As you may have guessed, I’m really intense about lyrical content. Even in worship songs. So if a song has a lyric I don’t think is theologically sound, I just won’t play it. So recently, my church started playing “God I Look To You” from Bethel Church. The song starts with the lines, “God, I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed.” The first time I heard this, my thought was, “What? How could you possibly say that when you see God, you won’t be overwhelmed?” It seemed to be the height of arrogance and presumption. And in the depth of my arrogance and presumption, I turned away from the song, assuming it to be theologically weak.
Fast forward to the present, I’ve had a tough week. I got some bad news, was really disappointed in some things, had a hard week as a husband and as a parent. So I was pretty beat up and worn down as I was trying to prepare to lead worship this weekend. As I sat at my piano, God brought this song to mind, and in His grace, pulled the webs of pride from my eyes and made it clear to me. The song wasn’t saying that we wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the presence of God! It was saying that when we look to Him, we won’t be overwhelmed by anything else.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2 ESV)
I’ve always loved this verse, well ever since 1994 when my friend Brad taught me a song based on it. God brought it back to mind this weekend. It was exactly what I needed to hear and it caused this worship song to blossom. I had a powerful honest time of worship out in my back room. And then was able to prepare for a special weekend of congregational worship on Sunday. So thanks to Jenn Johnson and Ian Mcintosh for writing a great song and sharing it with me. And thanks to God for being patient with me until it was just the right moment to open my eyes, and for upholding me with His righteous right hand and not letting me be overwhelmed.