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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.
Words: Haldor Lillenas (b. Nov. 19, 1885; d. Aug. 18, 1959)
Music: Haldor Lillenas
Note: In 1922, hymn writer Haldor Lillenas, who wrote about four thousand songs, gave us this one about his confidence in the Lord’s continuing presence.
Walking has long been used as a gentle, low-impact form of exercise. It strengthens the heart, lowers risk of disease, helps with weight loss, gives new energy, and releases feel-good endorphins which help to reduce stress and anxiety. Further, walking with others provides opportunities for friendly conversation, and encourages participants to be faithful in maintaining an exercise program.
The pressure of finding time in a busy schedule, or a lack of discipline on our part can hinder us from keeping it up. And winter weather in our Canadian climate certainly discourages walking. But city dwellers have found facilities such as malls where they can walk indoors.
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible uses forms of the word “walk” nearly four hundred times. Sometimes it’s speaking of physical walking, as when a couple returning to their home in the village of Emmaus were joined along the way by the risen Christ (Lk. 24:15, 17). Other times, the word is used in a symbolic sense to picture the believer’s earthly pilgrimage, as we walk with God. There’s a stirring and infectious spiritual about that.
Walk together children, don’t you get weary,
Walk together children, don’t you get weary;
O talk together children, don’t you get weary–
There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.
The Lord addresses the nation of Israel after they’d strayed from Him, asking, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Just as we can only enjoy one another’s company on a walk if we follow the same path, so, spiritually, we can only have fellowship with God when we go His way–since He will never accommodate Himself to walking the sinner’s way. (It’s interesting that the word “confess,” in First John 1:9, means literally to agree–i.e. agree with God about our sin. Confession is admission we’re going the wrong way, and want to adjust our walk to God’s way.)
In the New Testament, our word is used many times to describe the Christian life, a life of day by day, step by step, faith and obedience toward God. Just as, when we walk physically, we repeatedly obey a message from our brain to take a step, and we step out trusting that we’re going the right way, and in confidence that we can step safely, so it is in our spiritual walk. This is the focus of John Sammis’s fine gospel song Trust and Obey, which begins, “When we walk with the Lord…”
We are to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16). The Amplified Bible expands upon this in a helpful way: “Walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit, [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit].” This will involve walking by faith (Rom. 4:12; II Cor. 5:7), walking “properly”–i.e. behaving morally (Rom. 13:13), and walking in love (Eph. 5:2). We are to “walk in newness of life [in Christ]” (Rom. 6:4), and walk in a way that’s fitting for those God calls to Himself (Eph. 4:1). The Christian walk is described elsewhere as walking in the light (I Jn. 1:7).
Since earliest times, living with consistent faith in God, and living righteously, have been described as walking with God. For Adam and Eve, this seems to have included some kind of physical revelation of God’ s presence (Gen. 3:8), but most times it involves a spiritual awareness of His presence that significantly affects how we live our lives. Thus Enoch and Noah are said to have walked with God (Gen. 5:22; 6:9).
For His part, the Lord promises believers His presence with us. This is a special encouragement to those who face persecution and oppression because of their faith. “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5-6).
CH-1) Jesus will walk with me down through the valley,
Jesus will walk with me over the plain;
When in the shadow or when in the sunshine,
If He goes with me I shall not complain.
Jesus will walk with me,
He will talk with me;
He will walk with me;
In joy or in sorrow, today and tomorrow,
I know He will walk with me.
CH-2) Jesus will walk with me when I am tempted,
Giving me strength as my need may demand;
When in affliction His presence is near me,
I am upheld by His almighty hand.”
CH-4) Jesus will walk with me in life’s fair morning,
And when the shadows of evening must come;
Living or dying, He will not forsake me.
Jesus will walk with me all the way home.
1) What is your own experience of sensing the presence of the Lord with you?
2) How have you dealt with the situation when you have stumbled in your walk?