BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#865 - "Set My Heart" by Vertical Worship
Lauren Smith shares how leading this worship song transformed it into a personal declaration for her.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #865 -
Posted: October 12, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Vertical Worship's live worship albums have been highly anticipated since their first release Live Worship From Vertical Church, which included the hit songs "Not for a Moment (After All)" and "Open up the Heavens," featuring worship leader Meredith Andrews. They followed that up with more songs for the church, including "The Rock Won't Move," "Found in You," "Lamb of God," "Spirit of the Living God," "Exalted Over All,""1000 Tongues" and "Frontiers."

Last year's Frontiers was the fourth full-length worship album by Vertical Worship, and was one of my Top 10 Worship Albums of 2016. The group is a ministry formed out of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. Vertical Worship is their latest release, with all-new studio recordings of several standout songs from the past. I had the chance to speak with worship leader Lauren Smith about "Set My Heart."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

I'm really thankful to be part of Vertical Worship. My husband and I came on staff at Harvest Bible Chapel two years ago, and this song was written that summer at the songwriting retreat. I asked the story of how it came about, because when I'm leading a song that I wasn't part of writing, I like to know the story and the process behind writing the song. 

I talked with one of the writers, Mia Fieldes, and she told me before writing the song our pastor James MacDonald had a time of devotions. He referenced Ezra 7:10, which is about Ezra setting his heart to study the Law of the Lord and to do it. She said when he said that, she wrote it down, and that's how this song came about. That's the main Bible passage the song is birthed from. I heard the song for the first time as a demo after that songwriting retreat, and I started leading it and singing it at our church. It is a prayer about choosing to set my heart on the Lord. 

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 16:8 (NASB): "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Ezra 7:10 (NLV): "For Ezra had set his heart to learn the Law of the Lord, to live by it, and to teach His Laws in Israel."

Isaiah 26:3 (NLV): "You will keep the man in perfect peace whose mind is kept on You, because he trusts in You."

Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV): "Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day."

Psalm 37:4-6 (NKJV): "Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday."

Psalm 90:12 (NIV): "Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

1 John 4:18-19 (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. We love because He first loved us."

What is the takeaway message?

For me, this personal message of saying "I set my heart on You" means more to me now even than it did when we recorded it. In my own life, I've battled fear and doubt. My husband and I came to Chicago brand-new from Virginia, and there's been a lot of change and unknowns for us. I battle through the things in this song, with fear and doubt and learning to trust the Lord and have hope in Him and His plans. This is a song that I've needed to sing to the Lord, and I've needed to sing over my heart and my circumstances. It's not just a song that I lead with Vertical Worship, but even more than that, I've been finding that I say to the Lord daily that I'm choosing to set my heart on Him above everything else and above every circumstance. This song has been a prayer for me these past couple of years. 

We want our songs to be to the Lord and to point people back to what His Word says. When we hear "quiet the voice of doubt again... let Your Word be louder than my fears," we want people to know that God has promised this to us in His Word, like in Isaiah 26:3. Psalm 16:8 says, "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." That's why we can sing the bridge: "nothing can ever shake me, ever break me, all my hope is You." We can sing that with confidence. 

The Word of God is true, and He's proven it. Through this song, I hope it points people to look up and to point them back to what the Word of God says. You can trust in Him. When you are setting your heart on Him, that's an action and a choice. You can choose today to set your heart on Him. Whether you are dealing with fear, doubt or uncertainty, above all you can choose to trust in the Lord. It's a beautiful and powerful thing to sing over yourself and choose to set your heart on Him.

Lyrics:
Quiet the voice of doubt again,
Echo within me every promise,
Let Your Word be louder than my fears.
Speak to the void when I can't see,
Lift up my head in every valley,
Let your joy be greater than my grief.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.

You make a way when none is found,
You tell the roaring ocean to bow.
I believe You're moving even now,
Right here, right now.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.
I set my, set my heart on You.

Nothing will ever break me, ever slay me,
All my hope in You.
Nothing will ever shake me, overtake me,
All my hope in You.

Nothing will ever break me, ever slay me,
All my hope in You.
Nothing will ever shake me, overtake me,
All my hope in You.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.

Set my, set my heart on You,
Set my, set my heart on You.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.

I have set my heart,
Set my, set my heart on You.
You have every part of me,
I set my heart on You.


"Set My Heart" is such a great song and anthem of praise. Many of my favorite songs are based on the joy of the Psalms, and several songs from Vertical Worship's albums also have that psalmist feel. As Lauren and I discussed this song and the related Scripture passages, I thought about how convicting it is to really live out the words of Psalm 37:4-5: "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass."

Once you adopt the words of this song into your heart, then you will remember the truth that Jesus has always been, He is today and He always will be the One who makes a way for us, even when it seems impossible. That's something to remember and rest upon. I love the Ezra 7:10 Bible passage that originated the song, and Ezra's prayer to set his heart to learn the Law of the Lord and to live by it. Singing along with this song is a great way to work on the disciplines of self-examination and prayer.

We all deal with some level of fear, worry and anxiety. This song is also about submitting all of your worries, anxieties and stress to God and letting Him be your guide and living out the prayer, "Let Your Word be louder than my fears." God wants to walk beside you, and He wants us to be bold and unafraid. God wants us to know that He's faithful to complete what's He's started in all of us who have put our hope and trust in Jesus. This song convicts me that I don't want to waste any more time. Sing along, "I have set my heart, set my, set my heart on You. You have every part of me, I set my heart on You." Amen to that!

Watch Lauren sing 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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