In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our country was in a state of chaos and upheaval. Six years later there had been some healing for sure, but we were still looking for answers as a nation. It was after World Mandate 2007 and the powerful teachings on the ever-advancing Kingdom of God in the midst of trial and fire that I began to pen the words to Unchanging. I found myself pondering how God could heal our broken world after such a blind-siding blow to our own country. Instability defined our culture. So I did what songwriters do: I began to sing into the chaos.
I sang about God’s solidity in the shifting sand, His faithfulness in our failure and His strength in our weakness.
I thought of God’s creation, and how even something as majestic as the mountains will eventually erode into nothing. Even something as powerful as a bolt of lightning is here for a moment, but then fades away. But through it all, Jesus is the One steadfast person upon whom we can depend. Come what may. We recorded the song at World Mandate 2008. I’ll never forget the experience of leading it for the first time and watching every person stand to their feet and lift their hands in grateful surrender.
As I take the temperature of our nation in these days, it seems we are again in an unstable place. Every day we are each bombarded with shaking current events that erode our sense of trust in our fellow man. I look around at the emotional landscape of our world and there doesn’t seem to be much stability. But those of us who have let the seed of God’s Word be planted deep in our hearts can hear the mantra of heaven, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
He has proven Himself to every generation as the one true foundation that never falters or fails.
These words came back to my mind recently and I knew God was stirring us to record Unchanging again with renewed passion and purpose. We rearranged the song and were excited to have AntiochLIVE member Clare Woods return to our Sunday services to lead the song. The refreshed music attains a uniquely powerful drive and lift that befits the anthem, “Faithful is the Son!” I have mixed emotions every time the song is led now:
I want to weep with gratitude and shout with victory at the same time.
I hope you’ll listen to Unchanging. I hope you’ll worship God with it. I encourage you to heed the words of the song’s bridge and respond to God’s faithfulness by actively praising Him. The greatest temptation during unsteady times is to shut down and focus merely on ourselves. But those who exert their faith to “stand up and worship” amid the trial and the pain will find a different level of grace and wisdom, a confidence that Jesus truly is stronger and He will always be faithful to His people.
“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” (Hebrews 3:6 NIV)
As the lightning fades from sight
And the sun sets into night
You stand there unchanging
Our hearts still await the day
When the clouds will roll away
And You’ll stand there unchanging
Jesus Savior in this world that’s ever changing
You are faithful forever the same
Grass will fade and flowers fall
Mountains crumble beneath it all
But You stand there unchanging
Heaven’s angels bend their knees
All around the glassy sea
And You stand there unchanging
Faithful is the Son
Faithful is the Son
Faithful is the Son so unchanging
We will stand up we will worship
We will give our lives to the One who gave His life for us
For You are always faithful so unchanging
By James Mark Gulley – Worship Pastor