Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Never Wanted To Follow Jesus

There is a song that I remember hearing as a kid called "I have decided to follow Jesus." It's a slower song that is supposed to be worshipful. In the first verse, the phrase "I have decided to follow Jesus" is repeated a few times, followed by "no turning back, no turning back." This video might jog your memory.

I was reminded about the song a couple of years ago when I heard the tune again from Red Mountain Church. The melody was the same, but the lyrics were changed. In her incredible voice, Ashley Spurling simply says "I never wanted to follow Jesus...He rescued me."

I'm very glad Red Mountain redid the song and corrected the lyrics. I'm not sure how the original lyrics were ever meant to be a worship song. The truth is no one desires to follow Christ. We were enemies of God and hated Him until He gave us new hearts to accept the free offer of redemption. The response to this glorious truth is not "I have decided to follow Jesus", a statement of self-determination. That isn't worship.

This is:

Update: My friend Evan relayed the back story behind the writing of the original song. It can be found here. In the context that the song was written, I now see the justification for the use of the line "I have decided to follow Jesus." So, I apologize for posting without knowing the context.

The truth is we do make decisions daily to follow Christ rather than the world. And a newly converted person can declare "I have decided to follow Jesus." But this post is still a plea for these declarations to be rooted in the knowledge of the sovereign decision of God to allow us to make these choices. Dead heart => made alive => respond with repentance and faith => worship God for His grace.


  1. i like that new version, first heard about it in Carol Pope's testimony. I agree, doesn't seem worshipful when it's all about me.

  2. also, you spend a lot of time on ""? a bit concerning, David.....

  3. Hi David

    I know it's a long time since the original post, but I only recently downloaded the album from eMusic, and heard "I never wanted". What I thought was wonderfully significant, was that it is followed on the album , almost seamlessly, by Ashley singing 'My Jesus I love Thee'. We love him, because he first loved us.

    PS - pity you've left Alpharetta. My daughter plays in an orchestra who are touring the East Coast this summer - they are playing a concert in Alpharetta - she plays fiddle, and also is the tour vocal soloist!