BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#901 - "Witness" by Jordan Feliz
Jordan Feliz broke through fear and anxiety to create this powerful declaration song.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #901 -
Posted: March 08, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Jordan Feliz's debut album The River features the hit songs "The River," "Never Too Far Gone," "Best of Me" and "Beloved," and it was one of my top 10 albums of 2016. The combination of Jordan's stellar vocals, up-tempo melodies and pop music feel really brings home the solid Gospel messages.

In anticipation of his sophomore release Future on March 23, Feliz has released the first single "Witness," which you can hear him sing at Winter Jam. I had the chance to speak with Jordan in-person at Winter Jam in Reading, Pennsylvania about "Witness."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

This is one of those songs that I'm honored to have been a part of. Essentially coming off of my first album, which was a big album with four singles, there was no pressure writing that album. Coming into the second album, I thought it would work the same way, but for some reason, I struggled for months with panic attacks and I had stress and anxiety about writing my next album and hoping that it would be good. I had been speaking with a therapist as well about my worries. 

I got in a room with my best buds, Colby Wedgeworth, my producer, and Paul Duncan, who has written with me before. We wrote about 80% of the songs on this next album together. I sat down with them and told them about how I was having trouble sleeping and the stress of not knowing where to go. Paul told me I was too good of a person to have that mentality, to not be stressed, to remember that regarding my future, everything I was thinking about, the Lord has walked that path before me, and to remember that our future is the inheritance of God. From that moment, the entire record came into shape, and that day we wrote the song "Witness." 

We went down this rabbit hole of the fact that literally every day, you and I and our families and our friends go through a range of emotions. There are days of happiness, laughter and blessings, and there are days of dealing with loss, sadness, depression, anxiety and stress. The beautiful thing about Christians and being a believer is that we put our belief in God who has reign and sovereignty over everything. That's really what this song is about, all of us coming together as the body of Christ, acknowledging His sovereignty over our lives, and asking "can I get a witness?" That's the entire mentality of the song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV): "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith."

Ephesians 1:18 (NIV):"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people."

Psalm 150:6 (NKJV):"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!" 

Psalm 51:11 (NKJV): "Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me."

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV): "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."

John 7:38 (NKJV): "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

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."

Psalm 40:17 (VOICE): "Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry."

Isaiah 40:31 (VOICE): "But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run--never winded, never weary. They will walk--never tired, never faint."

What is the takeaway message?

I want people to smile when they hear this song. I want them to think about how there's nothing we can't achieve and when the Lord is guiding our steps. He's good, and He's for us. 

For my first album, I felt called by God to write those songs, and He orchestrated writing them. My entire process of writing this second album was God giving us these songs. It wasn't necessarily a planned thing, it was seamless, and the Lord showing us what to write about. We knew what we wanted to say, and we had songs plotted out for us before we wrote them. 

It's been really cool to hear other people's perspective about the song. I've had tons of questions about the line, "working eight days a week." It's not that there are eight days in a week. It's an analogy that it never stops. I wanted it to be like 110%, there's not more than 100%, but the analogy is about how God is more than we can imagine in our lives. The song is about saying I acknowledge this and the church coming together and saying, hallelujah and amen. This album was written around Ephesians 1:18.

Lyrics:
I was blinded
You gave me eyes to see
I was going under
You reached out to me
No there's nothing You won't do
To pick me up and pull me through
Every hour, eight days a week, yeah

Your love is like a fountain
It'll never run dry, it'll never run dry
Your love is moving mountains
Every day of my life, every day of my life
Can I get a witness?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hallelujah
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hallelujah

We want glory, but can't measure up
We try money, but don't get enough
We fill our sky with fainted lights
Tryin' to guide us through the night
But You're the one thing, that'll carry us

So much love, so much grace
C'mon now (can I get a witness?)
Somebody in this place
C'mon now (can I get a witness?)
So much love, so much grace
C'mon now (can I get a witness?)
Somebody in this place
C'mon now (can I get a witness?)


As I spoke with Jordan about this song, I had been reading the Book of Hebrews. Thinking about this song "Witness" after Hebrews 11 and the "hall of faith," I thought a lot about Hebrews 12:1, and how it says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." This song is asking "can I get a witness?" The Bible tells us as believers that we are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses" who are the saints that have gone before us. They have shown us in Scripture that you don't have to be perfect to be used by God. 

Faith is credited to us as righteousness, and we have the story of Abraham and how he is called a "friend of God" because of his faith. In faith, Abraham went out not knowing where he was going. With Jordan sharing the struggles he faced with worry, anxiety and depression in writing for his new album, one of those cloud of witnesses watching over him is Abraham. Jordan also needed to step into walking by faith and not by sight and trusting in the unseen promises of God. God is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. There's two ways we can apply "can I get a witness" in our lives: we can say yes to God's calling, and then we can preach the Gospel and witness about Him and what He has done in our lives.

Living in fear, worry and anxiety is not God's plan for us as His children. His Word tells us, "do not fear," "do not worry," "cast your cares" and has many other reminders about how God wants to take our thoughts captive and trust in Him and His plans for us. The Scripture references about Abraham's faith has really spoken to me personally the past few years as I've also had to live out the journey of stepping out in faith and trusting in God's plans. I can attest that although it can be scary, it is an exciting journey to live for Him. Sing along wholeheartedly: "You love is like a fountain, it'll never run dry, it'll never run dry. Your love is moving mountains, every day of my life, every day of my life, can I get a witness?" 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.

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