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#556 - "Fix My Eyes" by for KING & COUNTRY
Joel Smallbone talks about not allowing even good things to distract us from the best thing.

One of the most anticipated new releases of the year is for KING & COUNTRY's sophomore album, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. These singers of the hit songs "The Proof of Your Love," "Middle of Your Heart," "Busted Heart," "Hope is What We Crave" and "Baby Boy," which have all previously been featured as behind the song devotionals, are Luke and Joel Smallbone.

This new album has been preceded by the release of the infectious anthem "Fix My Eyes," which has been an energizing song for the church. I've had the opportunity to worship with the band in person with the song a couple of times, and it is a wonderful way to remind us to "fix my eyes on You" by singing along with the "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and Psalm 121 inspired song. I had the opportunity to speak with Joel in person at Creation NE about this Dove Award nominated lead single.

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This was a song that we had written at the end of 2012, right at the time of the success of our song "The Proof of Your Love." That time was a transitional time for the band, and really a time of chaos. It was also a wonderful time. I was about to be married, and Luke was about to have a baby, and we had finished our first headlining tour. Luke's wife Courtney was running lights for us while she was seven months pregnant, and we'd be driving through the night. Luke was starting to have his health issues.

We thought things were great and our lives had taken an awesome turn, but we took a step back and had a poignant moment while we were writing the song, asking ourselves who we are as people and as a band, and interjecting all of those things into a song. The chorus talks about everything from social awareness of third world countries, fighting for the weak ones, speaking up for freedom, fighting for abandon and risking it all for love. The chorus culminates in saying that we can do all of these things, but if we don't fix our eyes, meaning repair our eyes, and fix our eyes on above, then all of these things are worthless. The bridge of the song was inspired by the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus."

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 121 (NKJV): "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."

Psalm 119:37 (NKJV): Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.

Matthew 14:29-31 (NKJV): "So He said, ‘Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" 

Acts 26:18 (The Voice): "It will be your mission to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. This is so that they may receive forgiveness of all their sins and have a place among those who are set apart for a holy purpose through having faith in Me."

What is the takeaway message?

We came up with a list of sorts in writing the song: to love like I'm not scared, give when it's not fair, live life for another, take time for a brother, fight for the weak ones, take time for freedom, find faith in the battle, stand tall but above all of those really good things, fix our eyes on the best thing. The irony when you read through all those things is that if any of them become the best thing, you are in real trouble.

That was our wrestling match in that writing room, asking ourselves "who are we and what do we stand for? If we could go back in time, what would we tell ourselves?" This song is what was born out of that time. We started playing the song at every show starting in 2013, and now about a year and a half after the birth of the song it was released as the first single of our sophomore album.

The title of the album is derived from the title track "Run Wild," which we wrote with Andy Mineo. That song deals very much with counterfeit versions, trying to live other than how we were designed to live. What I mean by that is when we think of freedom, most people think "I'll do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want." I would argue, looking at Luke's young son, he has freedom, but has a lot of confinement. It's in that confinement, if you will, that you find true freedom.

The album title is a statement to say we were created by God, and He has the best design for our lives and the best way to find freedom. This album celebrates that. "Love like I'm not scared" from this song ties into that, because fear holds us back from so much. If we can deal with fear, then we can become the best versions of who God created us to be. If you look at the benchmarks of the Scriptures, it tells us don't worry, but pray. Yet here we are worried sick. If we truly believe in God and Jesus and what He did for us, we will live a fearless and adventurous, wild, free, strong life.

Hit rewind
Click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me
All of the mistakes
All of the heartbreak
Here's what I'd do differently

I'd love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You

I learned the lines and talked the talk (everybody knows that, everybody knows that)
But the road less traveled is hard to walk (everybody knows that, everybody knows)
It takes a soldier
Who knows his orders
To walk the walk I'm supposed to walk

And love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You

The things of Earth are dimming
In the light of Your glory and grace
I'll set my sights upon Heaven
I'm fixing my eyes on You
I'm fixing my eyes on You
I'm fixing my eyes

Love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You
I fix my eyes on You
I fix my eyes on You

This is one of my favorite songs of the year, and I was so excited to learn it was nominated for a GMA Dove Award for Song of the Year. I can't get enough of the biblical truth of the song. I love when artists are inspired by God's Word from the Bible and hymns of the faith. I sing this song to God with all of my heart and am inspired to "Love like I'm not scared, Give when it's not fair, Live life for another, Take time for a brother, Fight for the weak ones, Speak out for freedom, Find faith in the battle, Stand tall but above it all, Fix my eyes on You!"

I can't get enough of the musical feel and overall message of the song. Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong., musically and lyrically, is certainly one of the most engaging albums of the year. There is nothing cliché or false in anything this group does. If you are looking for a band with songs that stir your soul like Arcade Fire, Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE, then you'll absolutely want to check out this new album by for KING & COUNTRY.

Hymns of the faith like "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" have a perfectly poetic, biblical description of God and are filled with piercingly difficult truths to believe all of the time. When you put yourself under a microscope and examine whether you really believe all of the words of this great song, you'll find that it will challenge your faith. The timeless passage, Psalm 121, has application as well for us today, living in uncertain times. Know with certainty that "It takes a soldier, who knows his orders, To walk the walk I'm supposed to walk." Amen to that!

(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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