Creative Blog

Welcome to Broadmoor's Creative Blog. We hope these stories, thoughts, and devotionals encourage and inspire you as we celebrate the ways God is working in our church.

 

Songwriting Story: Exalted

By David Leonard (Worship Associate)

Songwriting isn’t easy. Most of the time, songwriting is a frustrating exercise of trying make words rhyme...all the while trying not to unknowingly copy a melody from a Justin Bieber song.

But, songwriting also gives us opportunity.

When we write, we have the privilege to spend time in God’s Word, considering His truth. We have the privilege to spend time in prayer, seeking the Father's heart as we aim to write songs that would bless His Church.

Probably the most difficult (and by difficult I mean frustrating) songs I’ve ever written is called Exalted.

The inspiration for the song came from a story I heard in a message our Lead Pastor, Rob Futral shared a few years ago. We were in a series called All In. At the time of the series, ISIS was growing in the Middle East and the sense of unrest and fear in the world was at an all time high. Rob told a story about a Middle Eastern woman who had lost all of her worldly possessions, her family, and her friends all because of her faith in Christ. Someone asked the women why she wouldn’t just quietly give up her faith in order to keep all that she had in the world. She replied “My faith is all I have.”

As I heard that line, I felt the Spirit challenge me, “David, is that true for you?” I sat there wondering if my faith was more vital...more important than anything I could know or possess in this world.

As the question rattled around in my head, a melody came to me and I began to sing the line “Let my faith be all I have…” (quietly of course…I’m still sitting the service at this point). After the service, and in the following weeks, I began writing a song built around that prayer. Verse 1 took shape as a response to that desire to have a faith I valued above all else.

Let my faith be all I have
And Your blood my only boast
For the treasures of this world
Can’t compare to Your great love
O what grace have I deserved?
Grace that paid what sin had cost
All my hope is in the cross
All my hope is in the cross

As I considered what direction to take Verse 2, I thought about that lady from the story again. I thought about believers who were facing persecution all around the globe. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:8-11 where Paul writes:

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh”

Though we face trials and difficulties of every kind, we have a hope that is Christ. There is no earthly power or authority or ruler He fears. He is subject to no one. His power doesn’t know restraint. His will doesn’t conform to man’s. That’s the God we worship. Psalm 145:11 says “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.” Verse 2 became a reminder of the confidence we have in the Lord.

Though the powers of this world
From all sides may overwhelm
Surely Christ will be our Rock
And His Kingdom will prevail
He is faithful in the trial
And He’s working in our pain
To our God the highest praise
To our God the highest praise

The chorus became the most difficult section to craft. I must have had 10 different variations of melodies and lyrics...but none of them landed the way I felt they needed to. This reworking and rewriting process went on for months and months. I probably gave up on the song a dozen times. But my wife urged me to keep writing.

Ultimately, I found inspiration in a piece of art we have hanging in our house. The artwork is a writing of Psalm 46. As I read through the Psalm, it became clear...this was the heart of the song I longed to write. I ended up crafting the chorus and bridge from the passage.

We exalt You Lord
We exalt You Lord
Great is Your power
Great is Your name
Unto the Lamb seated on high
Honor and praise
Glory divine
Our Savior forever
And ever amen

 

When the earth gives way
And the oceans roar
When the mountains quake
Still Your love endures
We will not be moved
For our Rock is strong
You have conquered all
You have overcome

As we’ve led the song in our church and shared it with others online and around the world, I’ve seen God use those words to minister to hearts that were hurting and souls that were lost. Looking back at the ordeal of writing it, I think God allowed me to get to the end of my ideas...and took me back to His Word and His promise.

“Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10


To purchase Exalted on iTunes, CLICK HERE.

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