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BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1011 - "Save Me" by Skillet
NRT's Lead Contributor, Kevin Davis, speaks with the band's lead vocalist about their latest single.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1011 -
Posted: March 17, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Victorious, Skillet's long-awaited 10th studio album, has captivated my spirit. It's been a treat for me to watch Skillet's meteoric ascent into one of the world's biggest rock bands. Let's not forget the incredible success of their last four albums: Comatose, Awake, Rise, and Unleashed

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to speak with lead vocalist John Cooper about several songs from Skillet's prior albums: "Awake and Alive," "One Day Too Late," "Lucy," "American Noise," "Good to Be Alive," "Stars," "Lions," "The Resistance," "Legendary," and "Anchor." And, with each discussion, we've built on how John's biblical life verses Romans 8:38-39 have shaped his songwriting.

"Legendary" sets the tone for Victorious. We're all united in our struggles and spiritual warfare, and in our desire for truth and relationship. These songs are prayers for God to teach us to realize that this life isn't forever. To help us realize what we're living for. What am I wasting my time on? What am I doing with my life? We need to think about what we're doing for His Kingdom. That's our legacy and the theme for Victorious. That's one of the threads that weaves its way through all 12 of these legacy-focused songs. I spoke with John again about the tune, "Save Me," our 12th Behind the Song discussion.

 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

What I like about the concept of "Save Me" is how, as humans, we all desire relationships. This dark track is about the fact that intimacy is really hard. We all want to be known. We all want to know someone in an intimate way. But, what we're not always prepared for is that intimacy hurts. When you're really intimate with someone, they see who you really are. That is most clear in marriage.

About the lyrics: "Peel back the skin, exposed to You/Take pleasure in the pain." What that's saying is that it's really wonderful to be known. But, it also hurts, because we have a lot of ugly stuff inside of us. It's not always wonderful when somebody finds out how selfish of a person you can be. Or what a jerk you can be in the mornings when you're in a bad mood. The way you respond to someone you love when you're exhausted. When they find out how bad you really are. But, it's still wonderful to be known. To still be loved is a really wonderful thing for me. That's what "Save Me" is about.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

1 John 3:1 (NLT): "See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know Him."

1 John 4:18-19 (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. We love because He first loved us."

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."

Romans 8:11 (VOICE): "If the Spirit of the One who resurrected Jesus from the dead lives inside of you, then you can be sure that He who raised Him will cast the light of life into your mortal bodies through the life-giving power of the Spirit residing in you."

2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV): "I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world; we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NKJV): "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Psalm 139:14 (NIV): "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Psalm 139:17-18 (NKJV): "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You."

What is the takeaway message?

On a spiritual level, with God, it's pretty tough to be anyone, but yourself. Because God is already intimately aware of who you really are. We just want to act like that's not the case, sometimes. To me, that's part of the beauty of our relationship with God: He knows us inside out--more than we know ourselves. He knows how depraved we really are and yet He loves us more than we can comprehend. That's what this song is about. 

Sometimes, people feel like God's love is too deep and too strong for them. But, there's a pleasure in the agony of bearing it all before Christ. A lot of our songs have an element of how we deal with depression and anxiety. When you don't know God, it comes down to who I am and the good things I've done. That's a depressing place to live. If I'm honest with myself, I'm not a good person. 

You see the depths of your depravity in your soul and you do the right things with the wrong motivation of selfishness. It's like sin itself. You're doing it to glorify yourself with hate in your heart. To me, the reality of depression that comes along with trying to fulfill our needs on our own has an answer: the joy of life that's found comes from living in the God of grace who knows everything about you. Who loves you anyway. Who is still in love with you. God's grace becomes your reason to enjoy life and living. Peace only comes from God. Take your eyes off yourself and your problems. And, put your eyes on God instead.

Lyrics

This is the place that no one sees
I don't like to show
I can't help it
This is the darkness over me
It's just the world I know
I can't stand it

Reaching for the light
Reaching from inside

Help me tonight
I'm closer to the edge
Tonight I'm standing on the ledge
So why won't You reach out Your hand
To save, to save me
Tonight I'm damaged if you dare
Tonight it feels like no one cares
So why can't I come up for air
To save, just save me
What are you waiting for
Someone save me

Peel back the skin, exposed to you
Take pleasure in the pain
Please don't stop it
Tell me what I'm supposed to do
It ain't easy to open up this way
I can't help it

Reaching for the light
Reaching from inside

Help me tonight
I'm closer to the edge
Tonight I'm standing on the ledge
So why won't You reach out Your hand
To save, to save me
Tonight I'm damaged if you dare
Tonight it feels like no one cares
So why can't I come up for air
To save, just save me
What are you waiting for
Someone save me

Reaching for the light
Reaching from inside

Help me tonight
I'm closer to the edge
Tonight I'm standing on the ledge
So why won't You reach out Your hand
To save, to save me
Tonight I'm damaged if you dare
Tonight it feels like no one cares
So why can't I come up for air
Just save, just save me

Help me tonight
I'm closer to the edge
Tonight I'm standing on the ledge
So why won't You reach out Your hand
To save, to save me
What are you waiting for
Someone save me


Closing Thoughts

The album's message is clear: we don't have to be perfect. God made us the way we are for a reason. We're beautiful; we have something to say and we're worth it. Joy isn't just a happy emotion. It's a deep peace and understanding, knowing that we are loved, without a doubt. "Save Me" is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and our lives. Change in such a way that our behavior and our lifestyle flow from God, living inside His believers. Only Jesus can give us our true identity. What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us. He's all we need.

God is love. We love because He first loved us. Have joy and worship loudly about the love of God in your life. His grace takes away anxiety, guilt, and shame. Know that being His is enough. 

In John's vocals, I hear a sincere yearning for the Lord. A thankfulness in his heart for God's mercy and grace. I'm completely convicted by the strong lyrics and find immense comfort in this song. We're aware of many situations involving people taking their own lives after dealing with depression. Skillet's hope is to pass on the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to "cast the light of life into your mortal bodies." If you're struggling with depression, especially now with our "social distancing" due to COVID-19, please know with certainty these life-giving words.

You die more to yourself and more to your pride and ambition every day when you are a follower of Jesus. That's what Jesus asks of us when He says, "follow me." When you drop everything and follow Jesus, you need to die to yourself, and that's when you truly live. Jesus calls us to have life, and live abundantly in Him. "Save Me" features introspective lyrics and an empowering refrain with John displaying emotive vocals. It is yet another rock anthem in the vein of "Legendary" and includes another catchy musical vibe and the prayerful message, "Help me tonight/I'm closer to the edge/Tonight I'm standing on the ledge/So why won't You reach out Your hand/To save, to save me." 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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