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January 22

Walk By Faith, Not By Sight: “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”

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Walk By Faith, Not By Sight: "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" 1

I am weak but thou art strong
Jesus, keep me from all wrong
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

…goes the first stanza of this three-minute-long traditional gospel song.

Just a Closer Walk With Thee

Obviously taken from an account in the Bible, Just a Closer Walk With Thee is a song will surely make you get down on your knees and reflect about life.

This song dates back to southern African-American churches of the nineteenth century. Although its precise author is unknown, circumstantial evidence strongly suggests it is even prior to the Civil War.

Some personal African-American histories recall “slaves singing as they worked in the fields a song about walking by the Lord’s side.”

Just a Closer Walk With Thee is perhaps the most frequently played number in the hymn and dirge section of traditional New Orleans jazz funerals. The title and lyrics of the song allude to the Biblical passage from 2 Corinthians 5:7, 12:9, and James 4:8.

Furthermore, this traditional gospel song has been covered by a lot of artists. Some of the notable recordings were performed by Patsy Cline and Jimmie Rodgers in 1960, Ella Fitzgerald in 1967, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash in 1969. Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn also performed the song in 1971 and 1972, respectively.

Moreover, modern versions of this song have also been recorded. These include Willie Nelson’s in 1996, Anne Murray’s in 1999, and Charley Pride’s and Randy Travis’ in 2006.

Reflection

In this world of sin and imperfection, we live an incomplete and meaningless life if it were not for the Lord.

The song lyrics were based on some famous verses in the Bible.

2 Corinthians 5:7 states,

“We walk by faith, not by sight.”

This verse tells us that we do not just rely on our eyes in order for us to walk. But with faith in the Lord, we can easily traverse any kind of path that comes our way no matter how hard it could be.

In the same book, 2 Corinthians 12:9 also states,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Our strength is not sufficient, but if we cling to the Lord, His grace and power will make us perfect through our weakness.

On the other hand, James 4:8 goes,

Come near to God, and He will come near to you.”

No one comes near to one if you do not do it first. If we draw ourselves closer to God, He will surely draw Himself to ours. As sinners, He will wash and purify our hearts and minds.

Walk By Faith, Not By Sight: "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" 2


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