Have you ever thought to yourself during worship at church, “I don’t believe that!” It happens to me every so often when during worship we sing songs that have lyrics that either don’t apply to me (meaning it’s for the artist) or they simply are not right. Let me explain:
Exhibit 1- Newsboys: It is You
As much as I love this song by the Newsboys, the song It is You, has a line in its chorus that I think needs to be changed. Instead of the church singing “Will you meet us here,” we should be singing, “You will meet us here.” The church today does far too much asking and not enough declaring what has already been given to us as a gift from God. God has already promised in scripture that he would meet us when two or more are gathered in his name (Matt 18:20), so why are we asking if He’ll meet us now? We should declare that He will meet us. Perhaps if we did more declaring instead of asking, our mountains would finally be moved.
Exhibit 2- Matt Redman: Heart of Worship
Unlike the first and third example in this list, The Heart of Worship by Matt Redman, is again, a fabulous song, but it’s personal and in my opinion not meant for the corporate church. Why does the church sing a song that goes like this:
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus
I’m sorry, why am I repenting in this song? How have I “made it” that I must corporately apologize to God? Given that I have never led worship, I do not feel this song applies to me in the first place, nor can I identify with how such a role might corrupt my walk with God through self exaltation, which seems to be implied here. Because of the personal nature of this song, I feel strongly that it should not be sung corporately.
Exhibit 3- Deluge: Open Up the Sky
This is, again, a totally anointed worship song so I must start by clearly adding that disclaimer up front. However, there is one line that I don’t like. The lyrics read:
Open up the sky, fall down like rain
We don’t want blessings, We want You
Open up the sky, fall down like fire
We don’t want anything but You
I fully understand the heart behind this particular worship song, and while I am thankful that we are declaring something, I’m discouraged that we are declaring the wrong thing. Why do we declare that we don’t want blessings for God? Why aren’t we declaring that we want God’s blessings, which again, is something that He already promised to us? After all, blessings from our Father in heaven and a close intimate relationship with Him are not mutually exclusive in the world of our Lord. The confusing thing to me is that the heart behind the rest of the song seems to be all about blessings being poured out from heaven. I find it oddly conflicting then, that Deluge writes, “We don’t want your blessings” when the rest of the song seems so eloquently express the opposite.
Exhibit 4 – Jared Anderson: Ready Now
Perhaps the most egregious example I found was Jared Anderson’s Ready Now. This song in particular is offensive to me. As my wife said, it must have been written by someone very young in the Lord. When I hear the world say, God thinks we’re wicked, I want to jump out of my seat and correct the record about God’s nature. That’s why it came as such a surprise to me when we started singing a song by Jared Anderson called Ready Now that says “I know that I’m wicked in Your eyes. God does not think we’re wicked. I am covered with the blood of Christ. His sacrifice for me on the cross gives me FULL access to the Lord. Matthew 3:16 says, “God so LOVED the world that he gave his only son.” If that scripture is true then clearly the Lord doesn’t even think that about the unsaved. So it begs the question how are we “wicked in his sight?” When the Lord looks at me, does he see my purity because my sins are covered by the blood or wickedness? Or said another way, “the future me,” that even I don’t embrace until I have come into fullness, is what the Lord sees? To say we’re wicked, in my opinion, is just flat out wrong and every church should permanently purge this song from its worship program!
Lyrics from Jared Anderson’s Ready Now:
I feel like a blind man in Your sight
I know that I’m wicked in Your eyes
So wash me and make me shine like Your Son
I want to tell everyone that You’re the only one
The Church today is being careless in the words it writes into worship songs and chooses to sing corporately. Words do matter. What we declare as a church is important and it seems to suggest here that we don’t God’s blessings or want to believe that God thinks we’re wicked in his eyes. UGH! I hate that song for that message! That is NOT the heart of God. Is that what we really mean? Do we really mean to tell a new believer, “Ah, you don’t want God’s blessings” or “God thinks you’re wicked, dude.”
When our churches begin to grow, is that one of these so called “blessing” we are choosing to defer? How about the blessing of good health? I’ve known sick people in my time, but I’ve never heard anyone want to reject that. Perhaps a nice home, a season of financial favor, or a covering and protection for our children is a blessing we could do without? Which blessings are we declaratively proclaiming that we are forfeiting? I for one am not going to sing words I don’t believe in because I want God’s blessings and I want an intimate relationship with my loving Father. I want it all and I don’t know why we think we have to choose.
Words do matter either in the negative or in terms of positively speaking out in our spirits what we want in our churches, homes and lives. We need to come into a season where we seriously upgrade our worship and stand up and sing the things we really believe in. So I beg you – look at every line you sing and ask yourself, “Do I believe these words? If not…if they trouble you, go and speak to your worship pastor. The words of worship should declare God’s glory and that can only happen if worship songs properly capture his true nature.
It’s time to upgrade our worship. Let’s start singing worship with declaration and sing it like never before.