BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#508 - "Start A Fire" by Unspoken
Chad talks about how he's challenged to reject complacency and regularly rekindle his relationship with God.
 


Unspoken is a 4-member band comprised of lead singer Chad Mattson, bassist Jon Lowry, guitarist Mike Gomez and drummer Ariel Munoz. We were first introduced to original compositions from Unspoken with the group's debut Centricity Music EP Get to Me, which featured the hit song, "Who You Are." They followed that up with their EP The World Is Waking, which featured the hit song, "Lift My Life Up."

The band's full-length eponymous album, Unspoken, includes the aforementioned songs, along with previously digital only releases "Walking Away," "Everything," "Bury the Workman," and the vertical worship song "In Your Hands." There are an additional six new songs for this album, available in all formats April 1. The extended introduction to this great new band is a novel approach, building in some radio airplay and name recognition to propel this very talented musical act forward on their journey of faith. 

"Start a Fire" is the first song and next single from the band. It is an exciting heart cry to live out Matthew 5:16 as the band sings, "Over and over again, I hear Your voice in my head, let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see." The song is a perfect message example of how the band is committed to "carry the news that You have come to save, only You can save." In this age of lyrical ambiguity, there is no question that this band is sold-out for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had the chance to speak with lead singer Chad Mattson about the song.

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

I remember traveling several months ago in our van with our bass player Jon, and he and I and Seth Mosely wrote the song together. We were talking about feeling complacent and unfulfilled in our walks with God. We were serving God and using our gifts, and doing all these things, but what is it that we are missing?

The comment came up that we wished God would start a fire in our souls. We went to our notepads and iPhones and wrote down that idea for a song. When we got together to write the song, we based the song on a couple different Scriptures. One is Matthew 5 when Jesus talked about us being a light and to let it shine—all the ways to let our light shine, and the things we shouldn't do with our light, like put it under a bowl, or under a bed. We're supposed to be a city on a hill. In a way, the lyrics point a lot to that passage.

For me, I was going through my Bible thinking about this song, and I came across 2 Timothy 1:6 where Paul tells Timothy to stir up, rekindle, fan the flame and keep burning the inner fire that is in him. Our desire for this song is that we don't settle into our salvation, but that we keep an open heart for what God wants to do in and through us. Not only an open heart, but I'm constantly struggling in my own life with being consistent and putting in the work to build my relationship with God. Not to be misconstrued that it makes God love us any more or not. 

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

2 Timothy 1:6 (AMP):
"That is why I would remind you to stir up, rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning the gracious gift of God, the inner fire that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands with those of the elders at your ordination."

Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message): "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 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! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
  
What is the takeaway message?

I just had a conversation with my son about his Action Bible that's so amazing. It's a cool Bible, and I suggested we read it together. My son said that we hadn't read it in a while and asked me if that makes God love us less? I told him not at all. One of the things to remember is that God loves us absolutely, no matter what we do. If we want to grow in our relationship with God and if we want a fire to burn bright, we need to do what Paul is telling Timothy. We need to stir up, rekindle, fan the flame and keep burning the inner fire, the gracious gift that is in us, God's Holy Spirit.

Even though Paul isn't necessarily talking about starting a fire in 2nd Timothy, he is talking about being bold. He is telling him to be bold in his faith, because having been given a timid spirit, and maybe he was a people pleaser. Being bold, being proactive, and using our gifts for the Kingdom comes from the Holy Spirit. I already use my gifts, and can still feel unfulfilled. It's continuing to build that relationship and draw near to God, and make my relationship with Him a priority and the main concern is how the Fire stirs, and grows, and is undeniable for man to see. We want God to stir up that Fire. I want my life to be on fire for God. If I'm on fire for God, I will be bold. I want to have the Fire in me to want to lay down my life for Jesus. We have the Fire of God in us and we need to take it upon ourselves to fan the flame and shine His light in us.

Lyrics:
This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we're in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever?

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there's no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it's You, that it's You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit won't You fall on my heart now 

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there's no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it's You, that it's You that we need
Start a fire in me

You are the fire You are the flame
You are the light on the darkest day
We have the hope we bear Your name
We carry the news that You have come to save
Only You can save

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there's no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it's You, that it's You that we need
Start a fire in me


If you want to experience an uplifting soul-stirring and "gourmet" worshipful album, look no further than Unspoken. "You can silence the voices, but you can't stop the song, when the Spirit's moving, His will, will be done, you can bury the workman but the work will go on" is the refrain of the Mark 13:31 inspired sing-along anthem: "Bury the Workman." With this excellent album, Unspoken is offering a great example of how you can write and sing lyrics that are unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and reach the lost with transparent confessions of faith. Every thought and lyric in this song and this album is rooted in Scripture, which I admire.

Throughout the album, I love the confessional and biblical lyrics and Mattson's emotive vocals cause me to hang on every word he sings. Unspoken is the best new band to hit the Christian music since Sidewalk Prophets in my opinion. The album is chock full of potential radio singles and every song is completely captivating. If you've been desperately waiting for a fresh filling of Christ focused catchy songs about relying completely on God's grace then don't miss out on this incredible album, one of the best of the year.

As the song sings, "You only need a spark to start a whole blaze, it only takes a little faith, Let it start right here in this city." Matthew 5 tells us: "You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept." Sometimes Christians know facts about the Bible but don't live out the Truth that the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. Jesus said in Luke 12:49 (NKJV): "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" Jesus warns of having a lukewarm faith, and tells us "if the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first" (John 15:18-NIV).

"Start A Fire" is a song, a prayer, and a call for revival in our hearts. Believers can all sing: "Start a fire in my soul, Fan the flame and make it grow, So there's no doubt or denying, Let it burn so brightly, That everyone around can see, That it's You, that it's You that we need." Amen to that!

(Listen to the song here.)

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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