Following up her impressive major label debut, You Got My Attention
, Fervent Records' Dara Maclean
returns with Wanted
, produced by Paul Mabury and available everywhere September 24.
The opening track, "Wanted," is an engaging song with Dara's passionate vocals setting the tone with the personal and uplifting lyrics: "You, you have been marked / You're set apart / And He calls you His / So you don't have to search / Don't have to look for where you belong.
" Like her musical influence, Lauryn Hill, the opener has a super-catchy musical vibe and is a wonderful song about finding affirmation that "you are wanted."
Over the past few months, I've really adopted the truth of this song in my own heart. This song has a special message to girls, as I've seen as a father of three young girls. The song is about not believing the lies of the enemy that you are a mistake. There are too many people who believe that about themselves.
I got to talk with Dara about the lyrical and biblical foundations behind "Wanted."
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
Topically, as believers, we talk about different subjects, and I think that's why there are different parts of the body to make up the holistic body of Christ. I feel like what I'm called to, and every believer is called to, is to clearly minister the heart of God to others.
What keeps you humble is remembering that there's always a prettier face, a better voice, there's tons of talented people out there. You step into Nashville, and you don't see anything special about yourself, even though you know this is what you were called to do and what you were born for. I think about Esther and Jacob in the Bible. I think God loved the audacity of Jacob asking God to bless him.
This song is the face of the album and the bloodline. We can talk about every topic under the sun, but if you don't have the filter of knowing God's heart and love for His children, then you don't realize that He's the only One who will remain fighting for us. You can have issues with parents, or loved ones, or friends. People will fail you. Pastors will fail you. We all have those types of stories. The enemy has used the crutch of deception to making you think that someone is the source of your security.
Please tell me about any Bible verses that you used to write the song.
Ephesians 1:13 (NLV):
"The truth is the Good News. When you heard the truth, you put your trust in Christ. Then God marked you by giving you His Holy Spirit as a promise."
Isaiah 40:26 (NIV): "
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He, who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
Hebrews 6:13-14 (NKJV):
"For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, 'Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.'"
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV):
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.'"
What is the takeaway message for listeners?
We need to allow only God to be on the throne of our hearts. I feel called daily to first allow my heart and my mind to be ministered to by the Lover of my soul. It's crazy, being married to a man who adores everything about me, which in and of itself is unbelievable. Even in the midst of that beautiful love, without me viewing it accurately, you can so quickly take away from the good gift that God has given you and begin to criticize and ridicule yourself and not allow someone to love you.
Then, times a million, the universal need is speaking to the child in every single one of us. I had to start with me and say that my biggest need and desire is to know that I'm wanted and I'm cherished and I'm treasured and someone is going to fight for me. He still is on a daily basis fighting the battle of spirit and flesh and warring for our hearts. God is just asking us to surrender and know that He sees us as whole and pure.
I was listening to a teaching where the Pastor asked if we really believe that God's going to finish the work that He's started in us. The Bible says that when He couldn't swear by anything greater, He swore by Himself. He'll finish what He's started if we'll let Him. He is faithful to take us all the way and to fulfill the desires that He's put on our hearts. None of that will ever be enough, though, if we don't know that we're wanted by Him.
I want people to know that God's eyes are on them. Before the beginning of time, God has marked His children. God is asking us to choose life. Many people have lost the battle for their minds. Don't allow the enemy to take your thoughts captive. The enemy is a deceiver. Religion is a Christian's attempt to do good in the name of Jesus. The only reason we can avoid the pitfalls of life is to acknowledge that there's nothing good that we can do; it's what Jesus has already done. When He looks at me, He doesn't see what I'm attempting to be, He's for me. Regarding the album, I didn't want a Sunday morning album because when people leave church and don't understand their relationship with Jesus they don't know how to handle life. I wanted to make a Monday morning album that hits on any topic and gives grace and strength and power to do whatever He's called us to do.
From the day you were born
And took your first breath
You opened your eyes and in came the light
He was watching you
But all of your life you couldn't shake the lies in your head
Saying you're a mistake
Oh but you were made
By a God who knows your name
He doesn't make mistakes
You are wanted
To every broken heart, He stands with open arms
You are wanted
To every searching soul, look to the rising sun
If you're lonely, hurting, gone too far
To the outcast you come as you are
For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted
You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted
Let this be the day that joy takes the place
Of all of the years that shame tried to steal away
He is calling you
Lift your eyes to see His face
Come run into the arms of grace
You, you have been marked
You're set apart
And He calls you His
So you don't have to search
Don't have to look for where you belong
You are wanted
Dara pours her heart out in every single song on Wanted, which allows listeners to eavesdrop on her expressing her deep feelings, prayers, and desires for holiness directly to God. I really enjoy how this album tells the story of redemption as each song gives a glimpse of how Dara offers her Psalm-like prayers to God.
Recently married earlier this year, the album is seasoned with Dara's life experience and convictions. The album is filled with songs reflecting that she's loved, "blameless," "blessed," and made in the image of God. Her desire is to share that in Christ we are free from the burdens of guilt and shame and we are "wanted."
In the song "You Found Me" by The Fray, Isaac Slade sings "Lost and insecure, you found me." This song takes that Truth a step further and reminds believers that "He calls you His." If you've accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can believe that you are a new creation in Christ. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that the Lord has plans for us to not fail and to prosper. You are not a mistake. Allow Jesus to be your identity, and "come run into the arms of grace."