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.
6 thoughts on “God I Look To You”
you said it well bro, grace and peace my brother, and yep, Jenn sings with conviction, passion, and love.
I’m so thankful for God’s patience and grace toward me when I’m blind and arrogant. His love is so amazing! The Isaiah passage is one of my favorites too. It has been a real comfort to know He is with me, even when everything is going wrong all around. What is the song associated with that scripture?
I so needed this. For some time now I have been so overwhelmed with so many things that I do not know if I am coming or going anymore. Thank you for bringing to heart God’s Word.
Is it alright if I take this opportunity to ask a more practical/technical question? I sing backup on our church worship team, and sometimes I have similar internal conflicts about certain phrases/words in the songs we use to lead worship. When I asked my head worship leader about this she said that it’s technically illegal to change the words to a song for use in worship. I understand why this is, and even mostly agree with it, but since I see you have similar issues sometimes, I was wondering if you had any advice for these situations. What’s your take on this issue and its ramifications for worshipers? Are there other ways of dealing with these conflicts that you’ve found effective/ineffective? Do you have any good stories about them?
Just wondering, thanks!
– Dan R.
I’m 68. Healed by Jesus to walk – now run for Him! ( over 26,000 logged miles in the past 11 years / marathon in each state & shared the GOOD NEWS while there); 73 marathons to date — NOW about to do my 1st 100 miler ( Graveyard 100 / Outer banks, NC / March 9th)… I am trying to hold on to the truth of this song. It will be a very tough race. The weather will be as hard as the miles ( cold and windy)…In faith I will run and make myself available to be a light to others. They WILL see Jesus in me as I do the miles! ~~ I will NOT be ‘overwhelmed’ by the things around me. The Holy Spirit healed me for such a race as this one to be able to show the Glory and Grace of our Lord!
Recently I had the same thing, I picked up this song after a long time and read…I can’t sing this. God is so overwhelming in so many ways! So, I found a short video of Jenn Johnson the writer explaining that with her three kids she kept singing to God ‘God I look to you, I am overwhelmed.’ and God told her ‘No, you need to sing that you will not be overwhelmed by all that is going on around you.’ So, she changed the lyrics to ‘God I look to you, I won’t be overwhelmed.’ So powerful to declare over your life you won’t be overwhelmed by all that is going on around you because you are looking to God for support just like you said Isaiah 43:2 ‘When you go through the deep waters, I will be with you.’