#876 - "Ready for a Savior" by ANNETTE
Singapore-based singer and songwriter Annette Lee shares how coming to the end of ourselves makes us ready for a Savior.

Posted: November 28, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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One of the great new trends in Christian music is to invite worshipers to dance before the Lord with a contemporary, exciting musical feel featuring EDM and upbeat musical arrangements. Some recent examples of songs we've been able to sing and dance along with include the energetic songs "Champion" by Beckah Shae, "Get Hype" by 1GN and "Adventure" by Matthew Parker.

In that same vein of upbeat songs to really get you excited about your faith comes this great new dance anthem by ANNETTE, from her debut album All Our Achilles Heels. ANNETTE has a unique history. The artist is from Singapore, and like 90% of Singapore's population, Annette Lee lived in Singapore's public housing. She loved to sing, but was limited by thin walls and cramped space that left her neighbors disturbed by her practicing. Undeterred, Annette would ride the elevator up and down for hours just so that she could sing. Ed Cash stumbled on her music and decided to produce her first EP. I had the chance to speak with Annette about "Ready for a Savior" from that project. 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

I grew up believing that Jesus only forgave my sins till the day I was saved, and that from then on, I had to start on a new clean journey of following the Ten Commandments and doing good works for the rest of my life lest I lose fellowship with God, or worse, lose my salvation. At first, I thought I could handle being a "good Christian." But over time, it got hard. If anger was a sin, I fell short. If worry was a sin, I fell short. No one really discusses mistakes in church, at least not without a load of condemnation, so I ended up seeing scores of friends leaving the church because they felt that they could never meet that impossible standard of holiness. 

I almost gave up. Trying to be a "perfect Christian" every waking moment started to become really exhausting, and I felt like a hypocrite. How can this Father love me? It was not until I realized that my sins, past, present and future, are forgiven once and for all, not just until the day I was saved.

Interestingly, this is the 500th year of the reformation, and this is the same thing that Martin Luther discovered: that the law has already been fulfilled, and we should not attempt to place it in new wineskins by trying to earn God's favor, blessings and salvation through our works.
We are not transformed by our efforts, because righteousness had been given to me as a gift. I qualify for God's love because of this gift, and no amount of my serving, no amount of my sinning, can ever change His love for me. And that's when I was really set free, for that was when I truly understood what it meant to be saved. 

"Ready for a Savior" was birthed soon after, as I began to meditate on this revelation I'd received and began to grow more and more in the heart of the Father: that He is no longer angry at us, because we are forever righteous in His eyes, no matter what we do. Though it's impossible to meet the law, grace changed me without any effort.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

John 1:17 (NIV): "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 3:7-10 (NIV): "But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious; For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels."

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV): "For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

1 John 4:10 (NIV): "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

What is the takeaway message?

I find it interesting that the Bible refers to the law, engraved on stones, as the ministry of death. Many Christians who firmly believe in the law tend to leave this verse out of their study. But I guess it's called that because the truth is that when you're given a ton of rules, all the more you're going to want to break them, and the more you're left in bondage, sin and then death.

The law is a mirror that shows us up, that we cannot be as good as we profess to be, or as Israel professed to be, when God gave them the commandments. And the purpose of the law was for them to come to the end of themselves and realize: hey, we need a Savior. 

The chorus line and song title was inspired directly by a phrase my Pastor once said: "When the law brings you to the end of yourself, that's when you're ready for a Savior. It's hard to save a drowning person as long as he still has strength."

I started to realize, like many others of faith, that I have been trying for the longest time to be my own lifeguard, my own superman, but failing at it. The first line of the 2nd verse, "Wonderboy or Man of Steel, we all have our own Achilles Heels," speaks of that inability to save ourselves no matter how we try. We've been striving so hard to do what Jesus had already done, when all He asks of us is not for us to say "every moment I will try to change," but instead say "I cannot change by my own effort, Lord."

As we let go and surrender ourselves to Him and let Him carry us, we will see ourselves unknowingly changing from the inside, losing our desire to sin and growing in love and servitude towards our Father who first loved us and still loves us with zero conditions.

Slip and slide, I lose the fight
Every time, but I just keep on trying
Cos If I could, then I would
Have been my own lifeguard in the pool 
I used to say that I'll obey
Every moment I will try to change
But I'm worn, I'm taped and tied
I cannot win with all these lies 
And now I see this need of mine 

I'm ready for a savior
I'm ready yeah I'm ready oh-oh
I'm ready for a savior
I'm ready yeah I'm ready oh-oh
I'm ready to be carried home

Wonderboy or Man of Steel
We all have our own Achilles heels
But there's a hero that I know 
His ways are high
But he comes right down to you

I'm ready for a savior 
I'm ready yeah I'm ready oh-oh 
I'm ready for a savior
I'm ready yeah I'm ready oh-oh
I'm ready to be carried home

I'm letting go of who I used to be
Where I tried so hard but I failed to see
That all I did never set me free
There I reached the end, there I reached the end of me

I love how the music of this song matches the excitement being expressed lyrically. One of my favorite things about "singing a new song to the Lord" is that the idea of worship in Heaven is an exciting picture for me, and that's the glimpse that we gain from this high energy song. It delighted God that David, a man after God's own heart, danced unashamed before the Lord. This song is an example of being obedient to that calling to make God the object of all of our worship.

As a Christian father, I want my daughters to all know that they are beautiful just the way they are, and they don't need the world's approval or to fall into the trap of the world's definitions of right and wrong. We often feel ashamed and unworthy of God's perfect love, but that's the point. We aren't worthy, and yet God still wants all of us and loves us deeply. This entire album is about giving and accepting love. He never gives up on us. Commit your heart to Jesus as your first love. No matter what you've done, you can be pure in the Lord's sight.

The idea of finding our peace, joy and identity in Christ is beautifully captured in this song. "Ready for a Savior" challenges listeners to live the life God has planned for them. God is good, but life is not safe. We should all strive for true freedom in Christ. God tells us repeatedly in His Word to sing and dance before Him. This song is a great answer to that calling. Join in with ANNETTE and dance and sing: "But there's a hero that I know, His ways are high, But He comes right down to you." 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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