#840 - "There Is a Cloud" by Elevation Worship
Chris Brown and Mack Brock unpack the imagery in this song of trust.

Posted: July 18, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Since I first heard their song "Give Me Faith," Elevation Worship has consistently blessed me as a worshiper with their anthems for the church: "Unstoppable God," "Open Up Our Eyes," "O Come to the Altar," "Do it Again" and "Resurrecting." The band is the worship team of Elevation Church, based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, led by Pastor Steven Furtick. Right alongside the Outcry Tour, where they appeared this spring with Lauren Daigle, Hillsong Young & Free and Jesus Culture, I was excited to worship along with Elevation Worship's latest album There is a Cloud.

I'm impressed by the consistent quality and fresh worshipful songs that come from Elevation Worship. This album is no exception and is arguably their finest and most Scriptural collection of songs for the Church yet. There is a Cloud is about proclaiming the majesty of God and crying out for His Presence throughout this incredible worship experience. The truly unstoppable love of Jesus is beautifully expressed in these compelling songs. I had the chance to speak with Chris Brown and Mack Brock in-person before Outcry Tour in Reading, Pennsylvania about "There is A Cloud."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Chris: Our hope for Outcry is for us to immediately go into worship and not have it be a concert. About a year ago, Pastor Steven preached a sermon. A lot of our songs come from messages that he preaches. The sermon was called "the seed is still on schedule," and it was about what you're doing in those times when you are sowing a seed, and you've planted it, but then you don't see any fruit or growth whatsoever. The message was that you can trust God when you've planted something. When God has given you a word or a promise, and when you've planted that in the soil, He's going to make good on it. His timing is perfect. His timing is still on His schedule. 

We started thinking about that, and what does it mean to be in a season of waiting and trusting that He is faithful? It took us to the passage in 1st Kings 18, where Israel was in a season of waiting and in a drought for 3 years. I'm sure a lot of people were having doubts about whether God was ever going to send rain. We took that passage and wanted to use it as an analogy of how we feel when we are waiting on God. In that passage, Elijah sends his servant out to the top of the cliff and says "go and look for a sign of rain." As a prophet, he expects the season of drought to be over. Six times the servant comes back and says he doesn't see anything. Finally he comes back the seventh time and he says he sees something very small, the size of a man's hand, but there is a cloud. That was our basis for this song. It's written out of that Scripture and out of that place. 

I think verse over verse in this song, it has an interesting progression lyrically. When we were writing the song we knew it was going to be different, and we even had doubts if it would connect with people at first.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

1 Kings 18:43-44 (NIV):  "Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked. "There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, "Go back." The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." So Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'"

Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE): "How enduring is God's loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day."

Deuteronomy 4:39 (NIV): "Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV): "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Romans 4:3 (NLT): For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith."

Matthew 17:20 (NIV): He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

What is the takeaway message?

Mack: The lyrics could seem ambiguous at first if you don't know what you are singing when you sing "we receive Your rain." What does that mean? We tried to set the lyrics up so that the lyrics are explaining what we are saying: "every seed buried in sorrow, You will call forth in its time." We knew when we were writing the song that this was a risky song. It's maybe easier for some people to get into God's presence with other concepts, but once you make the connection and listen to the verses, it can be so powerful to be in a moment where you sing and say I'm ready God, sing "we receive Your rain." Whatever You have spoken that You want us to receive in our lives, we are ready God. 

This song is a faith song, and it sets the tone for the album with what we are declaring and believing. That story in 1st Kings, and also the story of the Israelites walking around the city of Jericho six times, and how frustrating it is to walk around six times and nothing happens, but the seventh time, it happens. You might be in that fifth or sixth round or season in your life with your job, or your family, or an illness, and you might be thinking God is quiet. As believers, we know that God is always working, and His timing is perfect. As frustrating as that can be, rather than trusting in our feelings, trust in God.

Chris: "Don't Stop on 6" is such a big message for our church. Pastor Steven was preaching that message, and he kept coming back to the phrase, "God's promise still stands." We worked on ideas with Pastor Steven, and some songs come quickly and some songs come in phases over a long time, like "Do it Again." "There is a Cloud" is a song about trust. A season of drought is inevitable, but even when we don't see the evidence of rain, we can still know that God is faithful. When He speaks, it's not a matter of if it will come to pass, but when.

Hear the word roaring as thunder
With a new future to tell
For the dry season is over
There is a cloud beginning to swell

To the skies heavy with blessing
Lift your eyes, offer your heart
Jesus Christ opened the heavens
Now we receive the Spirit of God

We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain

Every seed buried in sorrow
You will call forth in its time
You are Lord, Lord of the harvest
Calling our hope now to arise

We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain

Like a flood, like a flood
We receive Your love when You come
Like a flood, like a flood
We receive Your love when You come
Like a flood, like a flood
We receive Your love when You come
Like a flood, like a flood
We receive Your love!

And with great anticipation
We await the Promise to come
Everything that You have spoken
Will come to pass, let it be done!

We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain
We receive Your rain 

"There is a Cloud" has been resonating with me as I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely, no matter our circumstances or personal distractions or concerns. For many years now, going back to Give Me Faith, the ministry of Elevation Worship has been a way to put Scripture into the minds, hearts and mouths of believers everywhere, in a fresh and creative way. That allows listeners to be edified and to be drawn to the presence of the Lord, and to call out and desire to be in His presence. 

The challenge for me in this song is the concept of needing to wait for God's promises, knowing that the challenges I'll face in this fallen world are God's way of making my faith grow stronger in Him alone. I know many times I think I can control outcomes and want things to always go my way. Do you want to be in control? Or do you want God to reveal His plans for you by waiting on Him? Are you waiting for yourself to work things out, or are you waiting for God to reveal Himself? 

God tells us in the Bible that with faith, we can do anything in Christ. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song filled with biblical truth. This song helps set my mind on Christ, and to let the distractions of the day melt away and instead focus on worshiping God and being in a posture of submission, asking to receive the Spirit of God. Sing with all of your heart "we receive Your rain!" One of the lessons I've seen about life is that we shouldn't wait to fix ourselves before we step out in faith. We need to fully trust God. Sing out the faith statement: "and with great anticipation, we await the Promise to come. Everything that You have spoken will come to pass, let it be done!" Amen to that!

Watch the band lead the song 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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