#474 - "When You Think of Me" by Misty Edwards
Misty shares the heart behind this song, which came out of a spontaneous time of worship at her church's prayer room.

Released March 19, Misty Edwards' full-length album Only a Shadow, captures a raw, fervently energetic, and live prophetic worship concert. Recorded with Onething conference goers, the album features primarily new songs with a handful of familiar tracks from Misty's past decade of worship releases. Misty Edwards is an active leader at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, Missouri, a ministry launched by Mike Bickle. 

Misty's musical work stands alone as excellent worship music in and of itself, but much can be gleaned from understanding the dynamics of the context in which the songs are formed: 24/7 prayer, worship, and fasting. IHOP-KC has held live worship non-stop, without closing the doors, since September 19th, 1999. 

The album includes a few moments that take my breath away with how vulnerable and sincere they get, especially "When You Think of Me." I had the great opportunity to speak with Misty about her personal song and this is what she shared with me.

Please tell me about the background message behind the song.

This song was born in the prayer room. We were meditating upon the Scriptures and I had my piano player start a chord progression and I started singing this chorus: "When You think of me." What I was picturing is that scene around the Throne where you have the Father and the Son, and it says there is thundering and lightning and voices all around and I was picturing my voice like an arrow making its way through all of that and piercing the heart of Jesus. Can you imagine that?

When your name is whispered in His ear or your name is spoken in the corridors of Heaven, what emotion does Jesus feel? Does He roll His eyes? Does He feel frustrated? Or, does your name invoke a fond memory and kindness in His heart? I know the answer to that. It is kindness, and mercy and compassion, and more than that, it is desire.

I love to think about how Jesus' thoughts towards us are like the sands of the sea. He actually contemplates us and thinks about our ways. That moves me so deeply. If He thinks about me with fondness, then I want to give Him my heart all that much more. This message of the song is centered by those thoughts.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

Psalm 51:1-4 (NKJV): "Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge."

Psalm 51:9-12 (NKJV): "Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit."

What's the takeaway message for listeners? 

I pray that you would feel His emotions towards you, and know that Jesus thinks about you with kindness, not with exasperation. I was pushing for us to keep the instrumental Selah after the song together as one track. I wanted it to be one really long track. That Selah is one of my favorite parts of this album. The reflective music causes me to pause to stop and think about what we just asked the Lord.

In my mind, I picture the scenes described in Ezekiel and Revelation in the Throne Room where there is a sea of glass, and One who is like a sardius stone and He is radiating in appearance. There's a rainbow and appears like an emerald. I picture all the angels and all this activity and voices and music around the Throne. As Jesus is making intercession on my behalf and on behalf of the nations, He's praying because He lives to intercede. 

I love thinking about Jesus praying when He hears my name. If someone says "Misty" to Him, I know it evokes a fondness and sweetness. When our Father hears the names of His children, He feels tenderness and the emotion of kindness. We're not asking in vain. This is biblical. I just took the Truth of the Scriptures and turned it into a prayer.

I believe that as we focus on what Jesus did on the Cross, and we have the righteousness of Christ, that we need to come with repentance. We can't just ask for mercy without also turning from our sin. I think there's a lack of repentance. I don't hear a lot of songs that are written with the sound of repentance. Because we have such good teaching about who we are in Christ, which is excellent, we can't skip the part of turning from our sin. Anything that hinders my relationship with Christ, whether it is a sin I'm not letting go of, like bitterness, anger or selfishness or lust, I want to take the time to repent of it.

It's easy, just ask Jesus to blot out your sin, and like David, ask Him to help you deal with it. You don't have to grovel. It's not like you have to beg Him to do something, it's already done. Acknowledging our sins and confessing and asking for forgiveness, pray that when God writes your story, to not include those parts and edit them from our lives. That's what David was doing in Psalm 51. Repentance is a key to our worship. Turn from sin, and know that God has forgiven us 100%. 

When You think of me
When You hear my name
When You see my face
Let it be mercy

When thoughts of me come to Your memory

Oh my story told
Let it be mercy

Don't remember me according to my sin

But remember me with compassion
When my voice is heard around Your throne
Let it strike Your heart with love alone

When You think of me

When You hear my name
When You see my face
Let it be mercy

When thoughts of me come to Your memory

Oh my story told
Let it be mercy

When I stand face to face and look You in the eyes

See my heart, see my soul and how I fought the fight
Blot out my sin when You look at me
Let my life be a treasured memory

When You think of me

When You hear my name
When You see my face
Let it be mercy

When thoughts of me come to Your memory

Oh my story told
Let it be mercy

Much of Misty's music springs spontaneously from two-hour prayer and worship sessions called "Worship with the Word" or intercession sets. The ethereal musical style and Misty's powerful and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings and speaks. Only a Shadow is truly an anointed album.

In many ways, this song has become my personal prayer to Jesus. As I've gotten older, and as a husband and a father, I've thought more and more about what type of identity I have with my wife, my children, my friends, and people that I encounter. I've spent time analyzing the idea that I'd like to reconcile any differences between what others think of me, and what I want them to think. There's a lot of discussion in the marketing world about personal branding. Personally, I know that my desire is to be known as a follower of Jesus, a devoted husband and father, and a thoughtful and humble person focused on the needs of others.

What's amazing is that although many of us have such negative views of ourselves, our Heavenly Father, God, and our Advocate, Jesus, see us as blameless, and righteous because of what our sinless and spotless sacrifice Jesus did for us, dying on a Cross the death that we deserve, so that we could live with Him for eternity. I love the prayerful sentiment in this song, "When thoughts of me come to Your memory / Oh my story told / Let it be mercy." We know that God desires for us to "speak justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 5:8).

That's the story of the believer, to know that God has blotted out your sin, and not only loves us so deeply that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, He even likes us for who we are. He is our Maker, and He made us in His image and likeness. That Truth causes me to want to live for Him, and my desire for each of us is to run the race well, and for our Father to say to each of us, "well done, good and faithful servant." Amen.

(Here's a video of the song.)

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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