There is a song I remember from the days of my youth that I still find running through my mind. The opening line goes, "I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back." Those were brave words for a young man in the early battles of life's struggles with Satan. They brought to mind shiny new uniforms and victorious battles — a hero of the Faith with medals of valor.
The second line was even more presumptuous. "Though none go with me, Yet will I follow. No turning back, no turning back." It never crossed my mind how lonely that boast might be. After all, if David could "Walk through the valley of the shadow of death" and "fear no evil," surely I could walk alone in the earthly shadows and be brave.
But, the years have passed and the battle is still engaged. The uniform is worn and tattered. While there are many scars from the wounds, there are no medals to attest to heroism. In fact there has been precious little to point to with pride. There have been days of glory, but also days of shame. Wonderful moments when the Spirit has helped me "soar on eagle's wings," and days of deep darkness and despair. I have come to understand the Psalms of King David much more clearly as he rides the roller coaster of the battle of life.
I find the words of decision no less true.
But, the song is still there ... and though ragged and scarred, I find the words of decision no less true. I have learned that with all my strength I am a pitiful mismatch for the forces of Satan, but I serve in the army of a King who has assured the victory! I long for the faith of Job to cry out, "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him"
(Job 13:15), but I find "O God, be merciful to me a sinner"
(Luke 18:13), much more appropriate. Still, the song hasn't gone away, "I have decided to follow Jesus! ... No turning back, no turning!"