I’m not a historian (obviously based on the fact I refuse to say “an historian”). Therefore, I can’t tell you exactly when this practice started or who was responsible for choosing to inspire their troops this way. However, I have heard stories about famous military commanders who, upon arriving with their vast fleet of ships on a new plot of land where they would conquer the local nation and take it for their own, the commander would set fire to their OWN fleet of ships to get full commitment out of their troops that the only way back home was to go forward.
The band “For King and Country” uses this idea in a new song to inspire us to leave our broken past behind us and “step into a new day”. We are encouraged to “Burn the ships, cut the ties” and then to “Send a flare into the night”. This second line brings to mind a call for help. We serve a loving and gracious God who calls us His children and who desires good things for us. We can have confidence that we have freedom in Christ; freedom from our past and our mistakes. Check out this new song today and take time to discuss with someone close to you what ships you need to burn.
Rend Collective is one of my favorite Christian bands. Several years ago they wrote an incredible song I would encourage you to take a look at: Build Your Kingdom Here. This band uses their platform and talent to express some deep truth about the coming Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. They challenge us to consider the way God is using His Church, you and me, here and now, to make an immediate and eternal impact on the lives and souls of those we encounter every day. Their most recent song dives into this even more. This afternoon listen to “Your Name is Power” by Rend Collective. As I listened it reminded me of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Luke 4:17-21 when He reads the scroll of Isaiah. There is power in the name of God to bring freedom and mercy. The song finishes with the idea that God’s power, through the Holy Spirit, “awakens” the Church and leads to a “change” that “is coming.” God’s Kingdom is here and now! And we, the Church, get to be part of this change!
One of my favorite bands when I was in college was the David Crowder Band. Listen to my favorite album “Illuminate” or the compilation of their most popular songs on “All This For A King”. These songs are still some of my favorites. Since then he’s continued creating music on his own. Crowder, as he is now known, has put out some incredible worship songs since 2014. “Come as You Are” is one of my favorites. His voice is as raw and deep as the lyrics are as he describes coming before God exactly as we are. He encourages you not to hide your hurt and pain but “lay down your hurt”, quit carrying heavy loads and “Lay down your burdens”. Come as You Are! Because there is “hope for the hopeless”, a place to “come sit at the table”, and “rest for the weary”. This song brings up images of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and encourages us to “come kneel” before the throne of God and “let rescue begin”. Let this song lead you into a time of repentance and intimate relationship with the God of grace this week.
I remember driving home in college and listening to a song that changed my perspective of Christian music and it’s power to draw you into a relationship with God. “You're Beautiful” by Phil Wickham has become one of my favorite songs. I would highly encourage you to take a listen if you haven’t heard it before. But today I want to share a new song Phil Wickham has written. “Living Hope” might be one of the most powerful songs of worship I’ve heard in the past year. Look up the lyrics online and take a listen because the verses are incredibly deep and deserve a lot of consideration as we attempt to “fathom such boundless grace” which we find in Christ Jesus. The verses are incredible but it’s the chorus that draws me into worship every time I hear it. It leads me in singing “Hallelujah” to “the one who set me free”; the one who has “broken every chain;” the one who has “salvation in Your name.” Join me in singing hallelujah this morning to “Jesus Christ, my living hope.”
MercyMe is able to consistently create really fun and energetic songs. But their aren’t just worth listening to because of their energy. They also have a really creative way of developing simple songs that express deep theology. One of their new songs: “Best News Ever” is a great example of this.
Not only is it catchy and guarantees to get you singing “Best News Ever” over and over throughout the day it shares an incredible Gospel truth that speaks to how we often fall into the trap of attaching our work ethic to our faith and relationship with God. It challenges the idea that our identity as Christian MUST lead us toward God on hands and knees giving up our “hard work” to earn acceptance and love from God and instead accept grace and forgiveness. The bridge of this song shares this well by quoting Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Take a moment to share this song with your family and friends and consider exactly what makes the Gospel the “Best news ever."