I Shall Not Be Moved

Maybe you have helped someone use several ropes or straps to thoroughly secure cargo to a car top or trailer and, while pulling the last strap tight, you heard the person say, “There, that’s not going anywhere”. You might have thought “That’s not good — it needs to go to the other side of town.” I know, language can be difficult. I trust this song “I Shall Not Be Moved” does not confuse any of us who actually DO want to move for the Lord. Please give the song a sing-along listen and then we’ll dig into some moving thoughts.

Be unmovable

We find this exhortation in I Corinthians 15 — “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Clearly in this verse to be “unmovable” does NOT mean we should be obstinate or immobile. We are not supposed to “quit moving”. If we stopped moving, how could we abound in the work? We can see “unmovable” here means “steadfast, unshakeable and resolute”.

Notice two words in that verse that direct our attention to more information on “unmovable” — “therefore” and “forasmuch”.

Therefore connects what follows with what comes before. Read all of 1 Corinthians 15 leading up to this verse and see it is about life to come, Christ’s return, dead in Christ getting up, resurrection — all big, big stuff that is still future. In light of what is coming, we stay put with the Lord. We are unmovable.

Forasmuch also connects what follows with what comes before. Here, while we are being steadfast and unmovable in the Lord, we are “always abounding in the work of the Lord” forasmuch — or because — we know our labor is “not in vain in the Lord”. Work we do “in the Lord” has benefit, not only now but also extending into the rest of everlasting life. Here Paul says “You know” this. If we didn’t know it before, we do know it now. Because of the life to come and benefits both now and then, we have a LOT of reasons to be steadfast and always abounding in the work of the Lord right now.

The Lord makes our lives meaningful.

Tree planted by waters

Here are two wonderful quotes from the Bible that teach using the picture of a tree by water:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)

It is easy to think of these verses when singing this song.

Jesus came that we could have abundant life, free of fear, anxiety and want, much like a tree planted by streams of good water.

Thinking of moving?

John 6 records:
Jesus feeding the five thousand
Jesus walking on water
Jesus challenging the multitude’s motive for following him (they got a free meal)
Jesus declaring that he is the bread of life
Jesus preaching on the resurrection to come
Jesus spelling out the need to believe that he was sent from God

This is a packed chapter of the Bible — and there is more. Near the end of John 6 we learn many that heard Jesus argued among themselves about who he was and what his words meant. Many decided his words were too hard, and many of his disciples quit walking with him. At that point we read this exchange between Jesus and the twelve: “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away?”

Can you blame Jesus for asking the twelve if they were thinking of moving?

How would I have answered? I’m sure I’m not the only one reading this who wants to think we would have remained with Jesus and not left. I don’t know if I would have had an answer prepared like this one Peter offered:

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

“To whom shall we go?” Peter gave a fair answer. Only a little earlier some had been following a man named John but moved to another spiritual leader — Jesus. Might another move be in their future? Peter’s answer rings loudly: “You have the words of eternal life. We believe you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Earlier in John 6, Jesus had said, “This is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus said it. Peter heard and believed. Like Peter, we, too, can hear and believe — we can take Jesus at his word.

The Lord is moving. Let’s strap ourselves onto Him and be unmovable in our resolve to MOVE WITH HIM.

God bless you lots,
Dale R.


Get hi-res version of this sheet from The Music Box

LYRICS: I Shall Not Be Moved
African American spiritual

1. On my way to Heaven, I shall not be moved,
On my way to Heaven, I shall not be moved
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.

Refrain:
I shall not be, I shall not be moved (NO!),
I shall not be, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that’s planted by the (living) waters,
I shall not be moved.

2. Trusting in the Savior, I shall not be moved,
Trusting in the Savior, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.

3 Jesus is our captain, I shall not be moved,
Jesus is our captain, I shall not be moved;
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters,
I shall not be moved.

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What keeps you in the saddle?

Share a tip to help people stand and not be moved. A favorite verse? An experience? Why are you as unmovable as you are? God is doing great things right now. Let’s encourage each other to remain rock solid and be part of the best days ever. Please share your thoughts on how to be steadfast and unmovable.

4 Replies to “I Shall Not Be Moved”

  1. Julia M Witchard

    Good evening mr dale and Cathy… blessing 🙏 upon blessings 🙏, goes out to u both.. what an amazing sermon… “I SHALL NOT BE MOVED”.. ” I would like to say..” MOVED WHERE” ………….I don’t want to be anywhere that my. FATHER JESUS DON’T WANT TO BE… do u know why mr dale… BECAUSE HE IS MY LIFE…A Life Without OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS NO Life At All…awesome Song also…I shall be planted by water…I also like when u hit that high note”NO”…I shall not be moved.. .. Mr dale, just think, if we were planted not just by the water, but in the water… how unstoppable we would be.. seems like u were really enjoying that tune..that was awesome..don’t ever stop running for. ” OUR FATHER JESUS” .. JUST KEEP RUNNING 🏃‍♂️ until u run right into “HIS LOVING ARMS” “ARMS WIDE OPEN..” GRACE AND MERCY Mr Dale Shall follow u and Cathy All the days of ya’ll life..as long as u both don’t move..and if u did..keep moving for” OURFATHERJESUS…BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS 🙏 GOES OUT TO THE BOTH OF U… MUCH BLESSINGS 💘…

    Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Julia, thanks for your note and blessings. This song packs such a powerful message. Thank you for adding to it! God bless you lots – Dale R.

      Reply
  2. Cathy

    Dale, You are unmovable in your commitment to share the truths of God’s Word to people who love fun and meaningful songs! Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Dale Reichel Post author

      Cathy, Thanks much for your note. I think God has fun and we should too … when we are seeking Him and doing what He asks. Jesus is a wonderful savior! God bless you lots – D

      Reply

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