NRT's Kevin Davis talks to worship leader Jeremy Riddle about the "furious" love of God.
Bethel Music is proud to present its latest live album, Be Lifted High – a sonically and lyrically refreshing work where God is exalted and His love is on display. This album was created with excellence in mind and combines anointed worship and quality production to create a truly epic album.
Be Lifted High sets the stage for God to move through these original songs and moments of prophetic worship, where you’ll find your passion rises and hunger for the Lord is stirred. This album features Bethel Music artists Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, William Matthews, Amanda Falk, and Steffany Frizzell.
“There are moments in worship where the power of God invades so strongly through the creative medium of music that a deep connection between us and our heavenly Father is born,” says Brian Johnson, who along with his wife Jenn are the senior worship pastors at Bethel Church and oversee the Bethel School of Worship. “Our desire is to pursue and capture these moments so that believers across the globe can enter into that experience and encounter Him.”
I got the opportunity to interview Bethel Live worship leader Jeremy Riddle, known for his hit single “Sweetly Broken” that was No. 1 on the K-LOVE Radio Network for over 40 weeks in 2007, and who has toured with Rebecca St. James, Big Daddy Weave and Brenton Brown about his catchy new worship song “Furious.” (You can listen to our entire discussion here.)
Please tell me the message behind the song “Furious.” Do you have any personal application regarding your walk as a Christian in writing the song?
In my early days, I would have a moment of inspiration and finish a song in a day. Now that I’ve been writing songs for over 10 years, I get tunes in bits and pieces. It always starts with the melody. To me a melody is already saying something. It has a message that hasn’t been defined, but it has a mood and a feel. I’m always careful when pairing a message or theme to make sure the melody is brought to life by the words.
I think “Furious” started with a melody. I debated several different directions it could have gone, and one day I was singing about God’s love, “His love is deep, His love is wide,” and it just flowed. You feel that connection and say, yes, that’s the direction of the song. Then it becomes about the theme or thesis of the song. I started thinking about how a good song has a strong main point. The verses and the bridge help make that point. It becomes a Bible study for me at that point. I want to soak in the Word of God. I want to dig deep into my own encounters with the Love of God. I write lyrics of pages of Scripture and experience and review them and pick what jumps out at me. I spend a lot of time on all of my songs. I have a passion to see Scripture in songs.
Did you base the song on any Bible verses?
Ephesians 3:14-21: For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
How can listeners apply that message in their walks as Christians when they listen to the song?
God is really pouring out--during our corporate worship times at Bethel--this much deeper understanding of His love; just how passionate He is for His people. God’s love is furious; it’s like no other force. We’ve only glimpsed His vast affections, heard whispers of His heart and His passion. That kind of revelation of His love, that is what changes people, that is what brings people to repentance. That is what transforms nations, cities and neighborhoods. The song is called “Furious” because God’s love is a force that words can’t describe. I love the song “How He Loves” which describes God’s love as being “like a hurricane.”
Nothing can tear us from
The grip of His mighty love
We’ve only glimpsed, His vast affection
Heard whispers of, His heart and passion
It’s pouring down…
His love is deep, His love is wide
And it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong
It is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild
And its waking hearts to life
The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us
He calls us now, His sons and daughters
He’s reaching out…
And it’s waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary about Ephesians 3:14-21: “The apostle seems to be more anxious lest the believers should be discouraged and faint upon his tribulations, than for what he himself had to bear. He asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty.
"If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where His Spirit dwells, there He dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fullness, may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Should not this satisfy man?”
If you like the song “Sweetly Broken,” you’ll love the album Be Lifted High. If you like Brit-Rock style praise and worship artists Hillsong UNITED, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Jesus Culture and Delirious?, then you can’t go wrong with Jeremy Riddle and the Bethel Live worship team.
Every song on this album has quickly become a staple in my playlist of my favorite worship anthems. Every song is worshipful and catchy. For sure, this will be among my top worship albums of the year. My best description of this incredible album is to remember the first time you attended a worship event that really made the hair stand up on your neck and if you want to re-live that experience, then you need to get Be Lifted High. “Furious” is one of my favorite songs of the year with the biblical truth: “His love is deep, His love is wide, And it covers us, His love is fierce, His love is strong, It is furious, His love is sweet, His love is wild, And it’s waking hearts to life.”
Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. Kevin also writes reviews for ChristianMusicReview.org.
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