BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#926 - "Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" by UPPERROOM
Kevin Davis speaks with songwriter Elyssa Smith from UPPERROOM and Michael W. Smith, who recorded "Surrounded" for his latest worship release.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #926 -
Posted: June 20, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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"Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" is a stirring new worship anthem written by Elyssa Smith from Dallas, Texas-based UPPERROOM. The song is featured on their album, Moments EP which also includes "All Hail King Jesus," and the song is also the title track on Surrounded, the newest worship album from legendary CCM artist Michael W. Smith. That album features memorable and catchy worship songs including "Miracles," "Do it Again," "Reckless Love" and "Build My Life."

"Surrounded" represents the victory that we have over our battles before we know the earthly outcome by trusting that God is going before us and He wins. We can face our daily battles with more courage and strength because we know that whatever the outcome based on His promise in Romans 8:28: "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." I had the unique chance to speak with the songwriter Elyssa Smith from UPPERROOM and Michael W. Smith about "Surrounded."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Elyssa: How this song originally came out was during a prayer set at UPPERROOM. We are at House of Prayer so we have prayer hours in the morning, noon and night 5 days per week. I was at my Monday morning, 10 a.m. to 12-noon prayer set with my brother, and our prayer director. We started with a little song about thanksgiving and praise, and as we started singing and praying, the Lord started highlighting the power of thanksgiving and the power of His finished work. One of our prayer leaders started reading through 2nd Chronicles where Jehoshaphat sends the Levites before the army and the Lord asked the Levites to go before the army and sing praises and it would confuse the enemy. As he was reading that, the Lord started reminded me of the passage in 2nd Kings 6 where Elisha and his servant were surrounded by the armies and Elisha prayed that the Lord would open his servant's eyes and see the chariots of fire that surrounded their enemy. As I was singing this song, I thought about that passage and that led to me singing "this is how I fight my battles, It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You." There were only about 6 people in the room that day when the song came out. The YouTube video recording came out months later and our Pastor had said he wanted us to sing what the team prayed and felt the Lord was putting on their hearts in response to the power of His blood over our lives. I had forgotten about the song and that moment brought this song back to what you hear now. I've been blown away by the favor that the song has had.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

2 Chronicles 20:17 (NIV): "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'"

2 Kings 6:15-18 (NKJV): "And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, "Strike this people, I pray, with blindness." And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha."

Psalm 3:6 (VOICE): "No longer will I fear my tens of thousands of enemies who have surrounded me!"

Psalm 18:39 (NIV): "You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me."

Psalm 23:5 (VOICE): "You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace."

Psalm 55:18 (NIV): "He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me."

Psalm 139:5 (VOICE): "You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me, and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder."

Matthew 6:32-34 (VOICE): "Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don't realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today."

Romans 8:28 (NIV): "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:31 (NLT): "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"

1 John 4:18 (NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
 
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

What is the takeaway message?

Elyssa: I was thinking about the power of worship in what we do and sometimes we wonder if what we are singing and writing songs about is making any difference. You can fall into the lie of comparing yourself to others. I was praying for the Lord to reveal what difference it was making in the spiritual realm and all of a sudden He opened up His Scriptures of what thanks and praise about His finished work are about and what that can do in our lives. It opened up for me that when I get outside of myself and my own problems and thank Him, it changes my circumstances. What was in my mind during singing this song was Psalm 23 and how it says "You prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies" and how He calls us to come to eat at His table with Him and He protects us. I don't want anyone to be confused about what is the "this" in how I fight my battles. The "this" is the table that He has prepared for us, and He has already overcome our enemies and we can come and sit and rest with Him. His blood puts everything in the right perspective. There's a higher perspective in everything we are facing. Put your gaze on Jesus and what He has done. It transforms you.
 
Michael: When I hear the song I go back to the 2nd Kings Scripture and how Elisha prayed for his servant's eyes to be opened. It's so incredible that the song has only a few lines and it catches fire and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to record it. It lights up the room when you sing it. He's got your back. He said He'll never leave you or forsake you. He'll never leave you. God's at work and we don't understand it all. Even in the valley, He's working for our good.

Lyrics:
This is how I fight my battles
At His table

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles

It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles

At Your table!

It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how!... I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles!...

It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You!

Nothing is as strong as Your blood
Nothing is as strong as Your blood
Nothing is as strong as Your blood
Nothing is as strong as Your blood!
This is how I fight my battle
Right here at the table
Your blood and Your body
has overcome!
Your blood and Your body
has overcome!

It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You

This is how I fight my battle
This is how I fight my battle
This is how I fight my battle
This is how... I fight my battle
This is how we fight our battle
This is how we fight our battle
You've already overcome!
You've already overcome!
You've already overcome!
This is how I fight my battle
This is how I fight my battle
This is how I fight my battle
Praise, praise, praise
This is how I fight my battle
Oh, this is how I fight my battle
Praise!

It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You
Your blood puts everything in the right perspective
Your blood puts everything in the right perspective...


Closing Thoughts

I am very moved by this song. I find myself raising my hands in worship and then I'm compelled to reach out horizontally to help show others the love of Jesus. We can lift up our hands in confidence to God and know that His mercy is unfailing. His love is never-ending. He is our refuge and our strength. People can certainly relate to the "This is how I fight my battles" imagery of this song. The lyrics in the chorus, "It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You" have been resonating with me since I first heard this compelling song as I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God completely no matter the circumstances or personal distractions or concerns. 

"Surrounded (Fight My Battles)" was written based on Scriptures that any follower of Jesus can sing and say yes and amen to every word. The song was inspired by Elyssa breathing her breath into what God was telling her from her prayer based on Scripture and in turn sharing these profound and true words with each of us to share with others. Like David's prayers and songs captured in the Psalms, when you allow those words to sink in they change how you think. As the song sings, "Your blood puts everything in the right perspective." I imagine this song is sung in the way King David sang his profound words of comfort in Psalm 23 to the Lord. David was a shepherd, and he knew that the Lord was his only guide and hope and the Good Shepherd of his soul. This song is all about submitting all of your worries, anxieties, and stress to God and letting Him be your guide. God wants to walk beside you, and He wants us to be bold and unafraid.

The song represents life and includes some great challenges to step out in faith and trust in God even when you want to give up or can't see where you're going. We aren't the source of the power to overcome our challenges. God is our greater power source that brings the true power. In our weakness, God's strength is perfect! Remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? You can sincerely pray these words along with Elyssa and Michael. It is a moving offering of praise to Jesus. His love is never-ending, and He is our refuge and our strength. If you are looking for a Firm Foundation in your life, make these lyrics your personal prayer: "It may look like I'm surrounded but I'm surrounded by You, Your blood puts everything in the right perspective, Your blood puts everything in the right perspective...!" Amen to that!

Watch Elyssa and UPPERROOM lead the song:
 

Here is MIchael W. Smith leading the song:
 

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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