Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

I don't know about any of you...but I love the song "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." It's such a simple song, but such a strong message. One of the main reasons why I have come to love it so much is mainly because I have heard the story behind it. It's always neat to hear the story behind songs...it gives them so much more meaning. Take "Amazing Grace" for example...the man who wrote it was a former slave ship captain who accepted Christ. He later became a minister, and wrote the song we all know today.

Anyway, when it comes to this song in particular, I didn't read it in a book, I heard it by word of mouth, from the very woman who may have known the man who wrote it. Allow me to explain...

In the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of High School, my church youth group went to work at a tiny camp in Northern Arkansas. We were working primarily as counselors, but it was such a small camp, that we did a lot more than that as well. Anyway...there was this old lady who was helping out that the camp. She was a retired Missionary to India.

One of the nights we sang "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." When we were done she stood up and told us the story behind the song. Apparently it was written by an Indian Prince, who of course was set up to become the next King of his tribe. He became a Christian, and he was forced to revoke the throne. He became just a regular man, and probably exiled by his family and tribe for becoming a Christian. What a testimony! It really explains the words to this song doesn't it?

I wanted to do some further study to see if I could find out any information about him, but I was only able to find his name. Most hymn books I have looked at either say "Unknown" or something like "Traditional Indian Hymn" in the author spot. Below I have posted the song with the authors name. I hope you can find new appreciation for this song because of this story!

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus
by: S. Sundar Singh

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

9 comments:

Leah said...

What a precious song! It is one of my favorites. Thank you so much for informing us on the history of this song. I love to hear the reason why an author wrote a song, then I can imagine what he went through and what moved him to write it. It makes it all the more sweet when I sing it.

Ana said...

I love this song ... it's always been a favorite. My mom used to sing it to me on nights when I couldn't get to sleep when I was little. It has wonderful words, too! Thanks for posting it!

Just a side note ... I'm Leah's older sister. :) Just so ya know. :)

Jason A. Hunsicker said...

Oh okay. That's cool!

nay nay said...

Great blog...my brother is in the Army...82nd Airborne. He's currently stationed in Iraq. I love hearing of guy's who still serve the Lord, even within the military. Praise the Lord!
I'll be reading more of your blog!
~Renee

Rebekah said...

Hello,
I found your blog on Renee's...
I was reading your profile isn't it funny how the Lord work's out our life's. My mama always says never say never!
Very good post,It's good to read about other's who want to serve the Lord!
Rebekah

God's Been Good said...

Jason, Great Blog! My sister (Rebekah) just told me about your blog! It is so exciting to find young Christians of like faith and convictions. I know what you mean about saying that you are not going to do something and then that very thing the Lord tells you to do! Last year, I told the Lord that I would never go to Bible College in CA but what do you think happened? I went for a semester. Then,I said that I was going to stay, but the Lord shut the door and led me back home...you can truly say that life is never boring being a Christian! But I love it! The Lord is truly good!

Jennifer

Jason A. Hunsicker said...

Wow, I meet one person and before I know it everyone they know is my friend now. This is great! I'm glad my blog has been a blessing to you all, and I hope and pray that it continues to be!

Tennyson Shedu said...

First of all thanks for your blog it is doing great. The man who wrote this song must have paid a great price. There is a little confusion about who exactly wrote this song. I am from India. Many people said so many things about who wrote this song. In my opinion, this song must have written by a man from Garo Tribe in North-East India. First converted man from their tribe. Why am saying this is the song itself has got tribal tune. Sadhu Sundar Singh, a man of God is an educated man had written 7 to 8 books I have also read his biography. He is not a tribal but from Punjab one of the major states in India from a well to do family. His prior religion was Sikh before his conversion. I did not come across in his book mentioning he wrote the song.
The author still unknown must be because tribal are uneducated before Christianity. They don’t know how to read or write. That is why nothing has been recorded. Heard that same man and his family (His wife and two children) were killed by their village chief because of their faith in Jesus.
Let me also share something a bit about Sadhu Sundar Singh’s work. During his days he established welfare home/s to help needy person to educate them or bring them up in the knowledge of Christ. I read from a piece of paper 5 years ago that his predecessors who head the welfare home/s are now saying Sadhu Sundar does not believe only Christ but various other Gods. So now they don’t’ stick to Christianity but other religion as well. What a sad state.

Tennyson Shedu said...

The formation of the word into hymn is attributed by Sadhu Sundar Singh.