BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#767 - "What You Want" by Tenth Avenue North
In this song Tenth Avenue North captures the paradoxical truth that to be a leader, you have to follow--walking in the servant footsteps of Christ.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #767 -
Posted: October 25, 2016 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
NRT Editorial RSS Feed


Tenth Avenue North's albums have been highly anticipated since their first release Over and Underneath, which included the Dove Award winning "By Your Side" and "Love Is Here" and led to them winning New Artist of the Year. They followed that up with a string of hits including "You Are More," "Strong Enough to Save," "Losing," and "No Man is An Island." By all accounts, they have been a leader in terms of recognition in the music industry, but the band is completely aware that that is not necessarily God's definition of what it means to lead.

Followers is the fifth full length album by Tenth Avenue North and is based on the concept that in God's Kingdom, servant leadership is best displayed by following the example of Jesus. Our Savior displayed leadership by washing His disciples' feet, and He asks each of us as Christians to follow Him. Followers is a great collection of confessional and authentic expressions of faith, yet another "best" album from Tenth Avenue North. Once again the songs are poignant and powerful, and in recording the new tunes the band brings a more seasoned level of musicianship, intensity and intentionality. I had the chance to speak with Mike Donehey about "What You Want."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Like a lot of songs that I've written, this song began with an irritant. I've heard Jon Foreman from Switchfoot say that he writes songs the way an oyster makes a pearl. It begins with sand or dust getting under your shell, and you make a pearl out of it. I've used that approach in the past, like with "You Are More," about which I'd heard people say "the choices you make, make you who you are." That's kind of true, but that doesn't leave room for grace or mercy or redemption. 

My irritant for this song began from being around church. Sometimes whether or not you are a leader seems more important than Jesus. When I look at Scripture, Jesus doesn't ask us to be leaders. He didn't say "Peter, lead My sheep." Instead, He said "Peter, feed My sheep." The posture of someone feeding a sheep looks entirely different than someone leading a sheep. 

I'm not saying no one should be a leader, I'm just saying that shouldn't be your focus. As a follower of Christ, my goal can never be to be considered a leader, because then that means I won't be a good one. Why do I need other people to see me as a leader? What lack in my spirituality am I trying to fill by what other people think of me? Every great leader will tell you that the best way to lead is to be a servant.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Luke 9:23 (VOICE): "If any of you want to walk My path, you're going to have to deny yourself. You'll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me."

Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." 

Matthew 28:18-19 (Voice): "Jesus came forward and addressed His beloved disciples. The disciples don't know what to think or how to act. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Jesus: I am here speaking with all the authority of God, who has commanded Me to give you this commission: Go out and make disciples in all the nations. Ceremonially wash them through baptism in the name of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT): "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago."

What is the takeaway message?

We were talking about the concept of what it means to be a follower as a band today. We were talking about how rather than having pride about our art, to remember that we are in the service industry. As a guy who gets up on stage and gets applauded for showing up for work, I can see how dangerous that can get and how quickly I can lose sight that every Christian and every pastor is in the service industry. When you look at it that way, you realize that you don't need to have an accomplishment checklist. You can be way less interested in what you are going to do for Christ, and be way more interested in why you are serving Christ. 

The whole idea of this song is to ask God what He wants from you, and you know what God is going to say? He wants you. If He has me and my heart, if He doesn't need me to do anything but He wants me, then why I'm going to serve Him is going to completely change. I'm not going to do it for recognition, but because God served me, so how can I not want to serve Him? The only thing Jesus is requiring of us is to say yes to Him.

Lyrics:
Everyday, I've been feeling the pressure
I always gotta know the plan
It's a weight that I've tried to shoulder
I thought I could, but I can't
And I'm so tired of chasing dreams
When I am wired to let You lead

You're changing my heart
To want what You want
To love how You love
And that is enough
There's no greater plan
That I need to know
You only ask me to follow

And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want

Oh, there's freedom in this surrender
I feel myself come alive
And the burden feels like a feather
When I let my agenda die
And I get so tired of my own dreams
But I am wired to let You lead

You're changing my heart
To want what You want
To love how You love
And that is enough
There's no greater plan
That I need to know
You only ask me to follow

And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want

So many leaders, You ask for followers
So keep on leading, 'cause You're my Father
So many leaders, You ask for followers
So keep on leading, 'cause You're my Father

You're changing my heart
To want what You want
To love how You love
And that is enough
There's no greater plan
That I need to know
You only ask me to follow

And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want
And want what You,
What, You want

So many leaders (what You want), You ask for followers (what You want)
So keep on leading (what You want), 'cause You're my Father (what You want)
So many leaders (what You want), you ask for followers (what You want)
So keep on leading (what You want), 'cause You're my Father (what You want)


I really enjoyed reading David Platt's best-selling books "Radical" and "Follow Me." Quoting Platt: "What did Jesus really mean when he said, Follow Me? Scores of men, women, and children have been told that becoming a follower of Jesus simply involves believing certain truths or saying certain words. We want to be disciples as long as doing so does not intrude on our lifestyles, our preferences, our comforts, and even our religion. The call to follow Jesus is not simply an invitation to pray a prayer; it is a summons to lose your life and to find new life in Him."

This song connects to the biblical Truth found in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." God loves you so much. Lean on Him and He'll give you strength. The world considers finding contentment in having possessions and financial security to be the definition of satisfaction. This song is a sacrifice of praise to Jesus.

"What You Want" stirs my heart and increases my convictions to live out the words of the song. When I listen to this song I am more committed to taking up the cross of Jesus and dying to myself so I can be a better follower of Him as He instructs us in His Word in Luke 9:23: "If any of you want to walk My path, you're going to have to deny yourself. You'll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me." We all love our comforts, and this song challenges me to think more of others and to share Christ more than to focus on myself. The cost of discipleship is to make Him the Lord of our lives. Respond to Jesus by singing along: "there's no greater plan that I need to know, You only ask me to follow." Amen to that!

Watch the lyric 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
Kayne West
NEW! ALBUM REVIEW
Kayne West - 'Jesus Is King'

NRT's Dwayne Lacy reviews the new gospel...
 
Jon Egan
NEW! EXCLUSIVE DEVOTIONAL
#995 - "What You Said" by Jon Egan
Worship leader talks about the inspiration...
Women Of Faith
NEW! NRT LISTS
Women of Faith Rock Edition
Introducing eight female-fronted rock bands...
 

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENTS

Christian Music

©2019 NewReleaseToday
A Division Of NRT Media Inc.

Secure
CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Discover New Artists
New This Week
Coming Soon
Playlists
NEW! PodCasts
Free Music
Album Reviews

NEWS

New Music
Movies / Media
Books
Events
Tours
General

VIDEOS

Music Videos
Exclusives

EXCLUSIVES

Articles
Devotionals
Interviews
Concert Reviews
We Love Awards

MORE INFO

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

RESOURCES

Music Studies
Artist Training
replica watches

CONNECT

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube