Good morning beautiful! It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning and these words are radiating out to you from a hotel room in Plano, Texas. I’m in this massive state learning about orality (which is a whole other conversation for another time). But it’s still time for our new line of Devotions based on new releases in Christian music. This week we’re looking at Ellie Holcomb’s new album “Red Sea Road”. And can we just take a second to agree on something?
Doesn’t she look like somebody you would instantly be friends with? Like, you meet for the first time and three days later you’re sitting across the table from her, enjoying a cup of coffee, and thinking, “Didn’t we just meet?!?”
This album has come out of a year of suffering for the artist. While these songs are going to speak to many and be loved by all, she says she most needed to sing them to her own soul. She points to the shepherd David as her inspiration: “He bosses his soul around in song.” Today’s song, track five, is definitely a “bossing of the soul”.
Devo #2 – “Fighting Words”
Sometimes, we all need songs that we can run into completely broken. Songs where we can quit trying to hold it all together, throw our arms out wide like the wings of a bird, and run into the truth so hard that the pieces left in tack shatter completely. Well…here is that song. These verses touch on some of the roughest lies we as people tell ourselves. And I appreciate she just runs into them!
“‘Who are you to speak the truth? Just look at all your failures and mistakes.’ And ‘If they really knew you, there’s no way they could love you anyway.'”
Let’s just go full on offensive here. One thing is ruining our communication and self-esteem more than any other culprit: phones. I said it…I struggle with it! But it’s true. First of all, the unrealistic expectations placed on beauty, intelligence, strength, love, and every other little thing are absolutely crushing. But the lesser noticed problem with phones is the way the undermine relationships. “And if they really knew you, there’s no way they could love you anyway”…that is a truth many of us believe. I struggle with that one myself. It causes crippling shyness among new people and an unwillingness/fear of fully engaging the people in life who are already dear, close friends. And if I were to risk it, and share the stories I’m afraid of sharing…what’s the chance that the person I talk to would take a phone call, answer a text, or check Facebook while I’m at my most vulnerable. It’s a very good chance. I know because I’m afraid I’m guilty of it.
But here is where the story gets beautiful!
I have heard an expression several times recently, and most recently from the mouth of Holcomb herself. She says that this album was meant to be more of a declaration. She “needed to sing the truth into the dark”. Brennan Manning says that the people who appreciate the light, are the ones who have been in the darkest of darks.
“He makes his messengers winds, His ministers a flaming fire.” (Ps. 104:4, ESV)
Those of us who have sung the truth at the dark, those of us who appreciate the light because we are all too familiar with the darkest of darks, we are the ones who have had experiences with God. We are his messengers…we are his ministers…and “He makes…His ministers a flaming fire”. And here is where our fighting words come in. Because there is an enemy who is seeking to douse us! But God ain’t having it!
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world…If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand — shine!” (Matt. 5:14-16, MSG)
Don’t let the enemy put you under a bucket! Don’t let the deceiver trick you into believing the lies Holcomb speaks about in this song. And when he does get an arrow through your armor, when he manages to cut you to the quick, quickly sing the light into the darkness. Claim Biblical truths whether in the form of straight scripture or lyrics like these.
“My debt is paid, I’ve been set free and
You gave Your life up to rescue me!
You say that I am worth fighting for and
Grace is like waves that keep crashing on the shore.”
What are the lies The Dark One tells you? What are some of the words of light that you use to combat them? Please post your answers to help others that struggle with the same things. And if you don’t have words of light, tell us what your lies are. We’d love to help you find the light.
Have a great Tuesday! And no matter what comes your way today, remember to use your “Fighting Words”.
*Words from Ellie Holcomb and information about her awesomeness was gathered from her website. Check it out by clicking here.