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#741 - "Lion and the Lamb" by Leeland
Leeland Mooring shares about the changes his band has gone through and how this new season birthed this song.

Posted: July 27, 2016 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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I've long been edified by Leeland's music ministry and his enthusiastic and biblical worship songs. I was excited to hear the song "Lion and the Lamb" on Bethel Music's Have it All, which marked the return of Leeland. He has previously released the standout songs, "Christ Be All Around Me," "The Great Awakening," "Follow You," "Opposite Way" and "Tears of the Saints," and now the singer is releasing his first full-length album in 5 years, Invisible

Invisible features all new studio recordings of standout songs like "Son Was Lifted Up" featuring Bethel Music's Brian Johnson, "Invisible" and "The War." I had the chance to speak with Leeland Mooring about "Lion and the Lamb."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

We've had a lot of changes in our band. About 2 ½ years ago I was at a writer's retreat at a cabin in Nashville, and we had an amazing three days. The third day, I was hanging out with Brenton Brown, and he's a good buddy of mine. Rewinding a bit, the chorus of this song first came about 3 years ago when we were leading worship at a church in California for three days. The people coming to church were very hungry for God and very expectant. Every night got more intense, and the expectations and hunger grew. It was amazing leading worship for them because none of them cared about us, they were just there for Jesus and pursuing Him. We sang like two full-length songs, and lots of spiritual songs, where we were singing words like "Holy" and "Worthy" over and over for an hour. 

The Bible talks about spiritual songs, which come out of your heart and Spirit. They aren't necessarily a written song, but come out of your heart. That's what we were doing, and everyone was singing their own songs to God. We were just weeping, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. My brother came over to me and asked me to play at the piano while he went down to pray for people. While I was there, God dropped the whole chorus of this song on me right there. I recorded the chorus on my phone. 

For a year and a half, I played it for artists and nobody really connected with it. I played it for Brenton, and he just latched on to it. It spoke to him a lot, and he started working on verses with me. Then I met up with Brian Johnson, and we talked about writing songs together, and I reached out to him as well. He loved it as well. Together, the three of us finished the song in about a month. We sang it at a youth camp, and all the kids just sang along, and we knew the song was done. Writing this song with Brian reconnected me with Bethel Music, and that's how I ended up recording this song and album with them.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Hosea 11:10 (NIV): "They will follow the LORD; He will roar like a lion. When He roars, His children will come trembling from the west."

John 1:29 (NKJV): "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
John 15:13 (NKJV): "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV): "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Revelation 5:11-13 (NIV): "Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!'"

Revelation 12:11 (NKJV): "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

What is the takeaway message?

My brother and I were talking about this song and God's attributes, about the power and tenderness of God at the same time. You see it with John in Heaven in Revelation. On earth, he laid his head on Jesus's chest, and in Heaven he sees Jesus in all of His glory. He falls down like a dead man. God is so mighty and powerful, and Jesus puts His hand on his shoulder and tells him to not be afraid. It's an amazing picture of how we tremble at His power and might and glory, and at the same time He is tender like a Lamb. It is amazing that He is both to us, for us and with us. I'm excited to see how the song has connected with people. I really didn't have much to do with the song, as the Lord just gave me the chorus.

We've loved being connected with Bethel Music, as after some changes our band it's just me and Casey. We felt like nomads, wanted to put roots down and joined up with Bethel. The first time I sang and recorded this song was at Bethel Church. We thought we were just there to visit, and we did some songwriting, and on Saturday night Brian asked me to sing this song with him the next morning at the church service. It was awesome. We sang this song for the first time together. 

We moved forward, and when they recorded the Have it All album, we came out again and sang the song for the recording in a set with Cory Asbury and Jonathan Helser. The presence of God was really strong. It didn't feel like a recording, it was just an awesome Sunday morning worship time. We changed it up a little for the studio recording for the album Invisible. What's different is that it's more of a synth-based musical style and fits really well on the album.

He's coming on the clouds
Kings and kingdoms will bow down
Every chain will break
As broken hearts declare His praise
For who can stop the Lord Almighty

Our God is a lion 
The Lion of Judah
He's roaring with power
And fighting our battles
Every knee will bow before Him
Our God is a lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
Every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

Open up the gates
Make way before the King of Kings
The God who comes to save
Is here to set the captives free
For who can stop the Lord Almighty

Our God is a lion 
The Lion of Judah
He's roaring with power
And fighting our battles
Every knee will bow before Him
Our God is a lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
Every knee will bow before the lion and the lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

Who can stop the Lord Almighty

Our God is a lion 
The Lion of Judah
He's roaring with power
And fighting our battles
Every knee will bow before Him
Our God is a lamb
The lamb that was slain
For the sins of the world
His blood breaks the chains
Every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb
Every knee will bow before Him

People don't want to deal with Jesus Christ. He requires people to admit they are sinners in need of a Savior. That's proof that Jesus is real and He's Alive!  God knows what we need, and loves and cares for each of us deeply. I can't get enough of Leeland's sincere vocals and catchy, worshipful songs. If you don't know how to word your prayers of thankfulness for what Jesus has done for you, just sing along with this incredible song of faith. 

The message of this song challenges listeners to think about our own doubts and how Jesus calls us to rely on Him and the power of His resurrection, and to remember that He has overcome death and fear. No matter where you are in your walk with Jesus, this song is a salvation message that helps us remember that Jesus truly came to die and rose to set us free.

"Lamb of God" is one of my favorite descriptions that God gives us about Himself, going back to Psalm 23 and thinking about God as our Shepherd, and looking ahead to Revelation knowing that for eternity followers of Jesus will be singing "Worthy is the Lamb" in Heaven. You can make the decision to admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came to die as a sinless Savior on our behalf, and choose to make Him the Lord of your life. This song is about our Savior, Jesus, who overcame the grave. It's about submitting all of ourselves to Him and His goodness and allowing His blood to cover us and run through our veins. That's how we can "overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony."

What a wonderful, loving and gracious God that we serve. I am so thankful to Jesus for saving me. "Lion and the Lamb" is an emotive and poetic description of the beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. You'll want to join fellow believers in singing these words, "Every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb. Every knee will bow before Him, who can stop the Lord Almighty?" Amen to that!

Watch Leeland sing the song 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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