I love the raw honesty of this song. It’s not only incredibly biblical, but I think it reflects a desperation many of us have buried in our self-sufficient culture. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I don’t feel like I really need Jesus. But this song reminds me that I do, desperately, need Him.
And yes, this is another redone hymn. 🙂
Lord, I Need You Writer(s): Daniel Carson, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Matt Maher, Jesse Reeves CCLI#: 5925687
(C) 2013 Provident Label Group LLC, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment
Of course, this song alludes to Peter being called out by Jesus to walk on the water (Matthew 14:22-33), but is the cry of my heart to obey Jesus wherever he leads me and trust him regardless. I hope the other Scripture references deepen your worship to God as you sing this.
Update February 2017: I think it is worth reading another perspective by the Faithful Stewardship Blog on this song, and why the much-beloved “Oceans” may not be Biblical. It is a song that could be interpreted in many ways, and that is where its weakness lies, as well as the focus on Peter rather than the Lord who was the only One who walked on the water successfully. It certainly caused me to think. I will leave this post up but please weigh these things and consider them against Scripture. You will notice there were several lines I could not find verses to back up, which should give us as Christians pause.
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
Copyright 2012 Hillsong Music Publishing
If you have ever wished you were better at memorizing Scripture, as I have, think about how many songs you can sing by heart. I can belt out the lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in years, and I bet you can too.
Sons of Korah is a group of talented musicians from Australia who have put a large majority of the Psalms to music. As a result, I have memorized a large portion of the Psalms despite my supposed inability to memorize and retain Scripture. 🙂
In my devos the other day I read Psalm 139, and I was reminded of one of my favorites of theirs based on the majority of that psalm. I hope you enjoy.
Psalm 139 (Based on Psalm 139:1-18)
CCLI# not available
Members of the Sons of Korah: Matthew Jacoby, Spike Avery, Rod Wilson, Bruce Walker, Rod Gear and Ann-Maree Keene
Note: I normally put the exact lyrics below and the Scripture references in links to the right of each line, but I felt it was more appropriate to put the Scripture and let you listen along with the song to see how it really is Scripture put to music. To see the whole Psalm including the verses not in the song, click on the link.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
I’m dedicating this Songs & Scripture post to a good long-time friend and North American missionary, Owen Grey, who works with Athletes in Action at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH. He introduced this song to me just a few days ago (yeah, I guess I’m behind the times) and told me it’s one of his favorites because the song is basically about letting God take control and yielding to him.
This is something Owen would know about, because he didn’t originally plan to go into ministry full-time:
“During my 4 years at Eastern Michigan University the Lord used my time competing on the swim team to introduce me to the need my fellow athletes had for Jesus. In my senior year I had the opportunity to disciple two underclassmen on my team who were new to their relationship with Christ. Experiencing their passion, excitement, and desire for a changed life as a result gave me far more joy and sense of purpose than the engineering degree I was studying. Through these experiences I have felt God’s call into the vocation of full-time ministry, specifically with athletes.”
If you’d like to learn about supporting Owen’s ministry, you can click here or email him directly at owen.grey(at)athletesinaction.org.
As usual for all my Songs & Scripture posts, I have links to related Bible verses after each lyric. (You can right click to select “open in new tab” if you don’t want to keep hitting “back” every time you look up a verse).
Lay Me Down
Written by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, and Matt Redman
Note: This is my first Songs & Scripture post addressing a spanish worship song. But for the large percentage of Spanish-speaking countries that have hit up my blog (and it’s not as though the United States has a small percentage Spanish-speaking christians!), I can’t help but put out one of my favorite songs of all time, Ríos de Agua Viva, based on John 7:37-38. Please forgive my abysmal Spanish, it has grown quite rusty!
Profe Roop, perdóname por mi español horrible.
Ríos de Agua Viva es una canción que es puramente Escritura, escrito por (cuando yo era estudiante allí) un profesor de Wheaton College (IL), Alejandro Roop. Esta canción fue una favorita del grupo de estudiantes de Wheaton (incluyendo a yo) que estudió en Argentina y Chile juntos en el año de 2009.
La cantamos en muchas iglesias en Chile como parte de una presentación. Hoy, yo la canto cuando necesito recordar la verdad que Jesús me ha salvado con “agua viva.” Nunca he encontrado una canción basado en Juan 7:37-38 en inglés que es tan hermosa.
También, creo que no hay suficiente canciones de adoración que son escritos de personas de que español es su primer idioma. Muchos son de inglés que eran traducidas a español. No es el mismo. Pero aunque yo sea oradora de inglés principalmente, esta canción me mueve. Es muy hermosa, especialmente cuando una iglesia usa “llamada y respuesta” con los hombres y mujeres.
Sorry, Profe Roop, for my horrible Spanish. 🙂
Ríos De Agua Viva is a song that is pure Scripture, written by (when I was a student there) a professor of Wheaton College (IL), Alejandro Roop. This song was a favorite of a group of Wheaton students (including myself) that studied in Argentina and Chile in 2009.
We sang it in many churches throughout Chile as part of a presentation for them. Today, I still sing it when I need to remember the truth that Jesus has saved me with “living water.” I have never found another song based on John 7:37-38 that is so beautiful.
Also, I believe that there are not enough worship songs written by people for which Spanish is their first language. Many Spanish worship songs are just English worship songs translated into Spanish. They’re just not the same. But even though I am primarily an English-speaker, this song still moves me. It’s very beautiful, especially when a church uses “call and response” with men and women.
Juan 7:37-38 (versión Reina-Valera 1960) John 7:37-38 (NKJV)– about the comparable version to the Spanish “Reina-Valera”
En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast En el último y gran día de la fiesta, /On the last day, that great day of the feast Jesús se puso en pie (x2) /Jesus stood
y alzó la voz, /and cried out, diciendo: /saying:
Si alguno tiene sed, /“If anyone thirsts, que venga a mí y beba. /let him come to Me and drink. El que cree en mí, /He who believes in Me El que cree en mí, /He who believes in Me
como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart como dice la Escritura, de su interior /as the Scripture has said, out of his heart correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.” correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.” correrán ríos de agua viva /will flow rivers of living water.”
“It wasn’t like I got a word in the night and woke up and I heard God say, ‘Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.’ It wasn’t one of those special moments. I mean I do remember people praying that over me. Of course, the danger with suffering from a chronic illness without being healed is you grow cold to some words. But I was pretty intentional about it. This is God’s promise to us. However it works out, however he chooses to bring His strength. He hasn’t chosen the way I would have chosen, so to sing those words, for me, it’s almost a redeeming action. This is where I am at, this is the truth of God, and this is His promise. He will look after my wife and me, and he will carry us through this time.”
~Brenton Brown, on writing “Everlasting God”, excerpt from this article on WorshipLeader.Com
Do you ever feel exhausted? Like, mind-numbing, fall-asleep-on-your-feet, not even have an emotional response for anything, exhausted? That pretty much sums up a lot of nursing school for me. The verses that I often went back to during that period of my life were Isaiah 40:28-31, which are the large basis for the song Everlasting God.
Whenever I can, I try to link to the story behind a worship song, and how worship pastor Brenton Brown initially started writing this song is an amazing testimony. Both he and his wife were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), leaving them both physically and mentally drained. Maybe that’s you today. So read these lyrics encouraged, knowing that they’re not only heavily Scripturally based, but also written by someone who intimately knows what it’s like to be exhausted and has experienced God’s promise to carry you through it.
As usual, I’ve included the Scriptures that the original author of the song was thinking about, but have also included many cross-references to other Scriptures that relate to the lyrics as well.
For the full story behind Everlasting God, click here.
Written by Brenton Brown and Ken Riley
You are the everlasting God (Genesis 21:33, Isaiah 40:28)
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting (repeat x 2)
p.s. Officially in the 5 digits for hits on the blog! Wow. I remember posting about getting 500 hits just a little while ago, and before starting this blog a short 5 months ago I would never have expected it to grow so exponentially. Thanks to everyone for reading, hope the music and the Scriptures bless you richly!