I’m not Johnny Cash—But I Walk the Line

Line, image by Adobe SparkI desire to walk the line.

And, of course, you know I’m not the late Johnny Cash.

But I read the back story behind Johnny’s musical hit, I Walk the Line. As a newlywed, Cash wrote the lyrics as a promise of devotion to his wife. (Wikipedia.)

So what does walking the line have to do with you and me?

Walk the Line in Devotion

Mike, my husband, performs marriage ceremonies as an ordained minister. He even officiated our daughter Megan’s wedding.

During the vows, Mike mentioned our son-in-law’s favorite movie, I walk the Line, the life story of Johnny Cash. After a slight pause, my husband said these words to the groom, Tyler. “And that’s what I expect you to do—walk the line.”

You see, we invested years in our daughter’s life, devoted parents who wanted God’s best for her. So, now, we wanted the same devotion and sentiments from Tyler to Megan.

In the same way, God wants my total devotion and allegiance.

I desire to walk in the Lord’s ways, obey Him and become like Him. God calls me His betrothed and whispers in my heart: That’s what I expect you to do—walk the line. Not as a harsh master over you, but because I love you and I want what’s best for you. Walk devoted with Me through this life.

But to walk the line, I must die to myself in unadulterated surrender. It’s only in this place of death and the crucified life that I fully give myself to the Lord. A total devotion.

And I like how C. S. Lewis describes it. “Give up your self, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.”

Walk the Line in Jesus’ Name

When I was expecting our second child, our daughter Megan was three. We made the decision not to find out the baby’s gender before the birth. So, we prepared a nursery in gender neutral colors and discussed boy and girl names. One evening after bedtime stories, Megan said she wanted a baby brother named Sue or Susie.

Johnny Cash also had a hit song, A Boy Named Sue. My dad listened to songs by Cash when I was a little girl. I remember hearing A Boy Named Sue and I Walk the Line. By the way, I gave birth to a boy. But we named him Michael Caleb Friday.

Yet another boy in history was given a significant name. A boy named Jesus. And His name, while matchless and above all names, never headlined the music charts.

Walk the Line by Example

Jesus is our example of how it looks to give up self. When we look at the life and ministry of Christ, it’s a portrait that depicts giving of himself: time, attention, affection, teaching, healing, compassion, kindness and love.

Jesus gave up His own life on the cross for you and me. #blog #devotion Click To Tweet

And He’s invested in us with our best interest at heart. Christ exemplified unmitigated adoration to His heavenly Father. He walked the line of the Father’s plan. Jesus wanted God’s kingdom to be His kingdom. God’s agenda became His agenda.

Jesus released His will for the Father’s will to be done.

To follow #Jesus is to follow His example and walk the same way He walked. #blog Click To Tweet

“Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” 1 John 2:5-6 ESV. 

I desire to walk the line. But I’m not Johnny Cash. I’m a child of the King. I’m His beloved and He is mine.Line, photo mine, layout by Adobe Spark

Questions to Consider:

  1. Do I desire to walk the line committed to God’s will and kingdom in my life and on the earth?
  2. Am I daily walking in the same way Jesus walked?
  3. Does my heart beat with a pledge of devotion to God?

Which one of these areas comes more easily for you? Which one is more difficult? Tell us in the comments.

Top image and image designs courtesy of Adobe Spark.

Featured image and last image by Michael Caleb Friday.

© 2016 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved

Post part of these link ups: Salt & Light, Crystal Twadell/Fresh Market Friday, Crystal Storms/Heart Encouragement, Meg Gemelli/GRITupAndGoSuzanne Eller/Living Free.

September 7, 2017 at 10:14 am | Uncategorized

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Robin says:

Your title caught my eye! I also choose to walk the line as a Daughter of the King because “that is what He expects me to do – walk the line.” I love your words and thank you for sharing!

Karen says:

Thank you, Robin. And appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Glad you walk the line. Yay, for you! “Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” 1 John 2:5-6 ESV.

tessa stone says:

Johnny Cash was a good subject because many of his songs were about God. These days I desire to walk the line of God but there are so many forces trying to keep me from doing that. Even at night I have to remind myself to say a prayer before going to sleep because my mind is so heavy on my current affairs. That’s why we should always make time for Jesus so we can walk on that line as stable as possible.

Karen says:

Thanks for commenting, Tessa. Yes, the enemy uses all kinds of stuff to keep us from walking the line God has for us…to walk the way Christ walked on this earth, completely devoted to His Father. And your words are so true, to make time for Jesus gives us the strength to walk in Him. Blessings!

Meg Gemelli says:

I loved that movie. And yes, I do want to walk the line. The best I can do is try to fit my much smaller footprints into the hallows of Jesus’ much bigger trail left in the dust all those years ago. I fail and I flounder, just like Cash but in different ways. I’m committed though, for better or for worse:) He helps me stay on track every single day! Great post Karen.

Meg Gemelli says:

And on a more personal note…you’re a blessing to me Karen for joining the gathering each week. I just want to say thank you for your presence as GritUp is launched. I know that you’re aware of how hard new connections are via the web, and it warms me to feel your support. Your writing is God-breathed and I’m thankful that you’re sharing it with readers at the Pearl. Have a wonderful week!

Karen says:

Meg, thank you for your sweet and kind words. I’m blessed to read your weekly posts and participate in the link-up. And, yes, our heart’s desire is to walk the line with our heavenly Father. I love how you painted a wonderful picture of fitting our footprints into those of Christ. Amen!

Lesley says:

I love the link you made with the song! And I agree, I want to walk the line and follow in Jesus’ footsteps!

Karen says:

Thanks, Lesley. May we walk close to Christ and walk in the power of His truths. Appreciate your stopping by to comment. 🙂

Maree Dee says:

I love your post about walking the line. The phrase is catchy and easy to remember. In answer to your questions. Yes, I do desire to walk the line but come up short frequently.



Karen says:

Thank you, Maree Dee. And I hear you. We can all relate to falling short. But when we do, the grace of Jesus stands tall every time. May we walk the line with the strength of Christ.

Like Meg, I loved the movie. When we get married we must lay aside our selfishness and walk the line for each other, also out of devotion to God. Now that I’m a parent, and I want my children to make wise choices (walk the line well), I see that God wants the same for me because he loves me, not because he wants to punish me or make me miserable. You could write many great blog posts on this one topic, Karen!

Karen says:

Hey, Sarah. Thanks so much for your comment and your words. Such truth there. Devotion in the marriage relationship, with God, and as parents. There’s many wonderful truths weaved throughout the idea. And when we walk the line with God, it creates more power in walking the line in our other relationships.

Lureta says:

Karen, I so desire to walk the line reflecting the righteousness of God and seeking to live my life according to His plan and purpose for me.
Your post is beautiful and whenever I even think of Johnny Cash or hear his song I will think of this post!

Karen says:

Thank you so much, Lureta. I’m grateful the song, movie or Johnny himself will remind you of how God wants our undivided devotion in walking with Him. Oh, your words ring true! May we walk to display His righteousness in our lives following His purpose and plans. Blessings!

Hanha Hobson says:

Hi Karen, I absolutely loved reading this post especially the part about “I must die to myself in unadulterated surrender.” This is such a daily decision, and we grow so much closer to Christ and what He has for us when we live a life of surrender. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Karen says:

Thank you, Hanha. Yes, so true, it is a daily decision to walk with Christ in supreme devotion to Him above all. Oh, may we walk the line of carrying our cross every day, dying to ourselves, and following after Jesus with everything in us. Blessings!

Crystal says:

Love the title and your call to true and authentic devotion Karen!

Karen says:

Crystal, thank you. I pray this, “Whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” 1 John 2:5-6 ESV. Blessings!

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