LoveCollide, the self-titled debut from the Christian pop/rock sister duo LoveCollide (made up of Lauren and Brooke DeLeary), was one of my top 20 albums of 2014. The debut album includes the standout tracks "Sold Out," "Numb" and "War Cry." They recently released their sophomore project RESONATE, which is a dual album release.
The first album RESONATE: A Ripple to a Wave, which features the mission-minded title track "Resonate," is out now. The second album Resonate: A Spark into a Flame will be releasing October 2016. I had the chance to speak with Brooke and Lauren DeLeary in person at Creation about "Atmosphere."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
Brooke: When we were thinking about writing this song, I started with a poem. I was on a spiritual high at that moment. We go through different things at different times, and I could feel God's presence so strongly in my life. When that happened, I knew that I was on earth, but my mind and my emotions were in a spiritual realm with God in Heaven. I felt a longing to be with Him and go home and be in His arms.
I kept trying to write the word "atmosphere," and I thought that was really cool. I brought it to Lauren and she said, no, that didn't make sense. So I asked, what if we write a whole song called "atmosphere?" I showed her the poem, and she said "we have to finish it." We started writing this song together at that point.
Lauren: Theologically, backing that up, it's so cool because we are citizens of a higher atmosphere, we are citizens of Heaven. I did my Bible study and research about the song, and we are both so passionate about this topic. Our life here on earth is so short, and we need to keep our eyes on Heaven. While we are here, we need to live an extraordinary life that God has made us to live.
There's two viewpoints: one is that life is short, so let's live it out for Jesus, and the other is that it is okay that life is short because we have eternity on the other side. That's what this song is about, looking to Him because life is short.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
John 15:18(VOICE): "If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me."
John 18:36(VOICE): "My kingdom is not recognized in this world. If this were My kingdom, My servants would be fighting for My freedom. But My kingdom is not in this physical realm."
Ephesians 2:19-22(NKJV): "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."
Philippians 1:27(NLT): "Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News."
Philippians 3:14(NLV): "My eyes are on the crown. I want to win the race and get the crown of God's call from heaven through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:20(NLV): "But we are citizens of heaven. Christ, the One Who saves from the punishment of sin, will be coming down from heaven again. We are waiting for Him to return."
Ecclesiastes 2:11(NLT): "But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless--like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere."
Hebrews 13:14(NLT): "For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come."
Revelation 3:12(NLT): "All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God--the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them My new name."
What is the takeaway message?
Brooke: We need to know and have people notice that we are different. Whenever we go through a spiritual high and we are focusing our eyes on Jesus, you'll feel different. You'll look different, and you'll act different. That's what we want. A lot of times we get uncomfortable with our differences and don't raise our hands in church and don't pray out loud because we don't want to make people uncomfortable and look different. The truth is that we are different. We need to embrace it and fully dwell in a place of being with God. That's when we can live an extraordinary life.
We can live for God on earth and have our minds on Heaven and live in a higher atmosphere. There are Bible verses about us being aliens on earth. I was thinking about how we are not of this world, as Jesus and His Kingdom is not of this world. The world hated Jesus before it hated us. That's the truth of the matter. It might be hard and it might be uncomfortable, but this isn't our home. We are passionate about being tired of being basic. We don't want to hold back anymore, we want to be bold and let the Holy Spirit explode out of us.
Lauren: Philippians 3:20 tells us that our citizenship is in Heaven and there's far more to this life, and in Philippians 3:14 that God has called us Heavenward. We know that we are called to press on in our movement on this earth towards Heaven as that is where we are going, to spend eternity with Him.
Jesus was politically incorrect. Everybody wants to stand out and be unique. We all want to fill that void in our lives. We stand out the most when we go against the norm, even the Christian norm, and sometimes we hold back from giving all of ourselves in worship, and live in a Christian bubble. Standing out is a blessing. Jesus stood out. We need to look like Jesus. Some people say that lightly, but we need to remember that Jesus was hated by the world. That's not fun to think about, but there are times when we need to stand up for what's right and what's true and biblical, even when it's not popular. It's for God and His purposes and His Kingdom, and that's what wins in the end.
Lyrics: In a prayer; and in my thoughts
I'm existing here - but only for a moment
This will world fade as
I set my gaze
My soul awakes
Awakes in Your presence
I reach out, I look up
I breathe easier
In a higher atmosphere
Where my soul belongs
This world is not our home
I'm a citizen of
A higher atmosphere
You surround- like a cloud like
The moon to sea
You pull me ever closer
My spirit's free and
You stole my heart and
I wanna be
Wherever You are
My feet are feeling the ground
My mind is heaven bound
We all need to remember that earth isn't our permanent home, and our freedom from the restlessness of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. This song has become a personal worship anthem for me to sing daily and remember that "everything under the sun is meaningless." As St. Augustine put it so perfectly, "our hearts are restless until they rest in You."
We can all find comfort in seeking God's presence, knowing that He is always with us and wants to make His home in our hearts. "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world," wrote C.S. Lewis in the book Mere Christianity. As believers in Christ, we know that we are made for God. We were all created to find our home in Him, as stated in the bridge, "my mind is heaven bound."
No matter what your worldview, we all need to remember that earth isn't our permanent home and our freedom from the pain and suffering and heartache of this world will come when we enter the true rest that can only come from living eternally with Jesus Christ. Once you've accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, you actually gain comfort in knowing "I'm a citizen of a higher atmosphere." Amen to that!
Watch the music video below.
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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