BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#714 - "Your Love Awakens Me" by Phil Wickham
Phil Wickham reveals the deep truth God spoke to him during a time of uncertainty and struggle.
 



Leading corporate worship nationwide, Phil Wickham is known for hits such as "You're Beautiful," "True Love," "At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh)" and "Cannons." Phil has an ability to describe the daily truths he is learning with a tender yet poignant voice and a passionate cry of worship. After a three year wait, Wickham returns with Children of God on April 22.

The album comes on the heels of the impactful single "This Is Amazing Grace," which was certified RIAA Gold and named BMI's Christian Song of the Year as it topped radio charts. This powerful anthem was recently recognized as the most-sung worship song in the North American church by CCLI. Children of God is filled with songs sure to follow in those footsteps and become new worship favorites, heralded by the single "Your Love Awakens Me."

This album provides listeners with songs that seek to give a voice to humanity's acceptance of God's love in any circumstance. In the same way that the Psalms offer expressions of joy, sorrow, repentance, hope and victory, Children of God gives a voice to the appreciation and adoration of God in every chapter of life. Phil's enthusiastic and reverent style of writing and singing praise and worship songs has consistently been a draw for me. His prayerful sentiments are consistently filled with his personal adoration of God. I had the chance to speak with Phil about "Your Love Awakens Me."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

A year and a half ago I lost my voice. I knew something was up, and I had to see a doctor. I was forced to have surgery on my vocal chords, and I had to be silent for six weeks after the surgery. He thought I would be back to normal, but there was a small chance and a risk of not being able to sing professionally again. 

After hearing that I had to cancel five months of concerts, and with that and healing and vocal therapy, and the risk of possibly needing a new job, I was stressed and depressed. The strongest emotion I felt was a feeling that I was lost and losing my identity. I had been singing for years, since I was thirteen, and that was taken from me for several months and possibly forever. I remember crying out to God, "What are You doing?" right while "This is Amazing Grace" was connecting with people. 

During the difficulty of that season I prayed God would speak to me. There's been just a few times I've felt God has spoken direct words right to my soul. God spoke the simple yet massive truth into my heart that He is my Father, I am His child, and He loves me. That He loves us. That we are first and foremost His children. That whatever may come our way, we are His children. That whatever we may be faced with, we are His. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Many of these songs were written out of this newfound sense of identity. 

God reawakened my heart with His love and what He says about me. That's where a lot of these songs came from. This song is a direct response to that fresh revelation of God's love for me. He has pulled me out of the grave and given me life, pulled me out of darkness and given me the light of His gospel and love inside of me. He has allowed me to live my life the way He created it to be, which is shameless and victorious and one with Him. This song celebrates that.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 100 (Voice): "Raise your voices; make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth. Serve the Eternal gladly; enter into His presence singing songs of joy! Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God. He is the One who made us; we have not made ourselves; we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields. Go through His gates, giving thanks; walk through His courts, giving praise. Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name. Because the Eternal is good, His loyal love and mercy will never end, and His truth will last throughout all generations."

Psalm 63:4 (Voice): "I will bless You with every breath of my life; I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name."

Psalm 13:5 (NKJV): "But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation."

Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV): "But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."

Ephesians 5:14 (NIV): "This is why it is said: "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV): "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."

What is the takeaway message?

The idea is God calling out to me as Father and all the great lengths He went through to make me part of His family: sending Jesus to come and die and rise again that I might have life and come into His presence, to not be a servant in His household but be part of His family. It says in the Bible that we are co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God. That's how God looks at us, and nothing can take that away. 

Maybe being the dad of three girls now has tightened the idea for me that He wants us to be His children. I remember feeling such freedom and peace and joy in that, even in not knowing the future with the surgery. It almost didn't matter anymore. What really mattered wasn't whether my identity was that I could sing or not, but that our identity is more than what people say we are or aren't, the applause of man, or the degrees on our walls, or our accomplishments. We have an identity in God. We are His children, and we are set free, born again, fearless and shameless. There is no reason to be insecure, anxious or afraid. With God on our side, there is nothing to fear. 

That is a free gift, for all of us to step into the victory that God has won for us to be called His children. Even when we were sinners, when we were dead in our sins, God made us alive by His grace. That's what this song is about. God's love is so perfect, and demanded nothing in return. His love is unconditional, and everyone is welcome by faith. I hope these songs stir people's hearts towards growing deeper and reaching farther into their walks with God, stepping into the victory that Jesus has already won.

Lyrics:
There were walls between us
By the cross You came and broke them down
You broke them down
There were chains around us
By Your grace we are no longer bound
No longer bound

You called me out of the grave 
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive

Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me

Feel the darkness shaking 
All the dead are coming back to life
Back to life
Here the song awaken
All creation singing we're alive 
Cause You're alive

You called me out of the grave 
You called me into the light
You called my name and then my heart came alive

Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me

And what a love we've found 
Death can't hold us down
We shout it out
We're alive cause You're alive 

And what a love we've found 
Death can't hold us down
We shout it out
We're alive cause You're alive 

And what a love we've found 
Death can't hold us down
We shout it out
We're alive cause You're alive 

Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me
Your love is greater
Your love is stronger
Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me


The energy and excitement of this song is infectious, and it makes me lift my hands up to God and dance before Him like David, unashamed, with all of my might. God enjoys when we have abandon before Him like David, a man after God's own heart. You won't be able to help but want to dance and sing along with this exciting new song of praise. It's exactly the type of catchy corporate worship song I've come to love from Phil Wickham, like "Cannons," "At Your Name," "This is Amazing Grace" and "You're Beautiful."

This song celebrates the fact that once you are a follower of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit He is in your heart forever. We need to pray daily that the Holy Spirit shines the Light of Jesus through us. With a fresh filling and singing along with this song, you can have the courage and excitement to live biblically. If you are having trouble living a biblical lifestyle, this song is a great way to connect with God daily in a fun and exciting way. Life with God is more than obligations or trying to be perfect or holy. God has already won the battle and saved us by His grace.

This song has a very catchy, emotive and worshipful musical style, and it's an amazing reminder of how we are called to be a light for Jesus every day, "without complaining or arguing." This song and this great new album are a wonderful way to celebrate that we are children of God! When we go to sleep, and when we rise, we can all be praying the words of this song: "Your love is greater, Your love is stronger, Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me." 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.

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