BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#889 - "All of Me" by Ashes Remain
What parts of your heart do you hide from God? Ashes Remain uncovers them with "All of Me."
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #889 -
Posted: January 25, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Ashes Remain recently released a long-awaited album Let the Light In, following up their 2011 album What I've Become, which captured fans' attention with the hit singles "On My Own," "Unbroken" and "Come Alive." 
 
The five piece rock band from Baltimore is comprised of founder and vocalist Josh Smith, co-founder Ryan Nalepa (rhythm guitar), Rob Tahan (lead guitar), Ben Kirk (drums) and Jon Hively (bass). I had the chance to speak with Josh Smith about "All of Me."
 
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
 
As a songwriter and a musician in the Christian industry, there's this unwritten expectation that you have it all figured out, to have the right image and the right things to say from the stage. That's just not me, and it's so crippling when you feel like you can't be honest with God because you have to cover up all of the mess. He's okay with the mess, and He wants to fix your mess. He just wants to hear you say it to Him. 
 
I think of it like when you were a kid and thought "if I cover my eyes, the bad guy won't see me." With God, we think if we don't talk about it that God doesn't know it is happening. That's completely ridiculous, but that's where my heart and mind go. 
 
This is the most honest song I've ever written, and it starts with these lyrics: "I'm a mess of contradictions. I'm a doubter who believes." For me personally, when I have to believe for so many others, I feel like I'm not allowed to say I've got doubts. When you become a Christian, it can feel like you need to have most of this stuff figured out, and your doubts should be a thing of the past. I don't doubt God or who He is or my salvation, but I'm still working through so much. If you are sick or have an injury and you don't go to the doctor, you won't get fixed. It won't just go away.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 
 
Psalm 73:25-26 (NKJV): "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
 
Psalm 40:17 (VOICE): "Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry."
 
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."
 
Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
 
Psalm 139:14 (VOICE): "I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul."
 
Exodus 33:14 (NKJV): And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
 
Philippians 3:8 (VOICE): "And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday's garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside-it's nothing but a pile of waste-so that I may gain Him."
 
2 Corinthians 4:16 (VOICE): "So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day."
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
This song is about confessing what is on my heart and my mind and not being afraid to say it to the world, to whoever wants to listen. One of my favorite things about music is that it can mean different things to different people. I'm always interested in seeing what people take away from the songs. Let The Light In comes from a lyric in the song "All I Need," and it's also a standalone line for me. It connects to the idea that if you want to change the world, you don't need to do big and grandiose stadium-filling things. You just need to love the people in the room. If you do that together, it's exponential. 
 
I know every generation feels that the world is getting darker, turning more and more evil. But I really believe that if we cling to God and cling to each other, that's how we let the light in. That's how we change the world. We've just got to love each other. Make sure you are focused on loving people the way that Jesus loves people.
 
Lyrics:
I am a mess of contradictions
I am a doubter who believes
And I try to hide the failures that I don't want You to see
But You tell me that You love me, more than I could understand
And You still call me, to come as I am!
 
You want my faith
You want my doubt
The things I don't wanna talk about
All that's broken, healed, and somewhere in between
I will lay it at Your feet, and I won't hold back anything
'Cause what You want is all, what You want is all of me
 
You know every single heart beat
You know every breath I breathe
All the sin that held me captive, before mercy set me free
You are the God of new beginings, You will never walk away
Your arms are open, so I won't be afraid!
 
To bring my faith
To bring my doubt
The things I don't wanna talk about
All that's broken, healed, and somewhere in between
I will lay it at Your feet, and I won't hold back anything
'Cause what You want is all, what You want is all of me
 
Everything I am, placed inside Your hands
Everything I knew before, every moment God is Yours
All of me!
 
You want my faith
You want my doubt
The things I don't wanna talk about
All that's broken, healed, and somewhere in between
Broken, healed, and somewhere in between
You want my faith
You want my doubt
The things I don't wanna talk about
All that's broken, healed, and somewhere in between
I will lay it at Your feet, and I won't hold back anything
'Cause what You want is all, what You want is all of me, All of me!

So many people can relate to the message, and the song convicts me to know in my heart the biblical truth from Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:22-23. God's mercy is new each day, and it is not based on our performance or what we can do for God. He pours out His mercy despite what we've done, and there's nothing we can do except trust in His Son Jesus. We can't earn Heaven, it's only through complete surrender to Jesus and putting all of our hope in Him that we can be saved.
 
According to God's Word in Jeremiah 29:13, we need to search for God with all of our heart, and then we will find Him. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole heart to God? Do we offer up half-hearted prayers, or do we seek Him with all of our heart? As a father and husband, this song challenges me to think about how well I'm showing love for God, my family and people. We all matter to God. Jesus promises us in Matthew 11:29-30: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." 
 
We are challenged to seek after Jesus with our whole hearts, and He will give us rest. That is so comforting. We need to confess our doubts just like Josh sings in this song: "I am a mess of contradictions, I am a doubter who believes, and I try to hide the failures that I don't want You to see. But You tell me that you love me, more than I could understand, and You still call me to come as I am!" God comes and claims us in our darkest place. When we are in communion with God, it is joyful and not a burden. I sing along with the truth of this song at the top of my lungs, singing "You want my faith, You want my doubt, the things I don't wanna talk about. All that's broken, healed, and somewhere in between, I will lay it at Your feet, and I won't hold back anything 'cause what You want is all, what You want is all of me!" 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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