BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#756 - "Battles" by The Afters
Josh Havens expands on the comforting truth that God goes before us in every battle we face.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #756 -
Posted: September 15, 2016 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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I've long enjoyed the hook-filled and emotive songs by The Afters, going back to their 2005 debut with "Beautiful Love" and continuing with "Ocean Wide," "Light Up the Sky," "Every Good Thing" and "Broken Hallelujah" from their first four albums. The band has always shared their hearts and processed some tough circumstances through their music.

Live on Forever is the fifth album by The Afters and was preceded by the hit title track, which sings "we are not where we belong, we have a hope that we're going to live on forever." That song helps remind us that we weren't made for this world as followers of Jesus who have put all of their hope in Christ, knowing that eternity in Heaven awaits us when we leave this fallen world. I had the chance to speak with lead singer Josh Havens about the empowering follow-up single, "Battles."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This is the last song we wrote for the record. I feel that it captures one of the over-arching themes of the album which is that God is working on our behalf. In our times of need and our times of struggle, in our times of pain and sadness, God is with us. He actually goes before us and is an Advocate for us when we are facing things we think or feel might be bigger than us. 

When we were writing the song, we had some friends going through some hard things. These last couple of years have been seasons with a lot of valleys and a lot of pain, losing people we love. We wanted to write a song that was encouragement for those times, something you can latch onto and claim in those times as a proclamation that God is in control and we trust Him. 

As we were working on the song, one of my closest friends from high school let me know that his wife was diagnosed with stage four cancer. They have two kids, and they are my age. I saw a post where they were going in for her chemo treatments, and the whole family put on superhero costumes where they were wearing masks and capes. They went in knowing that God was with them in the fight. I admired the faith they had, facing cancer and trusting God and knowing that He is fighting alongside of them and fighting on their behalf. I remembered a story from 2nd Chronicles and we pull a little bit from that story in this song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

2 Chronicles 20:17 (NIV): "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'"

Romans 8:28 (NIV): "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Colossians 1:12 (NKJV): "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."
 
1 John 4:18 (NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
 
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Psalm 3:1-2 (NIV): "LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him.'"

Psalm 71:1-3 (NIV): "In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in Your righteousness; turn Your ear to me and save me. Be my Rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for You are my Rock and my Fortress."

What is the takeaway message?

In 2nd Chronicles, we learn about King Jehoshaphat and how he is fighting against a giant army, and it seems there is no way they can beat them. God tells him "you don't even need to fight this battle," as this battle was His. Jehoshaphat tells the people to trust God and pray, to praise Him. Even the generals were going out and singing praise songs. God sent ambushes out ahead to the other army and defeated them. 

We thought that was such a cool picture of what the power of God can do for us. It is a reminder that in our times of struggle and when we are facing things that seem they are greater than anything we can handle, we need to trust God, pray and praise Him. Know that just like David went before Goliath with the power of God on his side and defeated the giant, we can face anything that comes our way when God is with us. We want this album to be a collection of anthems that will encourage you on your hardest days, amp you up and be a weapon for your faith to remind you that God is present even in the hardest times and you can trust Him.

Lyrics:
This current is trying to wreck me
Like castles of sand, castles of sand
My fear, like an enemy army
Is marching again, but I'm making a stand

You surround me on every side
Your love is my armor I fear no evil
Darkness runs from Your light
So I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid

You're going before me
And oceans are parting
You're fighting my battles.
When my feet are failing
And my heart is shaking
You're fighting my battles.
Fighting my battles...

Time after time You're my refuge,
You heal every scar You're guarding my heart
Your promise, the hope that I cling to,
My rescue, my friend You come rushing in

And surround me on every side
Your love is my armor I fear no evil
Darkness runs from Your light
So I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid

You're going before me
And oceans are parting
You're fighting my battles
When my feet are failing
And my heart is shaking
You're fighting my battles
Fighting my battles...

In my weakness You are strong
Every trouble You have overcome
In my weakness You are strong
Every trouble You have overcome
In my weakness You are strong
Every trouble You have overcome
You have overcome

You're going before me
And oceans are parting
You're fighting my battles
When my feet are failing
And my heart is shaking
You're fighting my battles
Fighting my battles...


People can certainly relate to the "Battles" imagery of this song. The lyrics in the chorus, "when my feet are failing and my heart is shaking, You're fighting my battles," have been resonating with me as I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely no matter the circumstances or personal distractions or concerns. 

The song represents life and includes some great challenges to step out in faith and trust in God even when you want to give up or can't see where you're going. We aren't the source of the power to overcome our challenges. God is our greater power source that brings the true power. In our weakness, God's strength is perfect! This song represents the victory that we have over our battles before we even know the earthly outcome by trusting that God is going before us and He wins.

"Battles" is a profession of faith to Jesus, proclaiming "Time after time You're my refuge, You heal every scar, You're guarding my heart. Your promise, the hope that I cling to, my rescue, my friend, You come rushing in." What a great way to profess and thank the Lord directly by telling Him: "In my weakness You are strong, every trouble You have overcome." As believers in Christ we know our eternal outcomes and that we are going to live on forever. We can face our daily battles with more courage and strength because we know that whatever the outcome, based on His promise in Romans 8:28 "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

You can sincerely pray these words along with Josh. It is a moving offering of praise to Jesus. His love is never-ending, and He is our refuge and our strength. If you are looking for a firm foundation in your life, make these lyrics your personal prayer: "Your love is my armor I fear no evil, darkness runs from Your light. So I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid!" Amen to that!

Watch the lyric 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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