BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#453 - "Live With Abandon" by Newsboys
Michael talks about what it truly means go get "out of the boat" in our lives with God.
 


The landmark albums of the mid-1990s—Take Me To Your Leader by Newsboys, Bloom by Audio Adrenaline, Jesus Freak by dcTalk and Jars of Clay by Jars of Clay—were certainly major influences to many. These albums helped lead people to seek Christ (myself included), and didn’t hold back in proclaiming the truth of the Gospel.
 
For me, the debut album by Jars of Clay in 1995 literally changed my life when as I examined the biblical messages behind the songs "Liquid", "Love Song For A Savior" and "Worlds Apart," I’m eternally grateful for God’s mercy and for drawing me to Him. 
 
Since Michael Tait started as a founding member of dcTalk, and has taken over as the lead vocalist of Newsboys, he has consistently played a part in my testimony as a believer, shaping my thoughts by breathing his voice into some of Christian music’s top selling and beloved songs.
 
With that context, I settled in to listen to the Newsboys new studio album, Restart, available everywhere Sept. 10. I had the chance to speak with Michael Tait about the lead single "Live with Abandon." 
 
Please tell me about the background message behind the song.
 
This is one song on the album that I didn’t write, but I understand the message of the song. I feel like a lot of us in life, most humans, are sitting on the boat and not doing anything. I don’t think we’re called to be quitters, or campers; we’re called to be climbers. When we’re on the boat of life, God is asking us to take a step of faith out onto the open seas, into the deep end. Nothing’s going to happen if you’re sitting on the boat. You need to get out of the boat. Walk on water. You need to trust in Christ and live life, truly, with abandon.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? Do you have a life verse?
 
My life verse which goes perfectly with this song and album is Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
 
Psalm 63:2-4 (NKJV): "I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory. Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands." 
 
Philippians 1:21 (NKJV): "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
 
What’s the takeaway message for listeners about the song and album? 
 
If you’re going to live for Christ, you need to have the foundation. The song "We Believe" is the Christian’s creed: "We believe in the Holy Spirit, We believe in Jesus Christ, We believe in the resurrection." 
 
To follow Christ, it takes a "Jesus Freak." You need to jump out of the plane and trust God. My dad would come back from Heaven and get me if I ever didn’t proclaim the Gospel. He was a preacher. I was raised in the Baptist Church. I understood the Gospel. We are all the body of Christ. Some are hands, some are feet, some are eyes, and some are ears. God uses us all and no job is greater than any other job. 
 
I’ve always said that God has called us to reach the lost and bring in the souls. Pray for our music to reach outside of the church walls so that we can be salt to the Earth. Keep us in your prayers. We want to cross-over, but I promise you this, we will take the Cross over with us. We want to share the Gospel with the world. We are in the Last Days; I strongly believe that.
 
I thank God because He made this happen. It was purposeful that we planned to make a record that was very contemporary and very now. A lot of times, Christian music gets criticized and pigeonholed that it sounds old, outdated and nine months behind. If it’s Christian, it ought to be better. When kids go to school, to High School or Junior High School and put on a newsboys record, we don’t want them to be embarrassed by the music. It should be first class. We thought really hard about making the record that we wanted to keep the swag there, but also to keep the Gospel there. It’s a tough line to walk.
 
Lyrics:
Chasing after this world makes me tired
Praisin’ my own name leaves me dry

There’s gotta be so much more to life than this
A higher calling that I missed
I want my life to count, every breath

I wanna live with abandon
Give You all that I am
Every part of my heart Jesus
I place in Your hands
I wanna live with abandon

I’ll drop everything to follow You
It’s only Your hands I hold onto

There’s gotta be so much more to life than this
A higher calling that I missed
I want my life to count, every breath

I’m not looking back
I’m done with that
Wanna give You all I have
I'm not looking back
I'm done with that
Wanna give You all I am
 
This is one of my favorite songs of the year. We should all "live with abandon" for Heaven, our true home. We live in a fallen world, and much of what we spend our time striving for—fame, fortune, and relationships, are like "chasing the wind." As Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, "everything under the sun is meaningless."
 
I really connect to the lyrics: "There’s gotta be so much more to life than this / A higher calling that I missed / I want my life to count, every breath." I especially like songs that include the name of Jesus and proclaim Him. Although many of us may know Proverbs 3:5-6, Solomon wrote that to us to remind us today about the importance of trusting in God with ALL our hearts. 
 
"Live with Abandon" is a great song celebrating the freedom we have in Christ when we are born again. God wants to hear from you and calls us to be bold as believers and to be the salt and light to the world. I love singing this song of faith to Jesus and telling Him, "I wanna live with abandon / Give You all that I am / Every part of my heart Jesus / I place in Your hands." Amen.
 

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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