BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1064 - "Battle Belongs" by Phil Wickham
NRT's Kevin Davis talks to the showstopper about his popular fight song
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1064 -
Posted: April 08, 2021 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Singer-songwriter Phil Wickham's prayerful sentiments are consistently filled with his personal adoration for God. His enthusiastic and reverent style of writing and singing worship songs has consistently been a draw for me.
 
More than likely, you have sung one of Phil's songs at a worship service. Well-known favorites include “At Your Name (Yahweh, Yahweh),” “This is Amazing Grace,” “Your Love Awakens Me,” and “Living Hope.” His 2018 release Living Hope was my top worship album of 2018. It includes the impactful singles “Living Hope,” “Great Things,” “How Great is Your Love,” “Till I Found You” and “Song in My Soul,” which features guest vocals from Hollyn
 
I had a chance to speak with Phil about the popular "Battle Belongs," a completely anointed, spirit-led, and emotionally captivating single.
   

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
 
“Battle Belongs” came from a FaceTime call I had with Bethel Music singer/songwriter Brian Johnson. We were bouncing ideas back and forth for new music. At one point during our conversation, he mentioned that he’d like to write a song based on a phrase he saw on a tattoo with praying hands: ‘I fight on my knees.’ 
 
I thought it was a great idea. In fact, that idea really resonated with me. For me, that kind of inspiration can happen from a title, a Bible passage, a phrase, you name it. With Brian’s idea, I knew there was a song, and I knew where to go with it. 
 
I sat down at the piano. And, Brian and I came up with the chorus. We knew we had a special song, and that churches would be singing it. That was at the end of 2019.
 
In 2020, we worked on the verses. And, while we were on tour together, we decided to debut the song before we finished it. On the drive to the venue, we chose our favorite verses and the bridge. And, that night, we debuted the song during worship—the way you hear it now.
 
The song’s inspiration comes from one of my favorite stories in the Bible: 2 Chronicles 20. It’s a story of this huge army that’s come together to fight the people of God. And, when the people of God and their king, Jehoshaphat, hear this army coming their way, they freak out. 
 
They come to God and pray, ‘We are powerless against this army, but our eyes are on You God. Show us what to do.’ And, God responds to them. 
 
His spirit comes upon this Levite man. And, through the Levite man, God says, ‘Do not be afraid or dismayed for the battle is not yours, but it is God’s. You will not have to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.’
 
They stood firm. So much so that instead of sending their army, they sent their worshippers to the front lines. And, through song, the worshippers—that is, the holy men in their robes—gave thanks to the Lord for His steadfast enduring love.
 
Upon hearing the holy men sing, the army freaked out. They were routed. They started turning on each other to the point where the scriptures say not one of them was left alive. God moved on behalf of His people. And, to this day, God’s still moving and battling on behalf of His people.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
 
Joshua 1:9 (VOICE): "This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go."

2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV): He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

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.'"

Deutoronomy 31:8 (NLT): "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you."
 
Psalm 28:7 (NLT): "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."

Romans 8:31 (NKJV): "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
 
Romans 8:38-39 (VOICE): "For I have every confidence that nothing—not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers, height, depth, nor any created thing—can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord."
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
I remember the first time we led “Battle Belongs” in worship. At the chorus, every hand was lifted in the air. We knew we had a special song. It’s such a fight song. 
 
At that point, I wasn’t going through a fight or a serious battle. But, I remember wondering who the song would be for. I wanted to know how this song would play out in people’s lives. Shortly thereafter, the whole world was in a coronavirus pandemic. So, questions answered: “Battle Belongs” is a beacon of hope for everyone.
 
It was definitely a beacon of hope for me. When I was in the middle of rabbit holes of news stories trying to figure out what was true, this song brought me so much hope in whatever I was doing. 
 
When living life, I sing this song to myself. Sometimes, my kids ask me to “sing the battle song.” “Battle Belongs” has become a fight and faith song for my family, my church community, and other church communities. And, since its release in September 2020, the song’s positive message has spread like wildfire. 
 
We’ve been getting messages from all around the world about how the song has brought courage and victory to their lives. We’ve received countless messages from nurses and doctors who have found freedom and peace from the song’s message.

Worshipping in the face of the enemy and in the face of darkness puts a seal on our faith. In Jesus, there’s always a higher, more powerful song to sing that’s stronger and bigger than anything we face in the world. 
 
Whatever comes our way, nothing can outshine the brightness of that truth and no darkness can quench that truth. When I sing “Battle Belongs,” that’s what I think about. Can I really believe that God will move on my behalf in miraculous ways? My favorite line of the song is “when all I see is the cross/You see the empty tomb.” 
 
This song points us to the story of the cross. God defeated sin and death on our behalf. There was no way to win that battle on our own. That’s what John 3:16 is all about. Jesus went to battle on our behalf and won. We can live in a place of victory because death has been defeated. Salvation takes a step of repentance and faith. 
 
Lyrics
 
When all I see is the battle
You see my victory
When all I see is the mountain
You see a mountain moved
And as I walk through the shadow
Your love surrounds me
There's nothing to fear now
For I am safe with You

So when I fight
I'll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
And every fear
I lay at Your feet
I'll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You

And if You are for me
Who can be against me, yeah
For Jesus there's
Nothing impossible for You
When all I see are the ashes
You see the beauty
Thank You, God
When all I see is a cross
God, You see the empty tomb

So when I fight
I'll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
And every fear
I lay at Your feet
I'll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You

Almighty Fortress
You go before us
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God
You shine in the shadow
You win every battle
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God

An Almighty Fortress
You go before us
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God
You shine in the shadow
You win every battle
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God

An Almighty Fortress
You go before us
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God
You shine in the shadows
You win every battle
Nothing can stand against
The power of our God

So when I fight
I'll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to you
And every fear
I lay at Your feet
I'll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
Oh God, the battle belongs to You

 
Closing Thoughts
 
“Battle Belongs” is exactly the type of catchy corporate worship song I’ve come to love from Phil Wickham. 
 
What I love about this powerful standout anthem is its convicting declaration: “So when I fight/I'll fight on my knees/With my hands lifted high/Oh God, the battle belongs to You."
 
The song’s energy and excitement are infectious. It makes me lift my hands up to God and sing before Him, like King David—passionately unashamed. 
 
Is God's Word your strength and joy? Are you trusting God? God wants us to know that He's faithful to complete what He's started in all of us who've put their hope and trust in Jesus for our salvation. 
 
The Lord is bigger than any calamity that we experience in this world. God blesses us during our trials and uses them to remind us to rely on Him.
 
This song represents the victory that we have over our battles before we even know the earthly outcome. Trust that God goes before us—and wins. Remember that if God is for us, who can be against us? 
 
God's ultimate will is not to bring affliction, but to restore us, so that we may experience His unfailing love. I love singing this song to Jesus, telling Him plainly that I need no other than Him.
 
“Battle Belongs” gives me a lot of joy, and my heartbeat is to please the Lord. I love songs that allow me to have fun and praise God at the same time. And, this song certainly does that. 
 
The song is a great reminder that our circumstances don't define our joy. Our position in Christ and His unending faithfulness is worthy of all our gratitude and adoration.
 
A sincere desire to experience the presence of God can be heard in this instant classic. You’ll want to exclaim: When all I see are the ashes/You see the beauty/Thank You, God/When all I see is a cross/God, You see the еmpty tomb!He has risen. 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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