Written by Robbie Downs
“Because we are alive, we are strong. We can’t watch it go for nothing, watch until it’s gone.”
As I sing out the lyrics of Needtobreathe’s “Nothing Left to Lose,” I can’t help being intrigued by the creation of lyrics that speak to their audience. Growing up listening to Christian artists such as Citizens & Saints, Switchfoot, and Kings Kaleidoscope, I learned to have an appreciation for Christian music that sounded different.
In my early teens, I started to pick up singing and guitar. Singing was a revelation to me; I could speak the words I wanted to say while feeling the emotion and worship at the same time. Following this, I began to write lyrics, which flowed out of me as I dug into Psalms and other books of the Bible that spoke to me as I prayed over them.
I found myself expressing the emotions I experienced as a Christian in a public school striving for purity in an environment where I was surrounded with indulgence. I was surprised to see that most of the lyrics God gave me weren’t for me, they were for others.
So often, words of encouragement and truth for those I was reaching out to fell into my notebook. God’s words for those in my life were stronger than ever. As a multitude of songs were finished, God propelled me to a bigger idea. This truth, His truth needed to be shared. God had bigger things in mind.
Scott Cyr is a worship leader I got connected to through Eagle Bay, a Bible camp I have attended annually. Scott is also the leader and producer of a worship band, The Valley Collective. I thought it fitting that a connection could be made. To my joy, he took me in and worked with my music, and we started the recording process.
Taking lyrics God gives you in your personal devotions and sharing them with the world is difficult at first. My fears: “What if God had something else in mind?” My doubts: “Will people really hear God’s meaning and truth through me?” His answer: “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does” (says David in Psalm 33).
I had to trust that the God who created me knew His plans before I sang my first note or wrote my first lyric. Our God provides, my album spoke. Not only into my youth group, but into my school. God’s words were spread through my city in music simply by my little faith. I was along for the ride while people lifted me and encouraged me by expressing the impact my music had on them.
“Jesus, may my worship proclaim your heart to those who don’t know you, and your joy to those who do,” I prayed as I stood in a circle with those whom I recorded.
God wants your heart. Acknowledging that God can—and will—change others through me brought me into this beautiful intimacy with God.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Worship is a continuation of God’s desires for us; we are to be immersed in worship that evokes our desire to praise the Holy One.