BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#687 - "In the River" by Jesus Culture
Kim Walker-Smith shares the incredible importance of joy in a believer's life in this new worship song.
 



Jesus Culture has developed and introduced several amazing worship artists and songs. Kim Walker-Smith ("How He Loves," "Rooftops," "Pursuit," "In Awe of You"), Chris Quilala ("Your Love Never Fails," "One Thing Remains," "Sing Out"), Bryan and Katie Torwalt ("Holy Spirit"), Kristene DiMarco ("Break Every Chain") and Derek Johnson ("The One We Love") have consistently blessed me as a worshiper. I was excited to worship along with Jesus Culture's last album Unstoppable Love, which was one of my top 10 worship albums of 2014.

The excellent live recordings on 2016 new release Let it Echo are all prayers and declarations of the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus, with declarations that we are "never gonna stop singing," to "Let it Echo (Heaven fall)." The album captures the heart of a community seeking after Jesus with a desire to know Him more and to see this passion spread from cities to nations. 

The new album and 9th live recording from Jesus Culture includes 12 news songs featuring Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala, Bryan & Katie Torwalt and more. These are great songs to pray along with these anointed worship leaders to express allegiance to Jesus, with longings to know Him and be in His presence. I really love how expressive these songs are, especially the Kim Walker-Smith led anthems "Never Gonna Stop Singing," "Alive in You," "In the River" and "In Your Presence." I had the chance to speak with Kim Walker-Smith about the upbeat and joyful song "In the River."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This song was written by Chris Quilala, and he asked me to sing it, which was exciting for me. He wrote it with a couple of other guys. He spoke with a number of pastors and asked them if they could pick the type of songs they would like sung in churches, what topic they wanted in the songs. It was unanimous that they all wanted more songs about joy. Chris and the other song writers decided to write a song about joy, and that's how this song came about.

For us, we have this song near the start of the album because we want people to hear the joy on this album. As a movement, and for me personally, I feel like I'm more known for big worship ballads like "Show Me Your Glory," "How He Loves" and "Unstoppable Love."  This song is so about who I am and what I love. We've walked through some hard things as a community, and especially in this time we live in and the circumstances around us in our church community, the joy of the Lord is what has carried us through. It's true what the Word says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." That's what we have experienced. Finding joy in His presence in the midst of hardship and pain gives us the strength to keep moving and walking forward.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
 
Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV): Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV): "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Psalm 46:4 (VOICE): A pure stream flows-- never to be cut off-- bringing joy to the city where God makes His home, The sacred site where the Most High chooses to live.

Revelation 22:1 (NLT): Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

What is the takeaway message?

There are so many people who can identify with the message of finding the joy of the Lord during hard seasons, and there is something in all of us that is longing for that expression of joy. I feel certain that if you were to ask a number of random church goers if they could remember the last time they sang a really joyful song in their church service, a majority of them wouldn't be able to. We seem to have moved away from that. So many of our worship songs are beautiful, but they are lacking that joy, which is one of the fruits of the Spirit and is something we should be experiencing as Christians. As a movement and as worship leaders, we want more songs that carry joy and are about joy. That's why we wrote the song. We want people to experience the joy of the Lord and the joy of His presence, which is something that is so needed in this time that we are in.

As Christians, what draws people in and attracts people, I think joy is one of the first things that people should encounter in us. I don't think they should encounter judgment or depression. I think they should encounter joy. As Christians, we have a responsibility to show how the joy of the Lord is our strength, how it is not based on our circumstances or our feelings but is burst from deep down inside of us and is birthed by His Spirit. I think that's one of the first things the world sees in us. 

When we look out at a world that is lost and people who are hurting, you don't have to look very hard to see in articles and in social media the issues with all the different drugs that people use for self-medicating depression and anxiety, all the heaviness, weariness, economy and money issues and burdens they carry. What they should see when they encounter us is joy. They are living in the same world I'm living in, but I'm experiencing something different. That's the beauty of having a relationship with Jesus and walking with Him and having the reality of the Kingdom. This song is a powerful song in fueling that and helping ignite that joy inside of us.

Lyrics:
There is a river where goodness flows 
There is a fountain that drowns sorrows 
There is an ocean deeper than fear
The tide is rising, rising 

There is a current stirring deep inside 
It's over flowing from the heart of God 
The flood of heaven crashing over us 
The tide is rising, rising 
Bursting, bursting 
Up from the ground we feel it now 
Bursting, bursting 
Up from the ground we feel it now 

We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 

There is a current stirring deep inside 
It's over flowing from the heart of God 
The flood of heaven crashing over us 
The tide is rising, rising 
Bursting, bursting 
Up from the ground we feel it now 
Bursting, bursting 
Up from the ground we feel it now 

We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 

Break open prison doors 
Set all the captives free 
Spring up a well, spring up a well 
Spring up a well in me 
Nothing can stop this joy 
We're dancing in the streets 
Spring up a well, spring up a well 
Spring up a well in me 

We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
Spring up a well, spring up a well 
Spring up a well, spring up a well 
Spring up a well in me 

We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river 
We come alive in the river


The Lord calls us to have joy in Him regardless of our circumstances, which these songs celebrate. Our true joy comes from our relationship with Jesus. This song helps set my mind on Christ and to let the distractions of the day melt away, focusing instead on worshiping the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Regardless of our circumstances, we need to truly be free in Christ and be filled with joy, like Paul and Silas in prison.

One of the greatest witnesses that followers of Jesus can demonstrate to non-believers to show them the upside down Kingdom of God is to live out the words of this song and have that inner joy, which is supernatural. That shows observers of Christians walking through valleys that they have the hope and joy of the love of God, living out His plans for them.

For many years now, ever since the first album We Cry Out, the ministry of Jesus Culture has been a way to put Scripture into the minds, hearts and mouths of believers everywhere, in a fresh and creative way. That allows listeners to be edified and to be drawn to the presence of the Lord, to call out and desire to be in His presence. I know the first time I heard Kim Walker-Smith speak about God's presence in her powerful recording of "How He Loves," I was ushered into a place of reverence and awe of God, and I realized just how special it is to be one of God's children. 

The first song urges that we are "never gonna stop singing." We love because He first loved us. God is love. Songs are an inheritance to share in victory together. God's Word doesn't return void, and He wants us to have victory. "In the River" is an uplifting, catchy and encouraging song. As a follower of Jesus, you'll want to join in and sing out: "Break open prison doors, set all the captives free. Spring up a well, spring up a well, spring up a well in me. Nothing can stop this joy, we're dancing in the streets. Spring up a well, spring up a well, spring up a well in me. We come alive in the river." Amen to that!

Watch the music video below.
 

 

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.

Christian Music, Devotionals, Interviews, Editorials
Danny Gokey
NEW! EXCLUSIVE INTERVEW
Danny Gokey: A Hope Encounter
Danny talks to NRT about his upcoming...
 
Zahna
NEW! BEHIND THE SONG DEVOTIONAL
#938 - "Drown" by Zahna
Hard rocker Zahna speaks to Kevin Davis...
Throwback
NEW! FEATURE
Five Throwback Singles That Tell A Story
NRT's Jessi Ellerbe recalls five songs...
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Christian Music, Facebook Christian Music, Twitter Christian Music, Google Christian Music, YouTube Christian Music, Instagram

ADVERTISEMENTS

Christian Music

©2018 NewReleaseToday
A Division Of NRT Media Inc.

Secure
CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Discover
New This Week
Coming Soon
Free Downloads
Playlists
Reviews

MOVIES/TV

Trailers
Reviews

NEWS

New Music
Movies / Media
Books
Events
Tours
General

VIDEOS

Music Videos
Exclusives
#NRTLive Hangouts
copie montre

EXCLUSIVES

Articles
Devotionals
Interviews
Concert Reviews
Contests
We Love Awards

NRT RADIO NETWORK
replique montre
One
Worship
Remix
Jam The Hype
Christmas replica watches

 

MORE INFO

RSS
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Advertising
Staff
New Music Email
Contact

CONNECT

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Google+
Periscope