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"Wherever He Leads I’ll Go."

Updated: Aug 30, 2021




A Hymn.

Written and Composed by Rev. B.B. Mckinney in 1936.


"Take up thy cross and follow Me," I heard my Master say; "I gave My life to ransom thee, Surrender your all today."

Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go, I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.


He drew me closer to His side, I sought His will to know, And in that will I now abide, Wherever He leads I'll go.

Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go, I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.


It may be thru' the shadows dim, Or o'er the stormy sea, I take my cross and follow Him, Wherever He leadeth me.

Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go,I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.


My heart, my life, my all I bring To Christ who loves me so; He is my Master, Lord, and King, Wherever He leads I'll go.

Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go, I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.



We sang this hymn together as a Church this past Sunday. It was a sweet time, and a sweet confession to make together as a gathered body of Christ Jesus. It is an appropriate confession for any body of Christ at any time.


A few thoughts from some of the hymn’s lyrics…


The song begins with a summons:


“Take up thy cross and follow Me," I heard my Master say; "I gave My life to ransom thee, Surrender your all today."


This is the story of the gospel. Jesus did not come for a group of people who already loved Him. He did not give His life for a group of people who were already following Him. On the contrary, the apostle Paul tells us, “...but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).


The call to follow Christ is not extended because I was a good person, or because I was already earning Jesus’ good favor. Jesus summons us to follow Him on the basis of what Has already done! The call to follow is a call to find true life in the only source of life.


  • Many who face the call to take up their cross and follow Jesus are unwilling to do so. They cannot see life in taking up a cross. So they turn away and seek life elsewhere. But, the hymn leads us to the words of Peter in John 6:66-68,


  • “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.”


What is the proper response to Jesus’ sacrifice and summons to follow? The hymn instructs us…


“Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go, I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.”


Not only is this a good and right confession, but it is an appropriate and instructive confession for the gathered body of Christ to make together. We sing it aloud, standing side by side, our voices raised, saying together, “Wherever He leads, the One Who died, sacrificed Himself for us, wherever He leads, we’ll go!”


A final thought for this post…


The fourth verse reads,


“My heart, my life, my all I bring To Christ who loves me so; He is my Master, Lord, and King, Wherever He leads I'll go.”


This is a challenging lyric to sing. Is it true of you? We can sometimes sing things that we don’t truly mean. Can you sing this and mean it?


My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ.” The implication is that all of it is to be laid at the feet of Jesus...sacrificed for whatever He might have for us. We hear in these lyrics Jesus’ words from Matthew 16:24-25,


  • Then Jesus told his disciples,“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”


The call to follow Jesus is a call to come and die. The hymn reminds us that there is nothing in this life, nor in this world that is worth having more than Jesus. One of my heroes of the faith, Dietrich Bonhoeffer once stated, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”


  • Jesus will never lead us down a bad path. He will never act cruelly toward His Children (Mt. 7:11). He will never strip away something without replacing it 100 fold. Jesus says, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My Name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.


So, is it safe to sing and pray, “My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ”? No and yes. No, it's not safe to sing it and mean it if you truly love the world. Jesus is faithful to strip away those things which hinder us and stunt our faith. He is faithful to bring us to the point of seeing our desperate need for Him above all else.


  • But, yes, it is entirely safe to sing and pray, for as Jesus strips away our worldly loves and lusts, He replaces those shallow loves with a true desire that only He can fulfill. He replaces cheap love with true love.


So, what's the right response? The hymn instructs us again, and together we say…


Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go, I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.


What a song! What a reminder! What a sweet treasure to sing such deep, abiding truths together with the gathered body of Jesus Christ.


-Amen.

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