BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#995 - "What You Said" by Jon Egan
NRT's Kevin Davis connects with the former lead singer of the Desperation Band about his latest single and his debut album, 'Unveil.'
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #995 -
Posted: October 29, 2019 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Integrity Music's Jon Egan has released his debut solo album, Unveil. The worship leader and songwriter has already impacted CCM, with many notable worship songs. He's penned "I Am Free," "Overcome," "Strong God," "Make A Way," among others. Jon is also known for his work with the Desperation Band

While Jon has garnered many accolades, he's also battled depression and anxiety for most of his life. But, he knows firsthand what it means to bring a sacrifice of praise. Desperation Band's former lead singer invites listeners to do the same, singing God's promises over and through their own struggles.
 
"Sometimes, I write what I most need to sing," Jon said. "Worship is often a defiant act. It becomes a weapon to declare what you know will be, even if it isn't yet... standing face-to-face with the fear and darkness. But, instead of describing what you see, you declare what you know, choosing faith over fear. It's the singing and declaring of that truth that lifts you out of despair." I had the chance to speak with Jon about "What You Said."


Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

We've been singing "What You Said" for a couple of years at our church [Colorado-based New Life Church]. Some songs have a shelf life of a few months. But, this one has already been connecting to listeners for years. So, I was excited to release this song. 

For me, the macro inspiration for the song is the whole story of God and the story of scripture from the beginning until now, during our ability to be all over the place. We wander and don't know where we're going. God's steady presence, faithfulness and unfailing love throughout all human history is God's great story that we all get to be a part of. 

We sometimes try to grab the pen from God. I know I have, to try to have control. God's grand story is what this song is about: our attempts and our efforts to serve God, our victories and failures, you name it, God's completely faithful. He continues to show His outrageous faithfulness to us. As I write songs, I like to tell the big story of God's faithfulness in our lives.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Jeremiah 29:11 (VOICE): For I know the plans I have for you," says the Eternal, "plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope--never forget that.
 
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."
 
Matthew 6:31-34 (VOICE): "So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? 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."
 
John 16:33 (NIV): "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
 
Philippians 1:6 (NIV): "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
 
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG): "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

What is the takeaway message?

On a personal note, about four years ago I was asked to become the executive worship pastor at New Life Church. I accepted it and soon after I realized I was overwhelmed and outside of my comfort zone. I quickly dealt with burnout and anxiety. 

I'm grateful that my pastor was gracious with me. And I told him I wasn't the guy for the job. I stepped down. I felt really broken and needed to heal. And, my own lack of health wounded others. 

I was in a dark place. I prayed about returning to writing worship songs and, ultimately, I felt God's calling in my life and I returned. I had a phrase in my head from 2nd Corinthians that the promises of God are "yes and amen, and nothing can change what You said." I started thinking through. I wasn't sure I could recover. And, as usual for me, I sing my way out of my realities into new realities. 

"What You Said" is the story of God and the grand narrative that we're all living in. Everything God is doing is intentional, and He never fails. I hope this song and this album helps my generation and those above me remember and helps a new generation to discover that worship can't exist outside the cries of desperate people.

Lyrics

Though oceans may rise over my head
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said
Though I may be found in the valley of death
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said, no-no-no
Though oceans may rise over my head
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said
Though I may be found in the valley of death
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said

You are good, and everything You do is good
You are kind, and everything You do is kind
You don't fail, You haven't and You never will
You are good, and everything You do is good

Though oceans may rise over my head
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said
Though I may be found in the valley of death
It can't change what You said
It can't change what You said

You are good, and everything You do is good
You are kind, and everything You do is kind
You don't fail, You haven't and You never will
You are good, and everything You do is good, oh-oh-ohh

And everything You do is good
Everything that You do is good

No future or past
No height and no depth
Can change what You said
It can't change what You said
My heart is convinced
So I'll praise You instead
And declare what You said
I'll declare what You said

You are good, and everything You do is good
You are kind, and everything You do is kind
You don't fail, You haven't and You never will
You are good, and everything You do is good

No future or past
No height and no depth
Can change what You said
It can't change what You said
My heart is convinced
So I'll praise You instead
And declare what You said
I'll declare what You said

Come on declare it
Your promises are good
Your promises are so good

Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know
Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know
Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know
Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know
Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know
Your promises are yes and amen, I know
Nothing can ever change what You said, I know


Closing Thoughts

"What You Said" is a great example of what it means to live out the story of faith. That's so much of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. We learn throughout God's Word that dealing with adversity and allowing life's trials to remind us of our never-ending need for Jesus leads us into a deeper relationship with God and reliance on Him for His endless grace and mercy. 

We all have insecurities in some way. God has wired us to need Him. Having anxiety and being able to overcome fear can be accomplished only by stepping into God's supernatural ability. He desires that from us, as His children. It's in our weakness that God is made strong. It's only through God's grace that we can overcome our emotional conflicts of feeling invisible and conspicuous at the same time.

I'm in a similar life stage as Jon and can relate to everything he shares and sings. Many of my favorite songs are based on the joy and themes of trusting in God from the Psalms and Proverbs. So many people struggle to apply God's Word to their lives. If we learn to build our lives on scripture, we would all have a rock as our foundation, in how we navigate our lives. 

The Good News of the Gospel, which this song portrays, is that God accepts us no matter what we've done or what we're going through. "What You Said" gives me more conviction to not feel worthless or afraid. With many areas in our lives, we also spend a lot of time worrying. We need to let that go, and allow the Lord to be our redeemer.
 
God calls us to have the type of faith expressed in this music. This song includes a heart cry found throughout scripture, where the saints who have gone before us expressed doubt and frustration. 

The Lord wants us to share our struggles with Him, and ask Him to help us overcome whatever we're facing. "What You Said" is about faith and letting God's plans be revealed in your life. Rather than spending too much time thinking about our circumstances, and what we can do to improve them, we need to connect with God's heart for us. It means, "do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today" (Matthew 6:34, VOICE). That's how we can live out the words of this song.

Jesus is ever true to His Word. What He spoke on earth, He affirms in heaven. The Word of God is a message of grace. We can all take comfort in the truth expressed in this song, which comes from God's Word. And remember, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." We all have lies that we believe about ourselves. And, we have an Enemy who doesn't like us. He does have a voice and he does speak to us. But, the voice of God's agape love speaks louder. 

This song encourages us to see ourselves the way God sees us. Jon's struggle with anxiety and depression has helped him better understand that God's plans do not mean we won't have trials. But, we can sing along with all our might, "No future or past/No height and no depth/Can change what You said/It can't change what You said/My heart is convinced/So I'll praise You instead/And declare what You said." Amen to that.

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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