No Turning Back
By: Tom Norvell

Vol. 17 No. 15 | April 13, 2015

I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back.
No turning back.

Simple words to a simple song. I first sang those words as a freshman in college. As the years passed I would sing those words hundreds of times in devotionals, on retreats, during camp sessions, occasionally during a church assembly, and many times all alone in a car, in my study, or walking along a wooded path. These days when the song is mentioned it is usually in the context of “We used to sing this song.”

Repeating the words serves as a reminder of the inestimable importance of this decision. In times of temptation and struggle we remind ourselves: “I have decided to follow Jesus.” “I have decided to follow Jesus.” “I have decided to follow Jesus.” I can hear myself reminding myself: “I have decided to follow Jesus.” “I have decided to follow Jesus.” “I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Then, after being reminded of the decision made comes the reminder of the decision to be made: “No turning back. No turning back. I won’t turn back. I won’t turn back. I have decided to follow Jesus and I will not turn back.“

Jesus once told a story that emphasized how important the decision to follow Him is:

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62, NIV)

I suspect most of you reading these words have made the decision, to one degree or another, to follow Jesus. Congratulations on that decision! My prayer is that you are living the life to the fullest.

If you find yourself in difficult circumstances of temptation and struggles, take a moment and sing this simple little song as a reminder of your decision. “You have decided to follow Jesus. You have decided to follow Jesus. You have decided to follow Jesus.” Remind yourself of that decision. Remember the moment when you made that decision. Then, tell yourself: “No turning back. No turning back. I will not turn back!”

Say it one more time with meaning: “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.”


© Copyright 2015 Tom Norvell. All rights reserved.

* From About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England. As a result of this, many missionaries came from England and Germany to North-East India to spread the Gospel. At the time, north-east India was not divided into many states as it is today. The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes. The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive by nature. The tribals were also called head-hunters because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible. A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected. Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house. The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered. Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One Welsh missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity. Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:
"I have decided to follow Jesus. (3 times)No turning back, no turning back."
Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”
But the man sang these words in reply:
"Though no one joins me, still I will follow. (3 times) No turning back, no turning back."
The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”
In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:
"The cross before me, the world behind me. (3 times)No turning back, no turning back."
He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.”
In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

-Dr. P.P. Job and Indian preacher in His book “Why God Why”