BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#306 - "Live Like That" by Sidewalk Prophets
What is the question that drives the first single from the Prophets' latest project? NRT's Kevin Davis finds out.
 


Sidewalk Prophets initially made a name for themselves at Indiana’s Anderson University, where front men and main songwriters Dave Frey and Ben McDonald met. Integrating worship with real life--that is one of the concepts Sidewalk Prophets has learned to live by.

The "sidewalk" is about the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we overlook or just plain forget that God is trying to speak to us. The sidewalk symbolizes that we are common people. And a prophet is defined as "someone who speaks the truth about life." Sidewalk Prophets means that we are common people speaking the truth about life as lovers and followers of Christ.

"Sidewalk Prophets has a vision to help people young and old embrace the uniqueness God has given them,” Frey explains. “The more we look at a lot of today's problems the more we see that a lot of times people are fearful of being themselves, so they follow what the world tells them they should do. We believe that finding your identity in Christ is one of the most crucial steps in truly loving others. Once people start realizing this and living confidently in this, we believe there will be a visible change in our households, our communities and ultimately our world."

Sidewalk prophets has made an impressive debut on the CCM scene, winning New Artist of the Year in 2010, and garnering multiple Dove Award nominations for Group and Song of the Year. Their debut album These Simple Truths delivered the smash No. 1 singles “You Love Me Anyway” and “The Words I Would Say.”

Their sophomore album Live Like That releases March 27, 2012 and their lead single and title track is already a hit song and plays a strong part in the overall messaging from the band. With the help of their fans, the album cover encompasses the faces and hearts of people all over the country who have inspired someone to “live like that.” I had the great opportunity to interview lead singer Dave Frey about his great new song “Live Like That.”

Please tell me about the background message behind the song "Live Like That."

Just like we set out in making our first album, the order of the songs tells the story of the album. “Live Like That” is the overarching message of the album, and the other songs take you on this journey of a person who is broken, and comes to the realization that they need to fully rely on God. The journey leads to restoration.

We struggled for a long time coming up with an album name, as I’m not a huge fan of just naming the album after the lead single. When it came down to crunch time, “Live Like That” turned out to be the perfect album title, because the purpose of the song and the album is to encourage listeners to live like Christ. It’s not easy to live like Him. It hurts and the songs “Keep Making Me”, “It’s Good (Love’s Not Safe)” and “Wrecking Ball” were on our hearts as we were writing songs for the album.

We were originally going to call the album “No Safe Place.” That’s not true though. God is our sanctuary and we can cling to Him. There is no safe place on Earth, but we have God’s love to guide us.

Every song reflects trying to “live like that”—the good, the bad and the ugly, the hard and the easy. It all comes back to the title track. We co-wrote the song with Ben Glover, and we prayed before we started and the words of this song just flowed out of us.

When we pass from this world, what will people think of us? What legacy will we leave? We need to leave a legacy, more than anyone saying “he was a great singer” or “he loved his kids” although those are great things, in the end it’s worthless if people don’t say “he loved God” and “he was a man of God.” That’s what we want. When we opened the Bible we hit on that passage in Hebrews that gives us strength, about the “cloud of witnesses.”

Please tell me about the Bible verses you used in writing the song. Any life verse for the band?

Hebrews 12:1-2:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith.”

...and 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6:
“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

How can listeners apply that message when they listen to the song?

When I think of that Hebrews 12:1-2 passage, I realized that describes our whole journey as a Christian. God has given us so many people that can testify to His goodness. In the Bible, we read about David and Moses and people with “reckless faith.”

My teacher my sophomore year of High School poured out his passion to me, and those are the times I remember the most. That’s the type of passion Jesus showed His disciples. My pastors who laid down harsh Truth showed me Jesus. That’s how I want to live my life.

There comes a point in our lives when we’re confronted with a question, one that faces all of us who struggle in the face of addiction, sickness, brokenness and loneliness. That question is this: What exactly is this life for? It’s in those times that we’re reminded of those who have impacted our life: grandparents, parents, teachers and pastor. We realize that in them we saw a deep passion, an unashamed faith and a love that knew no bounds. Whether they knew it or not, we saw Christ in them.

When we leave this world, our desire is to have others say “I want to live like THAT” not because of how we lived for ourselves, but because of how we let Christ live through us. We want to be known as men who’ve laid it all out on the line for the sake of having Christ speak through us--not for our glory but for His. We want to live like that!

Lyrics:
Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I'm only just a memory
When I'm home where my soul belongs

Was I love
When no one else would show up
Was I Jesus to the least of those
Was my worship more than just a song

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Am I proof
That You are who you say You are
That grace can really change a heart
Do I live like Your love is true

People pass
And even if they don't know my name
Is there evidence that I've been changed
When they see me, do they see You

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

I want to show the world the love You gave for me
I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King

I want to live like that
And give it all I have
So that everything I say and do
Points to You

If love is who I am
Then this is where I'll stand
Recklessly abandoned
Never holding back

I want to live like that
I want to live like that

Asbury’s Bible commentary on Hebrews 12:1-2: “The race of faith begins and ends with Jesus. Jesus pioneered the way to begin with. As God's “author,” He blazed the path of the perfection of faith through the sufferings of this life. He defined the way; He set the pace. The challenge is ours now to follow and not to shrink back. Jesus perfected the way once for all. As God's “perfecter,” He persevered in perfect faith, and He endured to the end without once shrinking back in sin, enduring even the Cross. In faith He fixed his gaze on the joy of glory set before Him. God will bring us to enjoy that divine perfectness as well, provided we do not shrink back when the test comes. From start to finish, our eyes must remain fixed on Jesus lest we get off track and lose out.”

Asbury’s Bible commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6: “The thanksgiving prayer contains commendations that indicate the condition of the church, matched by Paul's deep concern. Paul thanks God for their model behavior: faith, love, and hope producing work, labor, and endurance. Faith includes acceptance of, and trust in, the message of salvation and obedience to Christ. Love is at the center of all Christian relationships. Hope is the conviction that God will bring salvation to completion. Work, labor, and steadfastness confirm the reality of the spiritual attitudes which inspire them. Salvation is not earned by works, but it produces a grateful response in action. Labor issues from deep devotion to God. Endurance comes from the confidence that God's purposes for His creation will triumph despite present circumstances.”

Just like their debut album These Simple Truths delivered the smash No. 1 singles “You Love Me Anyway” and “The Words I Would Say,” I expect similar result for Sidewalk Prophets’ sophomore album Live Like That. The album is chock full of potential radio singles and every song is completely captivating.

The surefire hit songs are “Live Like That”, “Save My Life”, “Keep Making Me”, “It’s Good (Love’s Not Safe)”, “Wrecking Ball” and closing ballad “This Is Not Goodbye.”

“This album is a reflection of our journey in music and our desire to live our lives in such a way that it is rooted in a deep passion and love that knows no bounds,” Frey says. The message of committing to extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism threads its way through every song.

“Live Like That” is one of my favorite songs of the year. It is super-catchy and also very profound. I recently turned 40, and find myself thinking more and more about how well I’m living for Christ and showing His love. I am very challenged by all of the lyrics in the song: “Was I love when no one else would show up? Was I Jesus to the least of those? Was my worship more than just a song?” What I love is how this is yet another in a series of Kingdom-focused songs based on the Truth of the Gospels as we lead up to Easter and this song really challenges us to be “Recklessly abandoned, Never holding back, I want to live like that, I want to show the world the love You gave for me, I'm longing for the world to know the glory of the King.” Amen to that!

(You can listen to the song here.)

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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