Am I still allowed to long for the old hymns while appreciating and enjoying the new?

God willing will preach on Psalm 120 tomorrow; it is the first song in a book of pilgrimage songs (120 – 134.) Hearing a sermon on Psalm 121 that touched my heart in many good ways sparked off my initial feeling of being drawn to it for this Sunday Evening. Interestingly after thinking it all through and  jotting down my thoughts a few days ago, my bible reading notes based  thoughts for today and indeed for the coming days as well on Psalm 120!  It is great when God gives that type of confirmation. I need it at this time more than you might understand or think worthy!


Not sure the hymn quoted below is sung much these days, but when it was, in my own experience, there always seemed to be a power that rested upon it’s very simple and almost naive sounding words and tune.  Sometimes I find I have to go back to older hymns to find a note of yearning that fits the cry of my heart. I don’t do so out of simple nostalgia. Rather, I have found that God honours such cries.


“Is this not a bit old fashioned to be quoting this type of hymn at this time of the day?” Perhaps. To be honest I don’t expect this post will set a new trend for singing it anywhere. It would not be considered a very suitable missional tool for sure! It is not in fashion in content or in melody and I would hate to see it suffer the fate of other great hymns which these days are lazily set to new tunes which destroy the original anointing – thinking we are making something better is really a pride that God cannot bless. Oh, ok, a bit extreme there! I will concede that such reworking works occasionally in an outstanding way – probably humility somewhere is the reason for that – but it is usually a disaster that people pretend to enjoy more than the version they are more used to singing. Anyway, as C.S. Lewis would probably say, “What on earth has the time of the day got to do with anything?”

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Lord, lift me up, and let me stand
By faith on Canaan’s tableland;
A higher plane than I have found,
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till rest I’ve found,
“Lord, lead me on to higher ground.”


Are our hearts set on pilgrimage from where you now are to where God’s Spirit within you beckons? “Happy are the people whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84 verse 5).”

God bless you and God bless His church with a fresh heart longing for Him!


One comment on “Am I still allowed to long for the old hymns while appreciating and enjoying the new?

  1. judithjamesdavies says:

    I have a favourite hymn that I often sing to the Lord . Otherwise I only ever hear it at funerals ……its ” I need thee every hour “. Sums it all up for me


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