BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1027 - "Awake My Soul" by Hillsong Worship
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with worship leader Brooke Ligertwood about the group's latest song
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1027 -
Posted: July 08, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Hillsong Worship’s There is More, featuring “Who You Say I Am” and “Touch of Heaven,” gave the world quality holy music to praise the Lord. So it's no surprise that churches and believers around the world are celebrating the release of the worship band's latest album, Awake (Deluxe), featuring “King of Kings” and “Awake My Soul.” This incredible worship album is my all-time favorite Hillsong album (It was my top worship album of 2019). Once again, they have released their newest "best" album.
 
I have consistently been blessed by each Hillsong Worship album. Their staples "Forever Reign," "Hope of the World," "What a Beautiful Name," and "Who You Say I Am" are very familiar anthems, which are being sung at church worship services worldwide, putting the Word of God into the minds, mouths, and hearts of Christians everywhere. I had the chance to speak with worship leader Brooke Ligertwood about Hillsong Worship's latest song, “Awake My Soul.”
 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

It’s funny talking with you about this song after talking with you before about “King of Kings,” as with that song we had so much real estate for the lyrics to go with the melody compared to this song. This song is almost the opposite of that; and more like “New Wine.” Like that song, this came out of my own personal devotional time.

As a result, we ignore a lot of typical songwriting rules since the songs come from a personal time of intercession between me and the Lord. That’s how this song started. I was singing over my situation in praying to God in writing this song. I’ve looked back at some interviews I’ve done about this song before and I stumbled in explaining the process and better understand it over time as I’ve had more time with this song.
 
The first thing that came out in my prayer time was the lyrics, “There is a sound I love to hear, the sound of the Savior’s robe,” as I was driving to pick up my two toddlers from school. I was on a drive and a couple of blocks from my house and sometimes in times of personal prayer and worship, something shifts. As believers, we believe we are continually in the presence of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and He never leaves us.

We are graced with moments of consolation with the Spirit where the Savior Himself walks and is with us and we sense Him in a different way. When I was singing that, I was trying to articulate that there is a sound that we don’t necessarily hear with our ears; but we hear with our spirit when the Savior walks into a room when we recognize Him in a new way.

Biblically, we read “the train of His robe filled the temple” in Isaiah 6:1 and the way His robe is described in Revelation. From the depths of the Old Testament to the climax of the New Testament, it speaks of the majesty of the Lord.


Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 57:8 (NLT): "Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song."

Psalm 57:7-9 (NIV): "My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of You among the peoples."
 
Isaiah 6:1 (NIV): “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”
 
Revelation 19:13 (NIV): “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.”

Ephesians 5:14 (NIV): "This is why it is said: 'Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'"

Acts 26:18 (VOICE): "It will be your mission to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God. This is so that they may receive forgiveness of all their sins and have a place among those who are set apart for a holy purpose through having faith in Me."

Psalm 119:37 (NKJV): "Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way."
 
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV): "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

1 John 3:1 (NKJV): "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."

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

Our Lord is near to us. He is our King. I think the song, up to the point of the bridge, sets up an expectation that it’s impossible to please God without faith, juxtaposing the sounds we hear with the sounds the Lord hears. We hear Him entering the room and, from the sound of our praises, He hears our faith. Our faith pleases Him. He desires it.

The song's chorus is giving every believer the reminder we repeatedly hear in the Psalms, “Awake my soul and sing.” It’s a reminder to open our mouths. What we sing and speak out loud, our soul hears. One of the reasons we fast, as believers, is that we remind our body who is in charge. My spirit is yielded to the Lord. When we open our mouths and pray and sing, we're reminding our body that God's in charge.

The temple filling with His robe and His majesty is not just for us to experience in worship, but also for us to be empowered by His Holy Spirit. The Lord is victorious. Satan is our enemy. Our God is our King and, when we pray with expectation, God moves, and hell will not prevail.

Awakening is, at its essence, revival. It's a renewing of the Church and waking the people who have been asleep. We're not just church when we're together singing live in a room, we're church at all times. God was powerfully working in us as we created every song on this project. He is not finished yet. He's calling us all to wake up and lead His revival.
 
Lyrics:
There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Savior’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear praises
He hears faith
 
There is a sound I love to hear
It’s the sound of the Savior’s robe
As He walks into the room where people pray
Where we hear worship
He hears faith
 
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud
Sing His praise aloud
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud
Sing His praise aloud
 
There is a sound that changes things
The sound of His people on their knees
Oh wake up you slumbering
It’s time to worship Him
 
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud

Sing His praise aloud
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud
Sing His praise aloud
 
And when He moves
And when we pray
Where stood a wall
Now stands a way
Where every promise is amen
 
And when He moves
Make no mistake
The bowels of hell begin to shake
All hail the Lord
All hail the King
 
Hey, oh
Let the King of glory enter in
Hey, oh
Fall down on your knees
And worship Him
Hey, oh
Let His praise rise up
Don’t hold it in
 
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud
Sing His praise aloud
Awake my soul and sing
Sing His praise aloud
Sing His praise aloud
 
Closing Thoughts
 
If you’ve always enjoyed Hillsong Worship's church anthems, you’re in for a treat with this beautiful piece. This stirring new worship song really sets me in the proper mindset to praise God. He loves us so much that He gave His life away for all that was lost. God explains love in 1 John 4:19 (KJV): "We love him, because He first loved us."

God's love was given at an outrageous cost: the life of His only begotten Son. Not only should we love God because He first loved us, but we should love others unconditionally. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That's a wonderful testimony to the truth of God's Word, which consistently tells us to not be afraid but to be bold and unashamed of the Gospel. "Awake My Soul" is a great way to express that joy, thankfulness and dedication to God. By reading the Bible every day, God reminds us to not be afraid.

This song addresses the concept of keeping our eyes open, to remember our calling, as stated in Ephesians 5:14 (NIV): "Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." If you think about the type of faith we're called to have as believers, it's described as the faith of a mustard seed.

God calls us to walk by faith, and not by sight. We serve a God who has infinitely more for us than we can think or imagine. Once the light of the Holy Spirit is in you, you can show that light to others as you live your daily life, including outside of a worship context.
 
"Awake My Soul" celebrates the freedom we're promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) in God's Holy Word: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Christians are new creations on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives us new life, and we don't have to live anymore with our guilt, fears or worries--especially as we all face this coronavirus pandemic together.

Remember we're born again. And, we need to live as children of God. Believing the words of this song is a great way to work on the disciplines of self-examination and prayer. This is a great message and song for us to celebrate our freedom based on our faith in Jesus. 

Worship is really about submission and to just be amazed and in awe of God. Worship is about giving God our best, offering all of ourselves to Him. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole heart to God? Do we offer up half-hearted prayers, or do we seek Him with all our heart?
 
This song is a game-changer when you sing it in spirit and in truth to the Lord. As believers, we need to take time to be still and know that He is God, as shared in Psalm 46:10. This song reminds me to have resolve as a follower of Jesus, to keep my eyes wide open and find ways to serve Him for my good and His glory. My resolution is to pray more fervent prayers, to have more faith and to have full joy.

The world is still crying out desperately for a Savior. Our job as followers of Jesus is to tell the world that He came, He lived a perfect, sinless life, He died for our sins and rose again. Make these lyrics your prayer: “Awake my soul and sing/Sing His praise aloud/Sing His praise aloud.” 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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