#562 - "Immeasurably More" by Rend Collective
The indescribable love and majesty of God inspired this new awestruck praise song.

I was completely captivated by Rend Collective the first time I heard "Movements" and then they took it up a notch with "Second Chance" and "Build Your Kingdom Here" and I've featured all of those songs as behind the song devotionals. I didn't think they could reach another level, but somehow with their release The Art of Celebration they have surpassed their previous excellence and delivered an absolutely flawless work of art as a worthy offering of praise and devotion to our amazing God. 

Every single song celebrates God's resurrection power in us, and urges followers of Jesus to "boldly approach the Throne." The theme of the album is embodied by the truth of Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV): "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." I had the chance to speak with Rend Collective singer Chris Llewellyn about "Immeasurably More."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

For us--me, Gareth, and Chris Tomlin--we began with the idea for this song based on what Louie Giglio had been preaching at our home church, Passion City Church in Atlanta. He was preaching on the Ephesians 3 passage, which is where the title of the song comes from. It is about how God will do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. There was something that was in that turn of phrase that was really inspiring for us. 

Our ability to conceive of God and to even think about Him falls short of Him in every case. Even our ability to form a song always falls short of His glory. He's more than we can imagine or create. That's something that is really exciting. As a songwriter, I was excited to engage with and grapple with that concept. Also, as a Church, we can be tempted to sing to God with a kind of intimacy that's not wrong--it's the Gospel--but doesn't always include the mystery of the unreachable beauty of God. 

Since we were going through that sermon series it made perfect sense for us to join up with Chris, who was the worship pastor at the time at the church, and we wanted to craft that message into a song. One of the neat things about the journey with the song is that we began with that passage, but the more we thought about how God is more than we can imagine, we started thinking about the whole idea of the end times with the return of Christ. That's the whole summation of the imaging process. We finally will see Him face to face. He's coming for us. That's not just an intangible idea of God being beyond us, but He's coming for us. We got really excited in the writing room.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV):
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Isaiah 64:4 (VOICE): Nothing like that had ever happened before--no eye had ever seen, and no ear had ever heard such wonders, But You did them then for the sake of Your people, for those who trusted in You.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (VOICE): But as the Scriptures say, No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart all the things God prepared for those who love Him

Romans 8:11 (VOICE): If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you.

What is the takeaway message?

That Romans 8:11 passage has been a preoccupation of ours with every album that we've released. That's because it is a preoccupation of the Gospel. There's no more exciting concept in Scripture, I think, than the idea of dead things coming back to life, of resurrection. Whenever we are singing in worship, there's nothing we'd rather be singing about than our "God's not dead, He's surely alive." This idea that our God is not a concept, He's a Person, and He's not a dead Prophet, He's a living God is so exciting to us. It's something we try to smash into every song that we can. It's stirring for sure. 

Within this actual song, in some ways we didn't want it to become a song that was too "airy-fairy," which you are in danger of when you talk about things beyond our imagination. We wanted to root it in something solid, like the resurrection, the Cross, and salvation and to remember those things as reasons for worship rather than just a lot of nice concepts about God. We came back to that resurrection idea. In that Ephesians 3 passage, it talks about the power that is at work within us. That is the resurrection power, the Holy Spirit Who makes dead things come to life.

More than all we ask
Than all we seek
All our hopes and dreams
You are immeasurably more

Than we can know 
Than we can pray
All our words can say
You are immeasurably more

There's nothing greater than Your love
You're more than we can imagine
There's nothing sweeter on this earth
You're more than we can imagine
Our hearts respond to who You are
It's You oh Lord that we adore
You are more, You are more
You're more than we can imagine
You are more, You are more
You're more than we can imagine

More than all our sin
Than all our shame
Stronger than the grave
You are immeasurably more

I can't help but sing
Can't help but praise
My heart cannot contain
You are immeasurably more

No eye has seen, no ear has heard
What is coming, what is coming
Never-ending joy, never-failing love

This is one of those songs that I could instantly sing with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, and I wanted to know the story behind writing the song. I love the title of the song which comes from Ephesians 3, and the bridge, which comes right from 1 Corinthians 2. One of the things I like is with the track order of this incredible worship album is how this is a cool-down slower song after several exciting songs in a row, "Joy," "Burn Like a Star," "My Lighthouse," and "More Than Conquerors." That's a good representation of the ebb and flow of our Christian life and walk with God. We have our moments when we are dancing with joy before the Lord, and our moments when we are struck by the awe and beauty and Majesty of our King, Jesus.

The theme verse of the album about God's resurrection power from Romans 8:11, weaves its way through every song as the band sings songs about being "more than conquerors" through Christ, which has been a theme verse for me this year. God keeps bringing the Truth of His resurrection power of His Holy Spirit residing in believers to my attention. That's the beauty of His Word, it doesn't return void and it provides a constant source of comfort, guidance and truth of how to us draw closer to Him and live for Him. 

When you apply that resurrection power, the Holy Spirit, living in each of us who are followers of Jesus, the application is that that we don't know the day or the hour of the Lord's return, but we do know that what is coming is "never-ending joy, never-failing love." That's something worth celebrating, which is what The Art of Celebration is all about. Whatever your circumstances, you can celebrate that Truth. You may be going through some of the worst earthly things that you can imagine, but "no human mind can conceive all the things that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

With this song, there is a gorgeous combination of the reverence of every word being directed vertically, and inspired biblically, to our God who is immeasurably more than we can imagine. I sing this song to God in my daily worship and devotional time bowing my heart to Him. One of the lines I really like is "More than all our sin, than all our shame, Stronger than the grave, You are immeasurably more." Amen to that!

(Watch the lyric video 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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