Song: Give It All
Artist: Fox & Foal
In the summer of 2018, we held our first Worship Camp for Central Student Ministries. At this camp, we taught junior and senior high students the ins and outs of leading worship - spiritually, theologically, musically, etc. It was a simple idea that God turned into an extremely fruitful time. Devon Arredondo opened this first camp with a message that really stuck with me. Warning: my paraphrasing may not be as eloquent as his sermon was. Ha. But, it went something like this:
As humans, we are created to worship, but oftentimes our worship can be misdirected. We live in a culture that quickly idolizes things - money, technology, social media, sports, Netflix, friendships, beauty, drugs, alcohol. (I’m sure the list goes on.) Worship comes naturally for us, so it’s a matter of where we aim it.
Last summer, I noticed myself slipping into a trap where I wasn’t aiming my worship towards Christ. I was following Brooke’s call, which most definitely isn’t God’s. I was reminded of this message and began to pray a simple prayer of surrender, “Lord, I don’t want to hold back from You anymore.” As I sat and prayed, a melody came. I had never considered myself as a songwriter. Words don’t come easily for me, but this moment completely changed my perspective. I had tried writing worship songs, but something was always missing. The Holy Spirit met me in my brokenness and gave me the words to pray (and to sing.) My prayer for this song is that it speaks life into people and leads them to a place of surrender. So today, our devo will look a little different as I dive into the songwriting process of Give It All:
“You are where my hope lives. You are where I fix my eyes. Even in the darkness, I find Your light. Even when the storms fall, Even when the rains come down, You will be my anchor, my solid ground.”
When I brought the song to our friend Dave Williams, it came together really quickly. We decided it had to go on the EP and our producer encouraged us to make it our second release. It came out a week after COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic. Right when we needed this reminder. God’s timing is perfect.
The opening line, “You are where my hope lives”, was one of the first that came to me. Tonight, we’ll look at Romans 8: 22-39. Feel free to grab your Bibles and follow along.
“We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25 (CEB)
Have hope and wait patiently for the Lord - victory is coming. Even when we don’t see it or feel it, God is making a way for us (I love that bridge in Way Maker), and He is where I want my hope to live.
“Give me the peace I need to find You in my misbelief. Give me the strength I need to sing.”
One question that I get asked a lot is why I chose “misbelief” rather than “disbelief”. There’s a difference, and maybe the right word for you to sing is “disbelief”. But, in my story, I never doubted God’s sovereignty. I never doubted that Jesus is Lord. I fully believed in the power of the Holy Spirit. But, I was in a season of complacency with my faith and that led me to put more attention on “me” than Jesus. I was attempting to write my own story, rather than inviting God to be my author.
I don’t know about you, but when life is chaotic, I have a hard time carving out space to be still. As an introvert, I need stillness to recenter myself. I love Pete Grieg’s model on how to pray. He uses PRAY (an acronym) as a guide. The P stands for “pause”. (Check out his book How To Pray for the rest of the acronym). When starting to pray, first take a moment to first be still, invite God’s presence in, and let the Holy Spirit intercede.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26 (NIV)
This song truly came from pausing and then catching the words the Holy Spirit prompted me with.
“I give it all to You, surrender all of me. I lay down my life cause in Your name there’s victory.”
Romans 8:31-39 is one of my favorite passages. It reads:
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV)
Victory is in Jesus - what GOOD NEWS! Christ died for us, is risen from the grave for us, and will come again for us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Through Jesus, we are more than conquerors! Christ deserves our all.
“I give it all to You every breath I breathe. You are my desire, so come and set a fire in me.”
I’ve always loved the imagery behind fire in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. Pentecost (Acts 2) is one of my favorite Sundays and I have Wesleyan roots. I think writing this song was my personal Aldersgate experience (when John Wesley had a moment with the Holy Spirit where he felt his heart become “strangely warmed”.)
“You are giving life to every dead and broken thing, You are calling me to sing of Your grace. When I lay my life down, I will find my joy in You. You are ever faithful and always true.”
God’s grace is for all, and He continues to breathe new life into us each day. We, as humans, are called to worship Him and spread this good news for all. (I think of the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 18-20.)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
God promises believers that even in our suffering, He works everything together for the good for those who love Him. Notice that this verse doesn’t say that everything that happens is good/will be good. I once read where God is like a weaver - weaving things together to a good end. God can take suffering, even sin, and turn it for good. As an adult, I’ve learned that joy and happiness are not exclusive to one another. Happiness can come from joy, but we can also find joy during hard seasons. I think joy can be found by walking alongside Christ.
“I don’t want to hold back anymore.”
Challenge: Take a moment this week and think about where you are aiming your worship. Is there something holding you back from fully surrendering to Christ? Sometimes we aren’t even aware of it, but I want to encourage you to pause, and let the Holy Spirit intercede. Be reminded today that God is for you and victory is ahead!