BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#635 - "Have Everything" by David Dunn
David Dunn seeks to redefine the way we commit our time to Christ in this song of surrender.
 


Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost For His Highest: "We have to live the surface common-sense life in a common-sense way. The tendency is to look for the marvelous in our experience; but it's another thing to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, no one paying attention to us. It takes God's Spirit in us to make us so His, that we are unnoticeable." 

That's the devotional message of "Have Everything," a great new song from new artist David Dunn on his debut full-length album Crystal Clear, which also features the hit song "Today is Beautiful." This project reflects real life and emotion, from longing and struggle to breakthrough and gratitude, with David Dunn's forthright songwriting and intimate vocals backed by powerful arrangements and stellar musicianship. It derives its power from the fact that life and music intertwine so fully. 

The theme of "Have Everything" is that no matter what we are doing, we should do it for the glory of God. I immediately identified with the style and message of David's autobiographical songs. I had the chance to speak with David about the upbeat song "Have Everything."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

I was born and raised in a Christian family, and my Dad is 100% sold out for Jesus. Although he's had plenty of opportunities to make a mess of things, against all the odds, he has advanced the Kingdom of God. I have 5 brothers and sisters, and growing up it was very much understood that "you're a Dunn, so this is how you will behave. Jesus is what we do, and this is what you're going to do as well." Sunday you go to church, and then to youth group, and I went along with the flow and said the sinner's prayer with my Dad on my bed when I was 11 because I was afraid of going to hell. 

That was my path through high school. When I got a chance to go away to college, I chose to leave my family in Texas to go to Montana to play basketball. I thought I could be a big fish in a small pond, and I was chasing after the approval of others. To make a long story short, I had a hard time, and massively underperformed and went from a big fish to nobody in a month. For the first time I had to decide who I was and whether this Jesus thing I was supposed to do my whole life was really for me. 

I had nothing else, as people pleasing had been all I had, and the rug had been pulled out from under me. Because I didn't have to, there was a big turning point of deciding that this isn't just my parent's thing, but this is my thing. It was instrumental in me deciding that a Christ-centered lifestyle was something I was going to run after personally, not just because I was a Dunn.

In writing songs for this album, I've been coming back to the fact that the album is about my life's stories, and almost all of my turning points and big faith lessons have been preceded by all of these Job-like experiences in my life. This album is dealing with the question of why. All of the worst things that could have happened were happening, and there was no doubt that this was divine, and I was asking where God was in all of this. I don't have the answer. That's the spoiler-alert in all of this. The one thing I know is that regardless of your Job situation, His love is always crystal clear.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV): "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Romans 8:28 (The Voice): We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

What is the takeaway message?

When I was writing this song, I was thinking about the tendency for us to break our time into certain time categories. We wake up in the morning, we go to work, we go to the gym, we pick up the kids and so forth. We tend to think about spirituality in the same way, where we go sit in church, sing some songs and listen to a sermon for an hour and half on a Sunday, and we check that off on our list. 

This song is an encouragement to myself and a reminder that my relationship with Christ is not a timed thing or a check mark on my to-do list. It's an opportunity to invest my entire life and saturate myself with Him on all occasions. God, You can have everything. Not just this tiny chunk of time, but You can have everything from me. 

Stop putting God in a sub-time category. Consider God to be an umbrella that fits over all of your time categories. He's not just a box to check on Sunday mornings or any other religious events, but He is like the wind blowing over everything and every tiny section of the day. Every bit of time is all God's.

Lyrics:
The first time I met You, I was on my knees
Praying, "Lord, if You're out there, can You speak to me?"
Cause I was in a desperate place,
My life looked like a hurricane
The moment I felt Your grace

You can have me, You can have everything
Oh I am Yours
Not holding on, onto anything
But Your promise, Lord,
It's a new day, it's a new dawn
I've found a place where I belong
Nothing I want more than what You've given me
Hey, so You can have everything
You can have everything
You can have everything

You are like the sunshine in the dead of night
You're the only One standing when my world ignites
So why would I hold anything back,
Cause You keep my world intact?
It's true, Oh, God, it's true, so I'll say

You can have me, You can have everything
Oh I am Yours
Not holding on, onto anything
But Your promise, Lord,
It's a new day, it's a new dawn
I've found a place where I belong
Nothing I want more than what You've given me
Hey, so You can have everything
You can have everything
You can have everything

Every day
I'm gonna wake up, Gonna wake up
Wake up and say
You can have me, have everything


This song is David's response in faith despite his personal circumstances. Do we have the faith to recognize that God uses trials in our lives to refine us and remind us of our need for Him, or are we forsaking God in those times? Rather than wallowing in self-pity and misery, we need to live each day knowing that despite circumstances, God has a plan for "those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). We really bring nothing to the table. 

I feel like I am eavesdropping on David's prayer when I sing along with this song. It's exactly my prayer to God as well. I want this song to be the words in the mouths of my wife and 3 daughters as well, for this to be their personal testimony. 

For me, the most encouraging part of this song is the message that I don't have to be perfect, but that God knows me and loves me just as I am. That is cause for celebration, as we all have freedom to be ourselves and know that He has great plans for us as His children. I can relate to the lyrics, and this song relates to every listener in some way. We all need encouragement and we all need to be built up. This song is filled with the biblical Truth of 1 Corinthians 10:31: "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I love the sincerity and humility of this song. I sing it at the top of my lungs in praise and awe of my Savior and King, Jesus. 

Worship is really about submission, and our roles as worshippers are really defined in this song: to just be amazed and in awe of God. All we can do is submit to Him and give everything we have to Him. If you are a painter, paint in God's Name. If you're a teacher, teach in God's Name. Everything we do is a ministry. Lift up your voice and your life to God and submit to Him. My hope for this song is for people to pray along and live out these words along with David: "Every day I'm gonna wake up, Gonna wake up, Wake up and say, You can have me, have everything." Amen to that!

(Watch the lyric video 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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