Tag: johanna six

How Great You Are: Song Story with Johanna Six

People often ask what the process is like for writing a song. I wish that I could tell them inspiration hits and voilà, you have a song. In my experience though, the initial inspiration hits, and then – the song sits there. It sits in my heart incubating, and I’m constantly mulling over it, willing it to grow into something bigger, hoping it finishes itself. But, songwriting requires good ol’ fashioned work. Now, I know this, but it’s another thing to put this into practice.

Writing How Great You Are was that kind of experience. I remember the main melody coming to me, basically all in one moment, while I was laid up sick in bed. I was pretty excited about it, and once I was able to get to a piano, the music kind of just flowed out. Looking back, somewhere inside, I thought the lyrics would just magically flow out as well. It was going to be this awesome song about how we are healed and made whole in the presence of God and how we find our rest in Him – except everything I wrote wasn’t quite working. There were too many ideas and it didn’t feel cohesive. I kept asking myself (in the context of writing the song), “How do I get to that theme of being in God’s presence? How is it that we get to be in His presence?”

Ding, ding, ding. This was going to be a song about how Jesus made a way for us to be in the presence of God. It was going to be a song about the Gospel.

It was around the time of receiving that epiphany that I showed the song to some friends, including James Mark. They confirmed that the song worked much better with the Gospel being central. Strange how that works, huh?

Now, I knew where the song was supposed to go, and together with James Mark, we finished it. It was not easy. We watched scenes from The Passion of the Christ and The Bible series. I read the crucifixion story multiple times a day, in different translations, in all four gospels. I was immersed in the story of how God came to earth as a man, willingly took upon Himself our transgressions even as we betrayed Him to hang on the cross, and then rose victorious over sin and death. As I read that story over and over and pictured myself standing with the multitudes crying, “Crucify Him” – I was undone by His love for me. I was undone and I wanted to scream, scream out my sorrow for placing Him there, and then shout out in thankfulness because it was His joy to do it.

This is the journey we want to take everyone on as we sing this song. We want to be able to meditate over what it cost Jesus for us to be able to be near to God. Once we recognize that, then we want to make space in our hearts for songs of thankfulness to rise up, for our souls to sing of our Savior’s love and how great He is.

Join us Friday, May 9th as AntiochLIVE records their next worship album. It will be an incredible night of worshiping Jesus together. The event is at First Baptist Church Waco and the cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. We anticipate a full house, so seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Please note, while we welcome families to the event, we ask parents to use discernment in bringing their children.  Since it is a live recording we must keep excess noise to a minimum and will limit entrance and exit from the auditorium once recording beginsHead here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.

Our God Comes Chord Charts

We want everyone to have the opportunity to worship with these 14 original songs!

We hope you’re enjoying the new songs from AntiochLIVE’s “Our God Comes.” This album is a celebration of a God who comes near to His people out of His great love and desire for us. It was a blast filling the Ferrell Center with these truths at World Mandate this past weekend!

Please follow the links below to get the chord charts for each song.

1. Come

2. God And King

3. Wonderful Counselor

4. God Who Saves

5. How Much More

6. I Will Raise

7. Response

8. Light Me Up

9. Awaken Us

10. One Hundred Three

11. Return

12. Savior Forever

13. Selah

14. Our God Comes

Whether you’re singing these songs with your church family or it’s just you and your guitar, we pray these songs take you into a greater place of intimacy and a lifestyle of worship to the Almighty God, Our God who comes.

 

God Who Saves

I was on a personal retreat and meant to finish some songs, but had forgotten my journal, so I asked Jesus for a new song.

I was coming out of a season of depression, and the thought that kept coming to my mind from Him during that time was, “I have never gone.” Where are you, Jesus? “I have never gone.” I need you, Jesus. “I have never gone.” I’m desperate for you, Jesus. “I have never gone.” The song stemmed from realizing He was with me always and the hope that brought me.

Fast forward some months and I was standing on stage with James Mark getting ready to help lead worship for an Antioch staff meeting. I looked out over the crowd and tears immediately welled up in my eyes. I commented to James Mark, “These people, these people know what it means to lay down their lives.” I saw people that had counted the cost and said, “Yes, He is worth it.” I was humbled. I had no idea that God Who Saves would be the backdrop to a prayer time for friends who were being oppressed and beaten for the Gospel, but it was, and something was unlocked.

A few days later James Mark presented the idea of dedicating God Who Saves to our friends serving in high-risk nations. I was slightly taken aback; I wasn’t actively (or passively) thinking about martyrdom or missionaries when I wrote this song, but the more I thought about it, it seemed to be appropriate.

As I wrote this song, and anytime I sing this song, this is the picture that comes to my mind:

I am alone in a heap on the floor, surrounded by darkness. I cry out for help, but there is no response. I call out again and again, but I hear nothing. I am about to give up and give in to the darkness pressing in around me, but I call out one more desperate time, “Where are you, Jesus? Save me!” I feel a warm hand on my back. I sense Him beside me. I feel His breath in my ear say, “I have never gone.” He tells me again and again He’s never gone. He holds me and I cling to Him. Something breaks inside of me. I am undone, heaving and sobbing, and I sense Him lifting my head. No matter what is happening around me, I know He is my reality. He is the God who saves. He has come, He has saved me and He is worthy. Slowly from my place on the floor, I stand. I’m a bit unsteady, but I lean against Him and begin to sing His promises, His hand firmly grasping mine.

I don’t know what it’s like to be persecuted and none of my closest friends have been imprisoned for the Gospel. I don’t have any personal ties to anyone who is currently serving in a high-risk nation. But I do know what it’s like to cry out during a desperate situation. This song came out of one of those moments, so it is not entirely surprising that it helped facilitate a time of worship reminiscent of times when friends in our movement were imprisoned. This is not just a song written from a time of desperation, but also from a place of victory. There is a sense of unity as we sing it, unity in our brokenness, unity as we find we have a Savior and unity in His victory, our victory.

In this tribe, I have found family. When I have needed help, others have sung songs of victory for me, even if I myself could not sing. They held my arms up in victory when I did not have the strength to do it myself. I am part of this tribe, so those we’ve sent out are my friends. I have prayed, warred for them in the spirit and have carried them in my heart. On days when they cannot sing words of victory, triumph, and freedom for themselves, we can, we will and we do. We will hold their arms up in victory and a song of praise will rise up. With one voice, we will cry out, “Hallelujah, God who saves!”

By Johanna Six

To hear God Who Saves live, along with the rest of AntiochLIVE’s new worship album, Our God Comes, join us this weekend at World Mandate in Waco, Texas.

I Will Raise

Read the story behind “I Will Raise,” one of the powerful new AntiochLIVE songs, from songwriter Johanna Six.

I was sitting at a food court in Qatar. Qatar is a ridiculously wealthy country in the Middle East where a liter of gasoline is cheaper than a liter of water. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of the population are expats from countries like the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. My dad is a contractor there, so my family went to visit him for the holidays.

My family was ordering food while I held our place at a table. I caught the gaze of a man clearing tables. If this were America, people would be clearing their own tables. I didn’t see any joy in his eyes – no light, no life – just deep sadness and desperation.

This was one of those life-altering moments, where time seems to stop and you become an observer to the world around you. I looked around, and I saw the same despondent expression in most of the people around me. I fought the urge to cry. I asked God, “What is it about this situation that is affecting me so deeply?” In that moment, I realized it was because I was a free woman sitting amongst slaves.

There’s nothing like seeing bondage to make you aware of your own freedom.

I am free because I’m an American and have privileges that many of these people will never experience, but I’m also free from darkness and death. I have an inheritance and am a co-heir with Christ, and my Father is the Creator of the universe. After remembering these things, I was filled thankfulness and wanted to burst out in joyful song.

Instead, I immediately pulled out my phone and began typing, “I will raise my hands to heaven / These wrists once bound now chains are broken / You set us free to be your children / Now we will be with You forever.” I wrote the words “Now we will be,” but each time I sang it, it came out as, “Now we will reign with You forever.”

It felt a little uncomfortable to write that down. I knew the statement was biblical. If I declared that, put it in writing and sang it, it would imply that I accepted my status as an adopted child of the King. That truth about God is sometimes hard for me to accept. It seems too good to be true. But God isn’t too good to be true – He’s just good.

I’ve made it a habit to declare truths that I have a hard time believing, and they usually come out in song. That’s always been a goal of mine: to declare the truth and character of God in song so that it gets deep inside me. I think all of us as songwriters on the album understand the power of music and seek to embed truth and the word of God in our songs, especially for what it seems God is doing right now in our movement.

This year, the constant theme “Our God Comes” runs through our entire album. We have several songs by different songwriters that say that in different ways. No matter how we say or sing it, the truth doesn’t get old.

By Johanna Six