Fifteen attempts and nothing. This song’s theme is too broad and it won’t work.
The task is too much. The spiritual weight, too heavy. How could a song be written about a revival that would usher in a move of God? What message could contain the power of repentance? As Village Hymns set out to write this song called “Jesus, Only Jesus,” these were the questions burning in our bones.
Quickly, Jesus swooped in and redirected our questions. With His gentle voice, He reminded us of His power and His might. He placed His books on history in front of us, and we were confronted with the revivals of our biblical fathers. For what song could bring revival, or prayer a pentecost? What message could be preached that could call people to the altar to receive Jesus? The answer is simply, none… by themselves. Unity and prayer and repentance and songs of worship are all great, but the power doesn’t lie in those things.
Jeremy Riddle writes, “Worship will never get more powerful the more things you add to it because its power has never flowed from its form. Its power has always flowed from His presence.” It’s not the song or sermon that contains power, it’s the presence of God. So the new foundation laid while writing this song became Jesus, only Jesus.
A praying Church ushers in revival. No, repentance ushers in revival. No, revival was always started by churches coming together in unity. No, that’s not it either. I got it. The total surrender of all things and denial of all self-pleasure will surely bring about city transformation. You see, these are some scenarios we are faced with from past revivals that caused a bit of confusion on what this song should be about.
Village Hymns gathered the writers together and sought after a song about revival. The lyrics in each of the 15 attempts were beautiful, and the melodies were captivating but each was missing something. This might sound churchy or like an answer from that smart aleck kid in your Sunday school class but it’s JESUS.
Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun, yet we try to create new found theologies that will blow the minds of listeners so that they are awestruck by our man-made frameworks. It’s Jesus. It’s in the dismantling of our well cultivated ideas over years and years of being in the church where we find the “hidden treasure in a field” that Jesus talks about. It’s Him, He’s the treasure. He brings repentance. He ushers in revival. He delivers the oppressed and gives the burdened an easy yoke. Jesus alone is holding every revival together whether that be in one heart or a city’s awakening. It doesn’t take well-seasoned faith to come to this conclusion, it’s one of childlikeness.
As we were writing this song we came to a point where the well we were pulling our water out of ran dry. Then as we lifted our tired faces up we saw Jesus and He reminded us of the words He said to the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” Jesus brought about revival in the town of the Samaritan woman from her love for Him alone. She says to the people “come and see the man who told me everything I ever did.” That’s it.
Our testimony could be a major factor in revival. Revelation 12:11 says “and they overcame the enemy by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony.” Saul’s encounter with Jesus and the women at the well both catapulted them into being megaphones for the love of Jesus.
So our conclusion in this song is this: that Jesus would open our eyes so we may behold Him. Once you behold Jesus, your testimony becomes a trail of God’s presence in your life instead of religious striving. Once you encounter the precious Lamb of God, all lesser loves begin to die off. Once you drink from the well of eternal life, you are violently awakened to the reality of salvation. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:8
Josh Bramos is the worship leader at City Rev Church. If you’re a worship leader interested in getting involved with Village Hymns, please email [email protected] or visit our website at villagehymns.com.
Read last month’s Village Hymns article at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/multisensory-worship/