, “What’s your dream!?”

Have you really answered that question for yourself?

What’s your dream?

Makes me wonder, right now, what’s going on inside your brain as I cause you to think about your dream/goals/vision/plan? Are you the type A person right now just thinking to yourself… “Ya…Ya…I’ve got my dreams…come on Renner…get to the point.” Or are you someone who has been bashed by life’s circumstances just enough that you have become cynical and you don’t believe your dreams are possible for you anymore and you’ve given up on “childish” dreams?

I saw this picture the other day on a friend’s website. Its a street corner in Anthem AZ. "The Ultimate Crossroads."
I’m giving a testimonial for just 10 minutes at a Church Service in Anthem this weekend and when I’m up there I want to find this street corner and take a family picture in front of this sign. This sign on that street corner is truly a crossroads that everyone of us face, sometimes daily, in our lives.

How do you decide which way to go? I’ve just closed down an era of my life of being a Sr. Pastor for more than 14 years straight. I’ve been a preacher, preaching nearly every weekend for 20 years now. But now what? I’m staring the next 20 years of my life in the face and its blurry. I can’t get a good look into what its going to look like. And here’s the deal. I think God likes it that way. Does that make Him cruel? No. Maybe I’m too playful…I like to think its a form of the game called “Blindfold.” You’ve played it, right? Where one person puts on the blindfold and has to trust the directions of the teammate and hope not to be led into a wall or hit their Shin bone on a coffee table or fall off a cliff. If God is our guide and He chooses to “blindfold” us…aren’t we still in great hands that we can trust?

I have found that I am more of a control freak than I thought. And I’m actually deeply laid back. If I’m not liking my future being out of focus, then I’m pretty convinced you, maybe not as laid back as me, really don’t like it when your future is out of focus.

So…here’s what I know God says about all this. First look at this passage in Proverbs 16:9 “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (NLT) The NASB version says, “The mind of man prepares the way, but the Lord determines his steps.”

That verse makes me squirm a bit. It makes me think of another game. Tug-O-War…but…Tug-O-War against God. And He’s bigger than me. I love Tug-O-War, but only when I win!

So when we’re at the crossroads of Vision and Opportunity Way…what shall we do? Is this Tug-O-War time? Or…Blindfold time?

I think the answer is found in one Story of the Bible. Its in the Book of Exodus. The key part of the story is in Exodus 14:15. Its up to this point that the Israelites have been led out of Egypt and have found themselves at a dead end. The name of the place is Baal-Zephon, which is literally translated, “God’s Cul-de-sac.” Sounds like a crossroads. A crossroads for so many can be a dead end because the choice to go left or right is too overwhelming so they freeze up and quit. Dead End. Many will fall to their knees and spend hours on end praying about which way they should go and they get frustrated when God doesn’t seem to answer. So…they pray more and nothing ever moves forward. Just lots of prayer. Prayer is good, but prayer only is tragic. Faith is Action. Forward movement. So in the passage I refer to above…God says, “Why are your praying right now.” (Not exact translation, but same thing…agree?)

I think God is saying…”You know me…I’ve earned your trust…I’ve shown you how to live…get off your knees this time and let’s practice praying without words…pray with your actions…I got your back.”

Isn’t it fair for me to say that at this point in the story of Moses…that Moses had already been told how to live and what to do by God? The answer is yes. (God gave Moses clarity at the Burning Bush.)

At this point, Moses found himself in a scary moment and he froze in his tracks and he did only what he knew to do. Pray and cry out to God. And…God told him to “knock it off and get going..just do what I told you to do when I met with you at the burning bush.” (TRVB…Trent Renner Version Bible LOL)

So Moses got up…shook the dust off his robe and held his staff high and put one foot in the Red Sea and experienced an unprecedented miracle.

So…here’s my challenge to you. What do you continually pray about but there seems to be no answer? Maybe God is saying…just move. Maybe God is saying to you…”Pick Opportunity or pick Vision. They both end up in a good place.”

Is it possible that God is not concerned as much as you think about what House you live in, who you marry, what job you do, what car you drive, etc?

And with some things people pray about…give me a break.
Do you really have to pray about leaving your spouse?
Do you really have to pray about cheating on your taxes?
Do you really have to pray about beating that guy up?

God has told us how to live in the Scriptures. We have a perfect road map(Bible) that God laid out in detail about how to arrive at one of two final destinations. Heaven…Hell.

The crossroads and fork in the roads and Cul-De-Sacs, and Dead-Ends are all part of the incredible journey to our final destinations.

What we should be praying about is our behavior, our heart, our thoughts, our purity, our integrity and character, our influence, etc.

When we get those issues worked out and we have our lives spiritually going the way God would have them going…THEN…when we arrive at the corner of Vision and Opportunity…does it really matter to God which way we turn and move forward as a person who is blindfolded and being led by the greatest leader of all time past, present and future?

So which will it be for you this time?
Vision or Opportunity?
Those are great choices!

Pick and then step forward in Trust.
It really will be okay…even if it doesn’t turn out like you think it would.

Trent


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