It is always a surreal feeling when you hear about people encountering God through a song you helped create. It still blows me away. Somehow God, in His infinite wisdom, has wired us in such a way that even a simple melody can propel our hearts toward Him. Music moves us in a way that almost nothing else can.
But the song, History’s Anthem, is more than a melody –
IT’S A HEART CRY WE FIND THROUGHOUT THE BIBLE.
Let’s dive into the lyrics and explore what they say about our Father, His character and the praise process He invites us into on a daily basis.
There is an anthem, rising in our hearts
Born from our stories, Your presence through it all
A heart-cry of freedom, lifted up in praise
A song of redemption, in wonder of Your ways
We see the theme of this song right off the bat. It alludes to the natural, almost compulsive cry of thankfulness that rises up in the people of God when we pause and think about His faithfulness in our lives. We can’t help it. It’s our natural response. It’s what happens when we take time to remember.
Throughout the Old Testament, the people of God were instructed to pause and remember what God had done. Early on in the Bible we see Abraham and his descendants setting up memorial stones, or altars, as they traveled around the land of Canaan to help facilitate this process. These memorials served as physical reminders of powerful encounters the people had with God. When their descendants saw these stones, they remembered stories of God’s faithfulness (See Genesis 13, Genesis 28, Joshua 4 and Judges 6 for examples).
One of my favorite stories about a memorial stone is found in Joshua chapter 4. The Israelites had just crossed the Jordan river and stepped into the Promised Land. God had, for the second time, parted a large body of water so His people could walk into their inheritance on dry land. It was an absolute miracle! I’m sure the people were rushing forward into the Promised Land with some mixture of excitement and fear. Interestingly, Joshua immediately stops them, instructing a man from each of the twelve tribes to take a stone form the Jordan River and lay them together on the other side.
“When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you? Then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7)
IT IS RIGHT TO PAUSE AND REMEMBER.
The people of Israel regularly made time to do just that, whether it was through setting up altars, reciting their history around a table, engaging in festivals or even eating yearly feasts. Why? Because it was impossible to look at their history and not run smack into the faithfulness of God.
And I suspect the same can be said for each of our lives.
You have been faithful
You are always good
Your ways are constant
Your promises are sure
Even in fire You have never left us
Steadfast forever, You will never fail
This chorus is a simple declaration, inviting us to speak out loud what the Lord has done for us. It reminds me of what David says in the first few verses of Psalm 33 –
“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre. 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. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.” Psalm 33:1-5
I love that this Psalm doesn’t allude to our feelings in any way. It simply says, “it is fitting for the upright to praise Him,” and to do so in an extravagant way. We can all choose to worship. I can say from personal experience; I don’t always feel like worshipping. But something funny happens once the declarations start rolling – it just gets easier and easier.
PRAISE BEGETS PRAISE. THANKFULNESS BEGETS THANKFULNESS.
It’s contagious. And it’s what our Father deserves.
I’ll follow You
With total abandon
I trust Your heart
You know where You’re leading
Your promise is the ground I will stand upon
To me, the bridge of this song culminates in the natural progression of the praise process. We spend the verse and chorus reminding ourselves of His faithfulness in our lives and choosing to declare His goodness out loud. We soon begin to realize, “Oh yeah! That’s right! He has been faithful to me. He has rescued me from the junk I couldn’t get out of. He has been extremely kind to me. He hasn’t failed me yet. Can you believe He has been this consistent?”
I CAN FEEL THE TRUTH SINKING IN AGAIN AS I WRITE THIS.
And our natural response to all of this thankfulness is to trust Him again. David says as much in Psalm 25:1-3 –
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for You shall ever be put to shame…”
David had been through some difficult stuff, but he chose to find and remember God’s faithfulness through it all. And this faithfulness compelled him to lift up his soul to God again, to find God as His source of trust.
Is History’s Anthem
Your constant love
The song of creation
Let Heaven shout
You will never fail
THE SAFEST PLACE WE CAN EVER BE IS FULLY SUBMITTED TO THE WILL OF GOD IN OUR LIVES.
Why? Because His track record is flawless. He has never failed in all of history. He is too good. His way is perfect. His plans are flawless. His faithfulness is sure.
All of creation testifies to this. Our own stories reflect it. And one day, we will join with all of heaven as we declare that truth together.
Take a moment to worship through History’s Anthem. As you do, try to follow this simple, four-step, praise process –
- Start by pausing and remembering. Remind yourself of His faithfulness. Bring it to mind.
- Begin to thank Him out loud for whatever you thought of. Even if you don’t feel like it or it doesn’t seem overly profound, begin to declare His goodness in whatever way you can.
- Now, from that place of gratitude, take a moment to surrender your life – even today and its complexities – to Him again.
- End by thanking Him for always being more than enough.
By Caleb Seibert – AntiochLIVE
Caleb is one of the song writers on AntiochLIVE’s new album, History’s Anthem. Originally from Waco, he is now attending school in Austin, and is a part of Antioch Austin.