BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#905 - "Spirit Sing" by Zealand Worship
Have you ever had a moment where you couldn't help but worship? A moment like that inspired Phil Joel to write "Spirit Sing."
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #905 -
Posted: March 22, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Led by Phil Joel, best known for his long-standing role as bass player and vocalist for the multiplatinum-selling band Newsboys, Zealand Worship has been leading worship worldwide for the past three years and can now be seen opening on the Newsboys United Tour. Following up their debut project Zealand Worship: The EP which features the standout songs, "You Awaken My Soul" and "Good, Good Father," the band has released their full-length album, Liberated. I had the chance to speak with Phil Joel about the first single "Spirit Sing."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

The story of this song is that I was in Lincoln, Nebraska helping Phil Zach of Remedy Drive produce a record for some friends of mine. We finished that, and the guys went to the hotel. Phil said he'd like me to hear this song he was working on for his worship project and add my vocals to the song. He played me the song, and I jumped into the studio and started singing, and then there was this moment where I let out this "Woah, You make my spirit sing" vocal. It made it on the recording on his album. 

I played the song for my wife Heather, and she loved that moment in the chorus and thought we could write an entire song around that concept, a scream of worship. We brought in Benji Cowart. He's awesome, and we began to write this song back in Nashville. The song took form pretty quickly, and the deeper meaning behind the song didn't hit us until we'd recorded the song. 

Phil Zach called me and he said he had just had a spirit sing moment in Lincoln, Nebraska waiting for the eclipse. Just before the eclipse hit there in Nebraska, just like here in Nashville, there was this moment where you could hear everybody breathe in and gasp as the eclipse locked in and everything went dark. The birds stopped chirping, and then everybody let out this "woah" cheer once it hit. Whether they knew it or not, everybody was in awe of God and let out a cry of praise at that moment. He told me that story about Nebraska, and we experienced that same thing in Nashville. That was an awesome, in the correct use of the word, experience of God's display of His creativity. 

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

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 96:7 (MSG): "Bravo, God, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might."

1 Kings 19:12 (KJV): "And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

John 14:16 (NKJV): "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever."

Psalm 46:10 (NKJV): "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Psalm 42:7-8 (NKJV): "Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me--A prayer to the God of my life."

Psalm 33:8 (NASB): "Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him."

Psalm 145:10-12 (VOICE): "All creation will stand in awe of You, O Eternal One. Thanks will pour from the mouths of every one of Your creatures; Your holy people will bless You. They will not be silent; they will talk of the grandeur of Your kingdom and celebrate the wonder of Your power. Until everyone on earth who has ears to hear knows Your valiant acts and the splendor of Your kingdom."

Psalm 68:18 (NKJV): "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there."

Ephesians 4:8 (NKJV): "Therefore He says: 'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.'"

What is the takeaway message?

There's so much out there when we stop and be still and in awe of God in a prayerful way. What happens when we get outside and experience nature? That's why people go hiking and kayaking and want to be outdoors to experience the awesomeness of God's creation, whether or not they are believers. Oftentimes, they are engaging in worship, as it is intrinsic in us to let out a gasp as we stand in awe of God. We have a pressure valve release of worship in those moments. 

I love nature references and that theme. I come from arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and there are so many awe-inspiring sights and things to experience in New Zealand. It's kind of mind-blowing to me that there aren't more believers when the awesomeness of God's creation is so evident. As the eyes and our ears of our hearts allow, that is a choice for us to say "Lord, open our eyes, open our ears, where are You? I want to see You today." 

We experience and see God in nature, and we hear from Him when we open Scripture. If we are open to it, we will inhale and gasp and exhale and proclaim His praise, and your soul will want to sing. How much we engage with worship is up to us, including how much we want to see and experience God. The truth is His presence is always here, and we can see Him if we open ourselves up to Him.

Lyrics:
You spoke everything into motion
Echoing in anything that breathes
Your sound is stirring like the ocean
Whispering down deep inside of me

Deep, calls out to deep
Calls out to deep
Calls out to deep

Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing out
Oh-ooh-ohh, You're the fire burning in my bones
You're the melody rising in me
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing

You are the finding and the searching
My soul longs for You endlessly
What word can carry this emotion?
In this moment I can barely speak

Deep, calls out to deep
Calls out to deep
Calls out to deep

Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing out
Oh-ooh-ohh, You're the fire burning in my bones
You're the melody rising in me
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing

My heart and lungs cry out in awe of who You are
My heart and lungs cry out to You, the living God
My heart and lungs cry out in awe of who You are
My heart and lungs cry out to You, the living God!

(Oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh-ooooh)
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing
(Oh-ooh, oh-ooh-oooh-ooooh)
Oh-ooh-ohh, You're the fire burning in my bones
You're the melody rising
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing
Oh-ooh-ohh, You make my spirit sing out
Oh-ooh-ohh Oh-oh-ooh-oooh, oh-ooh-oooh
You make my spirit...sing, sing


The song beautifully captures the emotion of the biblical truth expressed in Psalm 42:7 (NKJV): "Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls, all Your waves and billows have gone over me." That prayerful language instills awe in us about how sovereign our God is. When we feel like we are on shaky ground and we are dealing with the uncertainty of our situations, the economy and our world, this song allows us to dwell on the unshakable nature of God. When all else fades away, He will remain. I've been worshipping with this album since it released in my personal time of praise and adoration with the Lord. Every thought and lyric in this song and this album is rooted in Scripture, which I admire. 

In singing this song, you can reflect on the promise of Psalm 68:18: "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even from the rebellious that the Lord God might dwell there," and the fulfillment in Ephesians 4:8: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men." That's what being "Liberated" is all about. The song reflects the thematic and biblical proclamations found throughout the album and in Psalm 89:7 (NLT): "The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than all who surround His Throne." I love how prayers and songs of praise are a communal experience that we can all share. 

Everything in this broken world will ultimately disappoint you. I love how this song reminds me to have my priorities in the right place. When it seems like hope is lost, and we are in a state of despair, there's still hope in God as He tells us He'll lead us home. This song reminds us to be attentive to the "still, small voice" of The Holy Spirit, and that we need to have the type of faith that Jesus describes in the Bible: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." God is speaking to us in His still, small voice and as believers we need to take time to "be still and know that He is God." Believe these words when you sing along and proclaim with all of your heart: "My heart and lungs cry out in awe of who You are, my heart and lungs cry out to You, the living God!" 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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