#551 - "Love Rain Down" by Julie Elias
Julie Elias talks about how being washed with the refreshing rain of God's love changes our perspective.

After Julie Elias broke into Christian music with her debut album A Wild Rose featuring "Breathing Room" and her Christmas album Holy Night, she has returned with a worship album, Love Rain Down on August 26. The project features Julie's take on ten familiar worship songs plus two original worship songs, including the title track.

Julie appeared as an actress in the television shows Grey's Anatomy and CSI: New York, and then she felt called to record faith-based music. Julie's pop/rock sound is influenced by Amy Grant, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles and Christina Perri. She's committed to spreading faith-affirming messages that are just as uplifting to believers as they are inspiring to seekers. I spoke with Julie about "Love Rain Down."

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

I knew I wanted to make a worship album that was in and of itself an experience that expressed the highs and lows of how we feel as Christians. If we're being real, it's not all rainbows and butterflies and happy times. There are tough times too. I wanted this song to be the thesis statement of the album.

I personally have always loved the imagery of seasons in life, and water and rain. On a hot day when it starts raining, even if only for a couple of minutes, everything feels vibrant again.

Sometimes that's all you need to get a fresh perspective on things. I think it's so cool when we think about God's blessings and faithfulness to us. When we start to get dried out spiritually and emotionally and drained physically, sometimes that cleansing rain is all we need to feel a lot better and change our whole outlook.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Job 29:23 (VOICE): Indeed, they waited for me as one waits for a good rain, and they opened their mouths as if to catch spring showers on their tongues.

Proverbs 16:15-16 (VOICE): If a king is smiling brightly, life will be granted; his favor is like a cloud swelled with the first spring rain. How much better it is to receive wisdom than the riches of gold and to gain understanding over some silver prize!

Psalm 36:9-10 (VOICE): You have the fountain of life that quenches our thirst. Your light has opened our eyes and awakened our souls. May Your love continue to grow deeply in the lives of all who know You. May Your salvation reach every heart committed to do right.

Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV): And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

What is the takeaway message?

In the last couple of years after leaving Hollywood and making music full-time, I've learned so much and met so many people. I've experienced meeting people from different backgrounds, ages and denominations. It's been really cool. One of the highlights and most encouraging aspects that keeps me going is to see what God's doing with me in the personal stories that people have.

I've encountered some attitudes where people have gratitude for everything, how they look for something in their lives every day that they are thankful for, and it is inspiring. They look every day with expectancy for what God is doing. I think we get caught up in the day to day stuff, and maybe when you don't get the answer we are looking for or return phone call you are hoping for, you get discouraged. The attitude going into each day is important. You need to recognize the good things that happen.

When you wake up each day excited to see what God is going to do in your life, that's inspiring. When I'm not leading worship at church, I pray that God shows me at least one thing that I didn't know before, was confused about or needed encouragement from. Every single time I do that, there's something so cool that stands out. God answers our prayers.

There's Scripture that says, "You will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." This song is saying to God I'm ready for Your blessings and love to rain down on me. So much of our mindset has to do with the perspective and attitude that we have.

Every single song on this album was chosen with teenagers in mind and I've done youth events, especially with teen girls, and I've seen them engage with these songs. There's something to be said for having a set of worship songs set in a female key. When you are singing along and get into these songs, you can really connect with them. My hope and prayer is that everyone listening walks away with something, feeling a little encouraged. With this song, hopefully they feel better about something that they were worried about beforehand.

Music has the power to move in ways that just words don't. Middle school was the hardest part of my life. It meant a lot when people went out of their way to encourage me. If I can do that for young girls, I know that's what God wants me to do. God doesn't call the equipped. He equips who He calls.

Let love rain down from heaven
Let mercy flow on me
The fountain of life won't cease and leads to You

My thoughts are lost in the desert
And my heart thirsts for a cure
I long for a life where hope is forever green

You paint the sky and sunshine
Bring meaning to my soul
Only Your love can heal me and wash my spirit clean

Let love rain down
Let love rain down
Forever You reign
Forever let Your love rain down
Let love rain down
Let hope be found
Forever You reign
Forever let Your love rain down

The weak are made new with revival
The strong are inspired and alive
Hungry souls are filled because of You

Your promises never fail me
All glory and honor are Yours
Your love is everlasting
Your blessings will endure

Let love rain down
Let love rain down
Forever You reign
Forever let Your love rain down
Let love rain down
Let hope be found
Forever You reign
Forever let Your love rain down

Living water flows
Fills my heart and soul
Your love brings us life
No greater power or might

I appreciate the song selection on this album, as "You Won't Relent," "Rooftops" and "Oceans" are among my all-time favorite worship songs. I enjoyed hearing Julie's passionate renditions. She is clearly connected to the truth of God's pursuit of us and His Sovereignty over us, and she wants to shout it from the rooftops. In that vein, this new original worship song "Love Rain Down" proclaims a sweet sound of praise to God, asking for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.

My heartbeat is to learn the personal stories that inspire Christian artists in expressing their faith through songs and the biblical and life application of those songs. Since this album is called Love Rain Down and Julie's heartbeat as a worship leader is to bring worshippers to a place of adoration of Jesus, this song is the perfect combination of a catchy melody, call to worship and prayer for sanctification.

We know from Scripture that The Holy Spirit is described as living water which rains down on believers when they put their faith and trust in Jesus. We are washed clean and made new. That's powerful imagery, and there's an abandon expressed in this song crying out for God's supernatural ability to enter our empty vessels and fill us up with Him. We need His love to rain down on us in order to get through our circumstances in a fallen world.

There's a hopeful and celebratory message in this song proclaiming back to Jesus, "Let love rain down." We are called to love people made in God's image. That's how they'll know we are Christians, by His love. Jesus commands us to love God and love people. This song captures the essence of those greatest commandments. Sing along with Julie: "Only Your love can heal me and wash my spirit clean." Amen to that!

(You can listen to the song here.)

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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