BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1075 - "Promises" by Maverick City Music
NRT's Kevin Davis talk to members Aaron Moses and Naomi Raine about how their new song helped them through the COVID-19 pandemic
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1075 -
Posted: June 22, 2021 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Worship collective Maverick City Music has been turning heads lately. Their hit worship songs, “Jireh” and “Talking To Jesus,” featured on worship band Elevation Worship’s album Old Church Basement, showcase the promise and potential of this collective.
 
Besides collaborating with other artists and bands, Maverick City Music has been busy releasing their own music as well. Their most recent release is Jubilee: The Juneteenth Edition, featuring the song, “Breathe.” Last year, the collective released multiple projects, including Maverick City Vol. 3, Part 1.
 
But, Maverick City Music’s goal is not to be a song factory, but rather to create a space where worship expression takes precedence over proficiency. The collective wants to help push the worship genre into a place where diversity thrives. 
 
A press release best describes their vision as “the hope of every tribe united with their voices raised wouldn’t just be a vision of the future, but would capture the prophetic imaginations of the church in our day.”
 
I had the chance to interview members Aaron Moses and Naomi Raine about “Promises,” a song the collective released on Maverick City Vol. 3, Part 1.
 

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
 
Aaron: We wrote “Promises” when we were just starting out. At the time, I was living in a two-bedroom and one-bathroom trailer with no money. I was leading worship at church, hoping to survive another day. 
 
My brother—and band member—Joe L. Barnes, who sings this song with Naomi, came up to me with this song idea roughly two years ago. We started on the verses and pre-chorus together but didn’t end up finishing it—until right before the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
This song is very special to me. It was one of those anthems that helped me once everything shut down. It’s one of those songs that we didn’t know that we need until we needed it. It has provided so much encouragement to me, reminding me that the promises of God are steadfast and unmovable—no matter the season.
 
Naomi: “Promises” ministered to me before the pandemic (we recorded it before then, too). Singer-songwriter—and band member—Dante Bowe wrote the song’s bridge. That really blessed me: “I put my faith in Jesus, my anchor, to the ground/My hope and firm foundation/He’ll never let me down.” These words summed up everything in the song and everything Abraham would be singing in a moment like this. 
 
I know that God is real. I know that what He says is true. He gives me a truth I can stand on. This song is a prayer and a confession that we get to make when we sing it. 
 
I don’t generally listen to songs I sing and record. But, “Promises” is one I listened to every day during the pandemic. The Lord was super faithful; He knew we needed this song’s message before we knew we needed it.
 
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
 
Romans 8:28: (NKJV): And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV): “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
 
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
 
Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

John 10:10 (ESV): "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."
 
Hebrews 6:19 (NLT): "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."

Philippians 4:7 (NKJV): “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 103:1-5 (NASB): “Bless the Lord, O’ my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV): "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
 
What is the takeaway message?
 
Naomi: God knew we needed His goodness and His faithfulness every day during the COVID-19 pandemic; promises we needed to cling to (God’s promises are what we need to cling to all the time). 
 
“Promises” has been a gift to me personally and for the church. I have relied on God’s promises from the Bible like “bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name” from Psalm 103.
 
Aaron: When we recorded the song, Naomi added the lyrics, “I’ll still bless You.” It was something she needed in that time. It blessed her and us as well. I would tell myself the same thing, “I’ll still bless You” when I didn’t know how I would pay for things or what was going to happen next. 
 
I’ve relied on promises from the Bible like “to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” from Ephesians 3:20. When God starts something, He has to complete what He’s started. It may not be how we imagine or think, but God can’t lie. And, if He makes a promise, He will fulfill it.
 
Lyrics
 
God of Abraham, God of covenant and of faithful promises
Time and time again You have proven You’ll do just what you said 
 
Though the storms may come and the winds may blow I’ll remain steadfast 
And let my heart learn when you speak a word it will come to pass
 
Great is Your faithfulness to me
Great is Your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun, to the setting same

I will praise Your name
Great is Your faithfulness to me 
 
God from age to age, though the earth may pass away, Your word remains the same
Your history can prove there’s nothing You can’t do, You’re faithful and True

 
Though the storms may come and the winds may blow I’ll remain steadfast
And let my heart learn when you speak a word it will come to pass
 
Great is your faithfulness to me
Great is your faithfulness to me
From the rising sun, to the setting same
I will praise Your name
Great is Your faithfulness to me
 
I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground 

My hope and firm foundation
He’ll never let me down
 
Closing Thoughts
 
Trust God’s Word. Have faith and let Him work all things together for your good. Spend time with Him and let Him redeem and restore you. You're not at the end of our story. He’s still writing your stories of redemption. 
 
The Lord wants you to know that He's faithful to complete what's He's started in all of us who've put our hope and trust in Jesus for our salvation.
 
God wants to hear from you. Get to that place where you are in humble submission to Him. Don’t play it safe, but take a chance and ask for God to be real in your life. You’ll never see true beauty if you don’t fully submit to Him. More than just intellectual assent, God wants to be at the center of your heart’s desires. We change our minds quickly, but our hearts are more devoted.
 
For me, the most encouraging part of “Promises” is the message that I don’t have to be perfect or rely on my own plans. But that God knows me and loves me just as I am. He wants to hear me—all of us—sing, “I put my faith in Jesus/My anchor to the ground/My hope and firm foundation/He’ll never let me down.” That is cause for celebration.
 
You need to live each day knowing, as said in Romans 8:28, that despite your circumstances, God has a plan for "those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose." We really bring nothing to the table. 
 
Abraham was called a "friend of God." He chose to not choose when he allowed his nephew, Lot, to choose which way to go. Lot chose his path by sight. Abraham chose to walk by faith and not by sight. God credited that to him, as righteousness. 
 
Righteousness comes from faith in the unseen like Abraham displayed in the Bible. Walk by faith and let Him guide you in your daily walk by prayer and His infallible Word, the Bible. 
 
"Promises" tells us to have the faith that Jesus describes in the Bible: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
 
You can sincerely pray these biblical and prayerful words, clinging to the truth of this powerful song. The word of the Lord doesn't return void, and this song puts God's Word in the mouths of believers, reminding them of the truth of God's promises. The Lamentations 3:22-23 passage and this song challenge me to want to know God more deeply and have more faith and security in my relationship with God.
 
“Promises” includes some great faith statements: “God from age to age/Though the earth may pass away/Your word remains the same.” I sing along at the top of my lungs the sincere and emotive lyrics of submission in the refrain. A great challenge in this song is to make these words your personal prayer: “From the rising sun, to the setting same/I will praise Your name/Great is Your faithfulness to 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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